I have heard that "decree" is only used in the presidential level (Presidential Decree) while in the lower agencies we use "decision", e.g. 'decision of the Minister', 'decision of the Head of People's Consultative Council', 'decision of the Governor of Bank of Indonesia', etc. Is that true? Can't find the academical explanation about it.

What's the difference?


Usage varies considerably, and the fact that some of your examples would not have originally been written in English further complicates the matter because translators often haven't reached a consensus on how a term from one language is translated to another.

Strictly speaking (and people do not always speak or write precisely), the term "decree" is a statement made that has the effect of ordering something to be done and could be made by an official at any level in either the judicial or executive branch of government.

It could be that Indonesia uses "decree" only for Presidential decrees when the word for Presidential decree is translated and uses "decision" for decrees by other officials, but I very much doubt that this is the case. A "decree" is a close synonym to an "order" or a "command".

A "decision" could include a "decree" but is a more broad term that could also have other meanings. In a broad sense, a "decision" merely means that someone has made up their mind about what to do. But, the word "decision" also has another sense that means the document officially setting forth the decision about a matter that was made by an official or judge (sometimes also called an "opinion" or "findings of fact, conclusions of law and order" or "order" when made by a judge).

Often, an official would make a "decision" in the broad sense of the word first and might even announce it to the media, but might then meet with senior bureaucrats and lawyers to draw up a "decree" implementing that "decision" that immediately directs someone to take action.

Another word with almost the same meaning as a "decree", but limited to cases when a judge issues it is a "writ".

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