Deliberation – What it is, definition and concept | 2023

Deliberation is an act by which those in charge of making a certain decision value and weigh together all its advantages and disadvantages before issuing a vote or a judgment.

Deliberating is an essential exercise both in daily life and in more transcendental decisions, such as the approval of a new law, or the sentence of a trial of any nature. It consists of putting on the table all the advantages and disadvantages of one or several options on which to choose.

Since the deliberation is something that is carried out between several people, the debate is linked to it. The people in charge of the choice debate among themselves why choose one or the other option. Consensus is another key aspect, since after the debate, the deliberation ends with the consensus of those who make up a majority.

Characteristics of deliberation

All deliberation, as a debate to make a decision, has the following characteristics:

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  • It is carried out by a series of people, it is not an individual act, although its resolution does affect a single individual.
  • In it, all the alternatives to choose are valued, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
  • The debate is fundamental among all the participants in the deliberation.
  • There is a final consensus to adopt the decision that the majority wants.
  • It is carried out in all aspects of life, from the purchase of a family vehicle to the approval of an organic law.


The origin of deliberation as an element in political life can be found in the first Athenian democracies of the 6th century BC. It was a true direct democracy, whose assembly gathered a total of 6,000 people. In it, all the issues that were convenient for the city-State were debated.

Some of these decisions were such as declarations of war, the election of officials or magistrates, whose functions were very varied.

deliberation in politics

In politics, deliberation is something inherent to it, especially when we talk about democratic institutions. We find deliberation within the political parties. Although they are oligarchic structures, there is debate among their leaders when it comes to defining ideological lines, drafting the statutes, selecting candidates, establishing alliances, etc.

We also find it in Parliament, the legislative body of a country in which the different political forces deliberate which laws should or should not be approved. When a parliamentary group proposes a certain law, before its vote, the deputies discuss its feasibility and interest for the country, amendments to the original text can also be applied.

deliberation in law

In law it is also very important, the courts are made up of different judges, and they take, by consensus, the sentence to apply. That is, after hearing the arguments of the parties, the judges meet to, based on the law, make the fairest decision possible.

On the other hand, there are popular juries, it is a body made up of citizens without legal knowledge who, guided by a professional judge in the most technical aspects, are in charge of convicting or acquitting an accused. Deliberation is key between them to provide the greatest possible clarity on the matter. Although it should be noted that he is a highly controversial figure.

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