Executive Council (Commonwealth countries)

An Executive Council in Commonwealth constitutional practice based on the Westminster system is a constitutional organ which exercises executive power and (notionally) advises the governor or governor-general. Executive Councils often make decisions via Orders in Council.

Executive Councillors are informally called "ministers". Some Executive Councils, especially in Australia, and the provinces and territories of Canada, are chaired by a President or a Vice-President. In other Commonwealth countries there is no formal president of the Executive Council, although meetings are held in the presence of the Governor-General, Governor or President (except in rare cases) and decisions require his or her assent.

These Councils have almost the same functions as the privy councils in Canada, and the United Kingdom and accordingly, decisions of the cabinet gain legal effect by being formally adopted by the Executive Council, if the cabinet itself is not also the Executive Council.

Current executive councils

Former executive councils

Other Executive Councils

See also

Cabinet of Barbados

The Cabinet, formally Her Majesty’s Barbados Ministers, are individuals of Barbados which execute the duties of the Government of Barbados.

Under a Westminster system of governance, these powers are vested nominally in Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados (represented by the Governor-General), but are exercised in practice by a Cabinet of Ministers, presided over by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is formally appointed by the Governor-General: the Governor-General must appoint as Prime Minister someone who can control a majority of votes in the House of Assembly. In practice, this is normally the leader of the largest political party or coalition in the house. If there is no clear majority in the House of Assembly, however, the Governor-General's role becomes more important: he or she must assume the role of arbitrator and open negotiations with the leaders of the various political parties, in the hope of finding someone whom a majority will accept as Prime Minister. In the event of that failing to take place, the Governor-General must dissolve the House of Assembly and call an early election.

Council of Ministers of the Isle of Man

The Council of Ministers (Manx: Coonseil ny Shirveishee; often abbreviated informally to "CoMin") is the principal executive organ of the Isle of Man Government. Its role is similar to, though not identical with, that of the Cabinet in the United Kingdom. Until 1990, its title was the Executive Council.

The Executive Council, chaired by the Lieutenant Governor and including members of Tynwald, was established in 1949, and gradually thereafter became the effective government of the Island. The Lieutenant Governor ceased to chair the Executive Council in 1980, being replaced by a chairman elected by Tynwald, and the Council was reconstituted in 1985 to include the chairmen of the eight principal Boards of Tynwald; in 1986, they were given the title Minister and the chairman was styled Chief Minister. In 1990, the Council was renamed the Council of Ministers.The Council of Ministers consists of the Chief Minister and not more than nine ministers, all of whom must be members of Tynwald; generally they are MHKs. The Chief Minister is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor on the nomination of Tynwald, and the ministers are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, acting on the advice of and with the concurrence of the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister assigns a minister to each department of the Isle of Man Government.

Executive Council of New Zealand

The Executive Council of New Zealand is the full group of "responsible advisers" to the Governor-General of New Zealand on state and constitutional affairs. All Government ministers must be appointed as executive councillors before they are appointed as ministers; therefore all Cabinet ministers are also executive councillors. The governor-general signs a warrant of appointment for each member of the Executive Council, and separate warrants for each ministerial portfolio.

To be an executive councillor, one must normally be a member of parliament (this was codified in the Constitution Act of 1986). However, one may serve up to thirty days without being an MP; this is to allow for the transition of members not yet sworn in and members who have retired or been defeated. Each executive councillor must take the relevant oaths or affirmations set out in legislation.

Executive Council of Nova Scotia

The Executive Council of Nova Scotia (informally and more commonly, the Cabinet of Nova Scotia) is the cabinet of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

Almost always made up of members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, the Cabinet is similar in structure and role to the Canadian Cabinet while being smaller in size with different portfolios.

The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, as representative of the Queen in Right of Nova Scotia, heads the council, and is referred to as the Governor-in-Council. Other members of the Cabinet, who advise, or minister, the viceroy, are selected by the Premier of Nova Scotia and appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor. Most cabinet ministers are the head of a ministry, but this is not always the case.

Executive Council of the Irish Free State

The Executive Council (Irish: Ard-Chomhairle) was the cabinet and de facto executive branch of government of the 1922–1937 Irish Free State. Formally, executive power was vested in the Governor-General on behalf of the King. In practice, however, it was the Council that governed, since the Governor-General was (with few exceptions) bound to act on its advice. The Executive Council included a prime minister called the President of the Executive Council and a deputy prime minister called the Vice-President. A member of the Council was called an executive minister, as distinct from an extern minister who had charge of a department without being in the Council.

The President of the Executive Council was appointed by the Governor-General after being nominated by Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas (parliament), and the remaining Executive Ministers were nominated by the President. The Executive Council could also be removed by a vote of no confidence in the Dáil.

For formal and diplomatic purposes the description "His Majesty's Government in the Irish Free State" was sometimes used.

Federal Executive Council (Australia)

In Australia's political system, the Federal Executive Council is a body established by Section 62 of the Australian Constitution to advise the Governor-General, and comprises, at least notionally, all current and former Commonwealth Ministers and Assistant Ministers. As the Governor-General is bound by convention to follow the advice of the Executive Council on almost all occasions, the Executive Council has de jure executive power. This power is used to legally enact the decisions of the Cabinet (the de facto body of executive power), which under conventions of the Westminster system has no de jure authority. In practice, the Federal Executive Council meets solely to endorse and give legal force to decisions already made by the Cabinet.

The Federal Executive Council is the Australian equivalent of Executive Councils in other Commonwealth realms, and is similar to the privy councils of Canada and the United Kingdom (although unlike the UK privy council, the Leader of the Opposition is not typically a member).

National Security Council

A National Security Council (NSC) is usually an executive branch governmental body responsible for coordinating policy on national security issues and advising chief executives on matters related to national security. An NSC is often headed by a national security advisor and staffed with senior-level officials from military, diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement and other governmental bodies. The functions and responsibilities of an NSC at the strategic state level are different from those of the United Nations Security Council, which is more of a diplomatic forum.

Occasionally a nation will be ruled by a similarly named body, such as "the National Security Committee" or "Council for National Security". These bodies are often a result of the establishment or preservation of a military dictatorship (or some other national crisis), do not always have statutory approval, and are usually intended to have transitory or provisional powers. See also: coup d'état.

Some nations may have a similar body which is not formally part of the executive government. For example, the Central National Security Commission in China is an organ of the Communist Party of China, the sole ruling party, rather than an organ of the executive government.

Privy council

A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on state affairs.

Proclamation of accession of Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II was proclaimed sovereign throughout her realms after her father, King George VI, died in the night between 5 and 6 February 1952, while Elizabeth was in Kenya. Proclamations were made in different realms on 6, 7, 8, and 11 February (depending on geographic location and time zone). The line of succession was identical in all the Commonwealth realms, but the royal title as proclaimed was not the same in all of them.

Queen's Privy Council for Canada

The Queen's Privy Council for Canada (QPC) (French: Conseil privé de la Reine pour le Canada (CPR); known as the King's Privy Council for Canada in the reign of a male monarch), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs. Responsible government, though, requires the sovereign or her viceroy, the Governor General of Canada, to almost always follow only that advice tendered by the Cabinet: a committee within the Privy Council composed usually of elected Members of Parliament. Those summoned to the QPC are appointed for life by the governor general as directed by the Prime Minister of Canada, meaning that the group is composed predominantly of former cabinet ministers, with some others having been inducted as an honorary gesture. Those in the council are accorded the use of an honorific style and post-nominal letters, as well as various signifiers of precedence.

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