Council

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For other uses, see Council (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with counsel.

A council is a group of people who come together to consult, deliberate, or make decisions. A council may function as a legislature, especially at a town, city or county level, but most legislative bodies at the state or national level are not considered councils. At such levels, there may be no separate executive branch, and the council may effectively represent the entire government. A board of directors might also be denoted as a council. A committee might also be denoted as a council, though a committee is generally a subordinate body composed of members of a larger body, while a council may not be. Because many schools have a student council, the council is the form of governance with which many people are likely to have their first experience as electors or participants.

A member of a council may be referred to as a councillor, or by the gender-specific titles of councilman and councilwoman.

In politics[edit]

Notable examples of types of councils encountered in politics include:

In other fields[edit]

Types of councils encountered in other spheres include:

  • Arts council, a government or private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts
  • Bar council, a professional body that regulates the profession of barristers together with the Inns of Court
  • Buddhist councils, important historical events in the history of Buddhism
  • Council (Boy Scouts), a non-profit private corporation within Boy Scouts of America
  • Ecumenical council, a meeting of the bishops of the whole church convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice
  • Student council, a student organization present in many elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities
  • Synod in a Christian church
  • University Council running a university
  • Works council, a body representing the workers of a plant, factory, etc., elected to negotiate with the management about working conditions, wages, etc.
  • Youth council, an example of youth voice engaged in youth-led decision-making

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