Chancellor Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Chancellor, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Chancellor?

(n) Chancellor is the person appointed to preside chancery division of court with the powers to order and get things done. The word was originated from Roman courts of justice. Now it is used as an official title of ministers who has got authority to order things

History and Meaning of Chancellor

The term 'Chancellor' originated from the Roman courts of justice. During the early days when Roman consuls served as judges, they appointed scribes to take notes of their findings. These scribes were the first predecessors of chancellors. Later, as the role expanded, they were granted the power to seal documents with the imperial seal, then they were given jurisdiction in all legal matters. In medieval Europe, chancellors had the power to preside over royal prerogative courts and the chancery.

In modern times, the Chancellor is appointed as a minister of high rank in a government. The role generally involves directing policy for a specific area, such as finance, law or education. The chancellor in modern times operates by giving orders and ensuring that they are carried out.

Examples of Chancellor

  1. The University of California, Berkeley Chancellor announced the plan to slash the budget by the end of the year.
  2. The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, spoke to the press regarding the country's latest economic standing in the global context.
  3. The British Prime Minister appointed a new Chancellor of the Exchequer to manage the finances of the country.
  4. The former Chancellor of Austria was criticized for traveling for holidays during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  5. The University of Cambridge’s previous Chancellor launched new scholarships to help students in need.

Legal Terms Similar to Chancellor

  1. Judge: A legal official who presides over cases in court and has the power to make legal decisions.
  2. Justice: Refers to any judge or magistrate, particularly those that sit on the country’s supreme court or a high court.
  3. Magistrate: A judge or legal official with the power to issue arrest warrants, summonses and emergency protection orders.