discretion

When applied to public functionaries, discretion means a power or right conferred upon them by law of acting officially in certain circumstances, according to the dictates of their own judgment and conscience, uncontrolled by the judgment or conscience of others.
As applied to public officers connotes action taken in light of reason as applied to all facts and with view to rights of all parties to action while having regard for what is right and equitable under all circumstances and law. State v. Whitman, R.I., 431 A.2d 1229, 1233.
In criminal law and the law of torts, it means the capacity to distinguish between what is right and wrong, lawful or unlawful, wise or foolish, sufficiently to render one amenable and responsible for his acts. Wise conduct and management; cautious discernment, especially as to matters of propriety and self-control; prudence; circumspection; wariness.
@ judicial and legal discretion
@ legal discretion
Judicial and legal discretion. These terms are applied to the discretionary action of a judge or court, and mean discretion bounded by the rules and principles of law, and not arbitrary, capricious, or unrestrained. It is not the indulgence of a judicial whim, but the exercise of judicial judgment, based on facts and guided by law, or the equitable decision of what is just and proper under the circumstances. It is a legal discretion to be exercised in discerning the course prescribed by law and is not to give effect to the will of the judge, but to that of the law. The exercise of discretion where there are two alternative provisions of law applicable, under either of which court could proceed. A liberty or privilege to decide and act in accordance with what is fair and equitable under the peculiar circumstances of the particular case, guided by the spirit and principles of the law, and exercise of such discretion is reviewable only for an abuse thereof. Manekas v. Allied Discount Co., 6 Misc.2d 1079, 166 N.Y.S.2d 366, 369.
@

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

Synonyms:

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  • discrétion — [ diskresjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1160; lat. discretio « discernement » → 1. discret I ♦ Vx Discernement; pouvoir de décider. S en remettre à la discrétion de qqn, s en rapporter à sa sagesse, à sa compétence. ♢ Mod. Être à la discrétion de qqn, en dépendre …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • discretion — dis·cre·tion /dis kre shən/ n: power of free decision or latitude of choice within certain bounds imposed by law reached the age of discretion struck down death penalty provisions administered through unbridled jury discretion L. H. Tribe: as a:… …   Law dictionary

  • Discretion — Discretion, Tacuinum Sanitatis casanatensis (XIV secolo) Discretion is a noun in the English language with several meanings revolving around the judgment of the person exercising the characteristic …   Wikipedia

  • discrétion — DISCRÉTION. s. f. Judicieuse retenue, circonspection dans les actions et dans les paroles. Agir, parler avec discrétion. Il a beaucoup de discrétion. Il n a point de dircrétion. Son zèle est sans prudence et sans discrétion. [b]f♛/b] On dit, que… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • discretion — Discretion. s. f. Judicieuse retenuë, circonspection dans les actions & dans les paroles. Agir, parler avec discretion. il a beaucoup de discretion. il n a point de discretion. On dit, d Un homme qui est dans l âge où l on commence ordinairement… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Discretion — Dis*cre tion, n. [F. discr[ e]tion, L. discretio separation, difference, discernment, fr. discernere, discretum. See {Discreet}, {Discern}.] 1. Disjunction; separation. [Obs.] Mede. [1913 Webster] 2. The quality of being discreet; wise conduct… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • discretion — c.1300, dyscrecyun, moral discernment, from O.Fr. discrecion or directly from L.L. discretionem (nom. discretio) discernment, power to make distinctions, in classical Latin separation, distinction, from pp. stem of discernere to separate,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • discretion — ou separation, Discrimen. User de discretion, Prudentiam ad omnes res adhibere. Joinct ce que la noble et sage discretion de la Cour sçaura mieux supplier et adviser, Implorare in auxilium suae causae etiam fidem Iudicum, intimosque sensus et… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • discretion — ► NOUN 1) the quality of being discreet. 2) the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation. ● discretion is the better part of valour Cf. ↑discretion is the better part of valour DERIVATIVES discretionary adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • discretion — [di skresh′ən] n. [ME discrecioun < OFr discrecion < L discretio, separation (in LL, discernment) < discretus: see DISCREET] 1. the freedom or authority to make decisions and choices; power to judge or act 2. the quality of being… …   English World dictionary

  • Discretĭon — (v. lat.), 1) eigentlich Scheidung, Unterscheidung; daher Discretionsjahre, Jahre der Verstandesreife od. der Mündigkeit; 2) Berücksichtigung; daher Discretionsgeld, so v.w. Centnergeld 1); Discretionstage, so v.w. Respecttage; 3) Anstand u.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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