SATISFACTION (Lat. satisfacere, to satisfy), reparation for an injury or offence; payment, pecuniary or otherwise, of a debt or obligation; particularly, in law, and equitable doctrine of much importance. It may operate either as between strangers or as between father and child. As between strangers: it was laid down in Talbot v. Duke of Shrewsbury, 1714, Pr. Ch. 394, that where a debtor bequeaths to his creditor a legacy as great as, or greater than the debt, the legacy shall be deemed a satisfaction of the debt. This rule, however, has fallen under a considerable amount of discredit, and very small circumstances are required to rebut the presumption of satisfaction. If the debt was incurred after the execution of the will, there is no satisfaction, nor is there where the will giving the legacy contains a direction to pay debts. As between parent and child, the doctrine operates (a) in the satisfaction of legacies by portions, and (b) of portions by legacies. In the case of (a), it has been laid down that where a parent, or one acting in loco parentis, gives a legacy to a child, without stating the purpose for which he gives it, it will be understood as a portion; and if the father afterwards advance a portion on the marriage, or preferment in life, of that child, though of less amount, it is a satisfaction of the whole, or in part. This application of the doctrineis based on the maxim that "equality is equity," as is also the rule (b) that where a legacy bequeathed by a parent, or one in loco parentis, is as great as, or greater than, a portion or provision previously secured to the child, a presumption arises that the legacy was intended by the parent as a complete satisfaction. In each of the above cases, of course, the presumption may be rebutted by evidence of the testator's intentions.
In theology, the doctrine of satisfaction is the doctrine that the sufferings of Christ are accepted by the divine justice as a substitute for the punishment due for the sins of the world (see ATONEMENT).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)