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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 various settings (government, education, religion). Nowadays the term is most often used to describe:
The Chancellor of Austria, denominated Bundeskanzler for males and Bundeskanzlerin for females, is the title of the head of the Government of Austria. Since 2021, the Chancellor of Austria is Karl Nehammer.
The Chancellor of Germany, denominated Bundeskanzler for males and Bundeskanzlerin for females, is the title for the head of government in Germany. In German politics, the Bundeskanzler position is equivalent to that of a prime minister and is elected by the Bundestag ("Federal Diet", the directly elected federal parliament) every four years on the beginning of the electoral period after general elections. Between general elections, the Chancellor (together with the whole cabinet) can only be removed from office by a konstruktives Misstrauensvotum (constructive vote of no confidence), which consists in the candidacy of an opposition candidate for the office of Chancellor in the Bundestag. Candidates receiving a majority of the entire membership of the Bundestag will be sworn in immediately as new Chancellor.
Since 2021, the German Bundeskanzler is Olaf Scholz of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
The former German Empire, the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany had the equivalent position of Reichskanzler ("Reich Chancellor") as the head of the executive. Between 1871 and 1918, the Chancellor was appointed by the German Emperor. During the Weimar Republic (1919-1933), the Chancellor was chosen by the Reichspräsident ("Reich President") and stood under his authority. This continued (formally) during the first two years of the Nazi regime until the death of President Paul von Hindenburg in 1934. Between 1934 and 1945, Adolf Hitler was dictatorial head of state and government of Nazi Germany, being officially titled "Führer und Reichskanzler" (literally "Leader and Reich Chancellor").
In Switzerland, the Chancellor (German: Bundeskanzler, French: Chancelier fédéral, Italian: Cancelliere della Confederazione) is not the political head of government, but rather its administrative head as the Chief of Staff of the Swiss Federal Government. They are elected by the Swiss Federal Assembly (German: Bundesversammlung, French: Assemblée fédérale, Italian: Assemblea federale) to head the Federal Chancellery (German: Bundeskanzlei) — the general staff of the seven-member executive Federal Council, the Swiss federal 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 (assembly). The chancellery is responsible for the publication of all federal laws.
In most Swiss cantons there is a State Chancellor who heads the central administrative unit of the cantonal government.In the Canton of Geneva, the first documents attesting to the existence of a Chancellor go back to the 12th century. In the 16th century the Chancery is officially described as the permanent secretariat of the executive and legislature. The first of these functions still constitutes an important part of its activities in Geneva and other cantons. In the Canton of Berne, the Chancellor is elected by the Grand Council (i.e. Parliament) and has the task of supporting the Grand Council and the Executive Council in carrying out their tasks. The Chancellor directs the staff of the Executive Council, supports the President of the Government and the Executive Council in the performance of their duties, and usually participates as an advisor to the President of the Grand Council in Grand Council sessions.
In most countries of Latin America, the equivalents to "chancellor" (Canciller in Spanish and Chanceler in Portuguese) are commonly used to refer to the post of foreign minister. It is often used as a synonym to the full titles of the ministers of foreign affairs. Likewise, the ministry of foreign affairs in Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas is referred to as the Cancillería or in Portuguese-speaking Brazil as 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. As to the German foreign service, the term Kanzler (chancellor) refers to the administrative head of a diplomatic mission.
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 three officials:
Some U.S. states, like Delaware, Tennessee, and Mississippi, still maintain a separate Court of Chancery with jurisdiction over equity cases. Judges who sit on those courts are called chancellors.
In 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 until 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". [ better source needed ]
In 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 they are absent. The Chancellor of Justice (Õiguskantsler, currently Ülle Madise) supervises the legality of actions taken by the government and monitors the implementation of basic civil liberties.
Several posts carry the title of Chancellor in the United Kingdom:
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 England, the Consistory courts of the Church of England are each presided over by a Chancellor of the Diocese.
In the United Methodist Church, each Annual Conference has a Conference Chancellor, who is 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.
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.
In Germany many heads of university administration carry the title Kanzler (Chancellor) while the academical heads carry the title Rektor (Rector). In order to avoid any misunderstanding, the head of the German Federal Government is therefore usually called by the official title Bundeskanzler (Federal Chancellor).
A prime minister,premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is not the head of state, but rather the head of government, serving as the principle administrator under either a monarch in a monarchy or a president in a republican form of government.
The head of government is the highest or the second-highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, autonomous region, or other government who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. In diplomacy, "head of government" is differentiated from "head of state".
The chancellor of the Republic of Austria is the head of government of the Republic of Austria. The position corresponds to that of Prime Minister in several other parliamentary democracies.
The vice-chancellor of Germany, unofficially the vice-chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, officially the deputy to the federal chancellor, is the second highest ranking German cabinet member. The chancellor is the head of government and, according to the constitution, gives this title of deputy to one of the federal ministers. It is common that the title is given to the major minister provided by the (smaller) coalition partner.
The Federal Chancellor is the head of the Federal Chancellery of Switzerland, the oldest Swiss federal institution, established at the initiative of Napoleon in 1803. The officeholder acts as the general staff of the seven-member Federal Council. The Chancellor is not a member of the government and the office is not at all comparable to that of the Chancellor of Germany or the Chancellor of Austria.
The Federal Council is the federal cabinet of the Swiss Confederation. Its seven members also serve as the collective head of state and government of Switzerland. Since after World War II, the Federal Council is by convention a permanent grand coalition government composed of representatives of the country's major parties and language regions.
The president of Austria is the head of state of the Republic of Austria. Though theoretically entrusted with great power by the Constitution, in practice the president is largely a ceremonial and symbolic figurehead.
The Lord Chancellor, formally titled Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking traditional minister among the Great Officers of State in Scotland and England in the United Kingdom, nominally outranking the prime minister. The lord chancellor is appointed by the sovereign on the advice of the prime minister. Prior to the union of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain, there were separate lord chancellors for the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland. There were Lord Chancellors of Ireland until 1922.
The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, relevant to UK constitutional law. It provides for a Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to take over the previous appellate jurisdiction of the Law Lords as well as some powers of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and removed the functions of Speaker of the House of Lords and Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales from the office of Lord Chancellor.
The German Chancellery is an agency serving the executive office of the chancellor of Germany, the head of the federal government, currently Olaf Scholz. The Chancellery's primary function is to assist the chancellor in coordinating the activities of the federal government. The head of the Chancellery holds the rank of either a Secretary of State or a Federal Minister, currently held by Wolfgang Schmidt. The headquarters of the German Chancellery is at the Federal Chancellery building in Berlin, which is the largest government headquarters in the world.
The Federal Cabinet, or according to the German Basic Law, the Federal Government, is the chief executive body of the Federal Republic of Germany. It consists of the Federal Chancellor and cabinet ministers. The fundamentals of the cabinet's organisation, as well as the method of its election and appointment, along with the procedure for its dismissal, are set down in articles 62 through 69 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz).
The Government of Austria is the executive cabinet of the Republic of Austria. It consists of the chancellor, who is the head of government, the vice chancellor and the ministers.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is a ministerial department of His Majesty's Government, headed by the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor. Its stated priorities are to reduce re-offending and protect the public, to provide access to justice, to increase confidence in the justice system, and to uphold people's civil liberties. The Secretary of State is the minister responsible to Parliament for the judiciary, the court system, prisons, and probation in England and Wales, with some additional UK-wide responsibilities, e.g., the UK Supreme Court and judicial appointments by the Crown. The department is also responsible for areas of constitutional policy not transferred in 2010 to the Deputy Prime Minister, human rights law, and information rights law across the UK.
The federal administration of Switzerland is the ensemble of agencies that constitute, together with the Swiss Federal Council, the executive branch of the Swiss federal authorities. The administration is charged with executing federal law and preparing draft laws and policy for the Federal Council and the Federal Assembly.
The chancellor of Germany, officially the federal chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, is the head of the federal government of Germany, and the commander in chief of the German Armed Forces during wartime. The chancellor is the chief executive of the Federal Cabinet and heads the executive branch. The chancellor is elected by the Bundestag on the proposal of the federal president and without debate.
The title secretary of state or state's secretary is commonly used for senior or mid-level posts in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple secretaries of state in the country's system of governing the country.
In Austrian politics, the Federal Chancellery is the ministry led by the chancellor. Since the establishment of the First Austrian Republic in 1918, the Chancellery building has served as the venue for the sessions of the Austrian cabinet. It is located on the Ballhausplatz in the centre of Vienna, vis-à-vis the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Like Downing Street, Quai d'Orsay or – formerly – Wilhelmstrasse, the address has become a synecdoche for governmental power.
Walter Thurnherr is a Swiss government official who has served as Chancellor of Switzerland since 2016. Although he holds a traditionally nonpartisan office, he was elected as a member of the Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP/PDC). When it merged with the Conservative Democratic Party (BDP/PBD) to form The Centre (DM/LC) in 2021, Thurnherr joined the new party.
In Austria, a minister is a member of the Cabinet that usually leads a ministry or a division of the Chancellery.