Chancellor (Latin: cancellarius) is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the audience. A chancellor's office is called a chancellery or chancery. The word is now used in the titles of many various officers in all kinds of settings (government, education, religion etc.) Nowadays the term is most often used to describe: the head of the government a person in charge of foreign affairs a person with duties related to justice a person in charge of financial and economic matters (Wikipedia) - Chancellor This article is about the position in government. For other uses, see Chancellor (disambiguation).
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Chancellor (Latin: cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the audience. A chancellor''s office is called a chancellery or chancery. The word is now used in the titles of many various officers in all kinds of settings (government, education, religion etc.). Nowadays the term is most often used to describe:
- The head of the government
- A person in charge of foreign affairs
- A person with duties related to justice
- A person in charge of financial and economic issues
- The head of a university
Head of government
- 1 Head of government
- 2 Foreign minister
- 3 Functions related to justice and the law
- 4 Other
- 5 Historical uses
- 6 See also
- 7 References
The former German Empire, the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany had the equivalent position of Reichskanzler ("Chancellor of the Realm"), as the head of the executive appointed by the German Emperor from 1871 until 1918, and then as the head of government until 1945.
- The Chancellor of Germany or Bundeskanzler (meaning "Federal Chancellor" in German), is the title for the head of government in Germany. Bundeskanzlerin is the exclusively feminine form. In German politics the Bundeskanzler position is equivalent to that of a prime minister and is elected by the Bundestag, the German Parliament, every four years. The current German Bundeskanzlerin is Angela Merkel.
- The Chancellor of Austria, also titled Bundeskanzler, is the head of government in Austria. Werner Faymann is the current Bundeskanzler in Austria.
- In Switzerland, the Federal Chancellor (Bundeskanzler, Chancelier fédéral, Cancelliere della Confederazione) is elected by the Swiss parliament to head the Federal Chancellery—the general staff of the seven-member executive Federal Council, the Swiss government. The Chancellor participates in the meetings of the seven Federal Councilors with a consultative vote and prepares the reports on policy and activities of the council to parliament. The chancellery is responsible for the publication of all federal laws.
In Latin America, the terms Canciller (Spanish) or Chanceler (Portuguese), equivalent to "chancellor", are commonly used informally to refer to the post of foreign minister. Likewise, the ministry of foreign affairs in many Latin American countries is referred to as the Cancillería or (in Brazil) Chancelaria. However, in Spain the term canciller refers to a civil servant in the Spanish diplomatic service responsible for technical issues relating to foreign affairs. Functions related to justice and the law
- In Finland the Chancellor of Justice (Oikeuskansleri, Justitiekanslern) supervises the legality of actions taken by the government and monitors the implementation of basic civil liberties. In this special function the chancellor also sits in the Finnish Cabinet, the Finnish Council of State.
- In Sweden the Chancellor of Justice or Justitiekanslern acts as the Solicitor General for the Swedish Government. The office was introduced by Charles XII of Sweden in 1713. Historically there was also a Lord High Chancellor or Rikskansler as the most senior member of the Privy Council of Sweden. There is in addition to this a University Chancellor or Universitetskansler, who leads the National Agency for Higher Education.
- In the legal system of the United Kingdom, the term can refer to two officials:
- The Lord Chancellor (Lord High Chancellor, King''s Chancellor) is the occupant of one of the oldest offices of state, dating back to the Kingdom of England, and older than Parliament itself. Theoretically, the Lord Chancellor is the Chancellor of Great Britain. A former office of "Chancellor of Ireland" was abolished in 1922, when all but Northern Ireland left the United Kingdom. The Lord Chancellor is the second highest non-royal subject in precedence (after the Archbishop of Canterbury). In addition to various ceremonial duties, he is head of the Ministry of Justice, which was created in May 2007 from the Department for Constitutional Affairs (which was created in 2003 from the Lord Chancellor''s Department). In this role, he sits in the Cabinet. Until the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005, the Lord Chancellor had two additional roles:
- Head of the English, but not Scottish, judiciary. In previous centuries, the Lord Chancellor was the sole judge in the Court of Chancery; when, in 1873, that court was combined with others to form the High Court, the Lord Chancellor became the nominal head of the Chancery Division. The Lord Chancellor was permitted to participate in judicial sittings of the House of Lords; he also chose the committees that heard appeals in the Lords. The de facto head of the Chancery Division was the Vice-Chancellor, and the role of choosing appellate committees was in practice fulfilled by the Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.
- De facto speaker of the House of Lords. These duties are now undertaken by the Lord Speaker. The Lord Chancellor Jack Straw, was the first who is a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords or its predecessor, the Curia Regis, since Sir Christopher Hatton in 1578.
- The Chancellor of the High Court is the head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice. Before 2005, the judge occupying this position was known as the Vice-Chancellor, the Lord Chancellor being the nominal head of the Division.
- Some U.S. states, like Delaware and Mississippi, still maintain a separate Court of Chancery with jurisdiction over equity cases. Judges who sit on those courts are called chancellors.
- Denmark. The office of chancellor (or royal chancellor) seems to have appeared in the 12th century, and until 1660 it was the title of the leader of the state administration (a kind of a "Home Office" but often with foreign political duties). Often he appeared to be the real leader of the government. From 1660–1848, the title continued as "Grand Chancellor" or "President of the Danish Chancellery", and was replaced in 1730 by the title "Minister of Domestic Affairs."
- Estonia. A Chancellor (Kantsler) directs the work of a ministry and coordinates institutions subject to the ministry. A ministry can also have one or several Vice-Chancellors (Asekantsler), who fulfill the duties of the Chancellor, when he is absent. The Chancellor of Justice (Õiguskantsler, Currently Indrek Teder) supervises the legality of actions taken by the government and monitors the implementation of basic civil liberties.
- United Kingdom.
- Chancellor of the Exchequer, the minister with overall responsibility for the Exchequer or Treasury. This is an ancient title dating back to the Kingdom of England. It is roughly the equivalent of the Minister of Finance or Secretary of the Treasury in other governmental systems. In recent years, when the term chancellor is used in British politics, it is taken as referring to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. As Second Lord of the Treasury, the Chancellor has an official residence at 11 Downing Street, next door to the First Lord of the Treasury, the Prime Minister, at 10 Downing Street, in London.
- Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, an ancient office of state, the Chancellor being the Minister of the Crown responsible in theory for the running of the Duchy of Lancaster, a duchy in England belonging to the Crown but historically maintained separately from the rest of the kingdom, whose net revenues belong to the monarch personally. In reality, the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, effectively like a chairman of trustees, carries minimal work and responsibilities, so it is used, in effect, as the sinecure position of a minister without portfolio, often given to senior politicians so they have a seat in the cabinet.
- The Consistory courts of the Church of England are each presided over by a Chancellor of the Diocese: see Chancellor (ecclesiastical).
- The Chancellor of Cornwall, Keeper of the Great Seal, second only to the Lord Warden of the Stannaries within the Duchy.
Ecclesiastical Main article: Chancellor (ecclesiastical)
- United States of America. In the United States, the only "chancellor" established by the federal government is the Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution, a largely ceremonial office held by the Chief Justice of the United States. As the Smithsonian is a research and museum system, its use of the title is perhaps best thought of as akin to a university''s chancellor.
The chancellor is the principal record-keeper of a diocese or eparchy, or their equivalent. The chancellor is a notary, so that he may certify official documents, and often has other duties at the discretion of the bishop of the diocese: he may be in charge of some aspect of finances or of managing the personnel connected with diocesan offices, although his delegated authority cannot extend to vicars of the diocesan bishop, such as vicars general, episcopal vicars or judicial vicars. His office is within the "chancery". Vice-chancellors may be appointed to assist the chancellor in busy chanceries. Normally, the chancellor is a priest or deacon, although in some circumstances a layperson may be appointed to the post. In the eparchial curia a chancellor is to be appointed who is to be a presbyter (priest) or deacon and whose principal obligation, unless otherwise established by the particular law, is to see that the acts of the curia are gathered and arranged as well as preserved in the archives of the eparchial curia.
In the United Methodist Church, each Annual Conference has a Conference Chancellor, who is either an active or retired lawyer or judge who serves as the Annual Conference''s legal adviser and representative. While the Annual Conference usually hires outside professional counsel in matters that require legal representation, that hiring and representation is done under the supervision, and with the consent, of the Conference Chancellor. Educational usage Main article: Chancellor (education)
A Chancellor is the leader (either ceremonial or executive) of many public and private universities and related institutions.
The heads of the New York City Department of Education and the District of Columbia Public Schools, who run the municipally-operated public schools in those jurisdictions, carry the title of Chancellor. New York State also has a Chancellor of the University of the State of New York, the body that licenses and regulates all educational and research institutions in the state and many professions (not to be confused with the State University of New York, an actual institution of higher learning).
In a few instances, the term chancellor applies to a student or faculty member in a high school or an institution of higher learning who is either appointed or elected as chancellor to preside on the highest ranking judicial board or tribunal. They handle non-academic matters such as violations of behavior. Historical uses
- The chancellor in the government of the Holy Roman Empire
- The highest-ranking official in the government of Imperial China, the zǎixiàng (Chinese: 宰相), or chéngxiàng (丞相), is usually translated as "Chancellor" (though it can also be translated "Chief Councillor" or "Prime Minister").
There is the "royal sealer" (xtmtj-bity or xtmw-bity), a title attested since the First Dynasty (about 3000 BC). People holding the post include Imhotep and Hemaka. The other title translated as chancellor is "Keeper of the Royal Seal" (or overseer of the seal or treasurer—imy-r xtmt). Officials holding the post include Bay or Irsu, Khety Meketre, and Nakhti. The first title (royal sealer) announced a certain rank at the royal court, the second (supervisor of the sealed goods, i.e. treasurer) was responsible for the state''s income. This position appears around 2000 BC.
- There are two ancient Egyptian titles sometimes translated as chancellor.
- For centuries, the King of France appointed a chancellor or Chancelier de France, a Great Officer of the Crown, as an office associated with that of keeper of the seals. The chancelier was responsible for some judicial proceedings. During the reigns of Louis XVIII, Charles X and Louis Philippe, the Chancellor of France presided over the Chamber of Peers, the upper house of the royal French parliament.
- In the Kingdom of Poland from the 14th century, there was a royal chancellor (Kanclerz). In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795), the four chancellors were among the ten highest officials of the state. Poland and Lithuania each had a Grand Chancellor and a Deputy Chancellor, each entitled to a senatorial seat, responsible for the affairs of the whole Kingdom, each with his own chancery. See Offices in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
- In the Russian Empire, the chancellor was the highest rank of civil service as defined by the Table of Ranks and on the same grade as field marshal and General Admiral. Only the most distinguished government officials were promoted to this grade, such as foreign ministers Alexander Gorchakov and Alexey Bestuzhev-Ryumin.
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