Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    One’s internal judgment of right and wrong. See 7 Cal. 140.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The moral sense; the faculty of judging the moral qualities of actions or of discriminating between right and wrong; particularly applied to one's percop-tion and judgment of the moral qualities of his own conduct, but in a wider sense, denoting a similar application of the standards of morality to the acts of others. In law, especially the moral rule which requires probity, justice, and honest dealing between man and man, as when we say that a bargain is "against conscience" or "unconscionable," or that the price paid for property at a forced sale was, so inadequate as to "shock the conscience," This is also the meaning of the term as applied to the jurisdiction and principles of decision of courts of chancery, as in saying that such a court is a "court of conscience," that it proceeds "according to conscience," or that it has cognizance of "matters of conscience." See 3 Bl. Comm. 47-56; Pcople v. Stewart, 7 Cal. 143; Miller v. Miller, 187 Pa. 572, 41 Atl. 277.
    —Conscientious scruple. A conscientious scruple against taking an oath, serving as a juror in a capital case, doing military duty, or the like, is an objection or repugnance growing out of the fact that the person believes the thing demanded of him to be morally wrong, his conscience being the sole guide to his decision; it is thus distinguished from an "objection on principle," which is dictated by the reason and judgment, rather than the moral sense, and may relate only to the propriety or expediency of the thing in question. People v. Stewart, 7 Cah 143.
    —"Conscience of the court." When an issue is sent out of chancery to be tried at law, to "inform the conscience of the court," the meaning is that the court is to be supplied with exact and dependable information as to the unsettled or disputed questions of fact in the case, in order tbat it may proceed to decide it in accordance with the principles of equity and good conscience in the light of the facts thus determined. See Watt v. Starke, 101 U. S. 252, 25 L. Ed. 826.-
    —Conscience, conrts of. Couris, not of record, constituted by act of parliament in the city of London, and other towns, for the recovery of small debts; others wise and more commonly calied "Couris of Requests." 3 Steph. Comm. 451.
    —Conscience, right of. As used in some constitutional provisions, this phrase is equivalent to religious liberty or freedom of conscience. Co.m. v. Lesh-er, 17 Serg. & R. (Pat) 155; State v. Cummings, 36 Mo. 263. Conscientia dicitur a con et seio, quasl scire cum Deo. 1 Coke, 100. Conscience is called from con and seio, to know, as it were, with God.