Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Discretion in Legal Decision Making
Fred J. Bruinsma
Beleid is a Dutch concept, difficult to translate, that is an integral part of Dutch culture and society. The English equivalent, policy , covers only half of its meaning. The definition of beleid, according to an authoritative dictionary of the Dutch language, refers to a set of contradictory connotations: on one hand, beleid means to manage and administer ( besturen ) based on principles and policies. This would allude to top-down planning if a second meaning were not implied simultaneously, that is, considerate treatment ( bedachtzaamheid ), preferably by hearing all those concerned and giving them a say. Strictly speaking, these connotations contain opposites: either one can take decisions against the wishes of at least some of those concerned or one can come to an agreement with mutual consent, which implies a nondecision in the case of a veto or resistance. In theory and practice, beleid is a mixture of ...