This article explores the misunderstood and criticized concept of ‘conscience’ in English equity. The article will argue that equity’s conscience can be better understood through the lens of scholastic theology, based on the medieval link between the Chancery and the Church. The article will explore the scholastic conscience and the views of some of the key theologians, including St Bonaventure and St Thomas Aquinas. Thereafter, the article will link the scholastic conscience to Chancery, by exploring some judicial statements, from the Middle Ages and up to today. It is hoped that this article will clear up the many lingering misconceptions around equity’s conscience, which have been caused by a misunderstanding of the term conscience and the unfortunate lack of clear guidance from the courts.
Richard Hedlund, The Theological Foundations of Equity’s Conscience. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion (2015), doi: 10.1093/ojlr/rwu059. First published online: February 16, 2015.