Executive Council (Commonwealth countries)
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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 Canada and Australia, 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 or Governor (except in rare cases) and decisions require the Governor-general's assent.
These Councils have almost the same functions as the Privy Council in the United Kingdom and Canada, and accordingly, decisions of the Cabinet gain legal effect by being formally adopted by the Executive Council.
Current executive councils
- : Federal Executive Council, the formal body holding executive authority under the Australian constitution.
- : Executive Council of New South Wales, the body which exercises the supreme executive authority in New South Wales.
- : Executive Council (Canada), a constitutional organ headed by the lieutenant governor in the 10 provinces and commissioners in the 3 territories. Today they are better known as the Minister of the Crown or provincial cabinet ministers.
- : Executive Council, a form of government in Fiji.
- : Executive Council of the Isle of Man, the fore-runner to the Council of Ministers of the Isle of Man
- : Executive Council of New Zealand, the body which serves the functions of the Cabinet in New Zealand.
- : Executive Council of the Falkland Islands, the policy making body of the Government of the Falkland Islands.
Former executive councils
- : Executive Council of Ceylon (1804 – 1947) - replaced by the Cabinet of Sri Lanka following independence
- : British North America
- : Executive Council of Upper Canada (1792 – 1841)
- : Executive Council of Lower Canada (1791 – 1841)
- : Executive Council of the Province of Canada (1841 – 1867) - replace the councils for Upper Canada and Lower Canada; replaced by the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
- : : Executive Council of the Colony of British Columbia 11858-1871
- : Executive Council of British Honduras 1840-1961
- : Executive Council of the Straits Settlements 1867-1946
- : Executive Council of Singapore 1946-1959
- : Executive Council of the Irish Free State (1922 – 1937)
Former Commonwealth executive councils
- : Executive Council of Hong Kong (1841 – 1997) The body held executive authority in Hong Kong. The council continues to function from 1997 to the present, however, Hong Kong ceased to be a member of the Commonwealth in 1997.