Commissioner may be used for a variety of official positions, especially that of a high-ranking official, or that of a senior police officer.
High ranking official
A Commissioner is one of various classes of persons who holds an office by virtue of a commission, generally from the head of state.
The European Commissioners are the members of the European Commission.
In France, a high commissioner (haut-commissaire) is a civil servant appointed by the President of France to some high level position:
A Commissioner is the ceremonial head of one of the Territories of Canada. They are answerable to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. However, while commissioners used to have a direct day to day role in administration and governing and used to chair the Executive Council of the territory, today they are under instruction to act more like a provincial lieutenant-governor as territorial assemblies have taken on more and more responsibility.
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British Crown Colonies
The title of Commissioner is also used by the chief official of some of the minor overseas territories of the United Kingdom. The title of High Commissioner was used for the administrator of the British Mandate of Palestine.
Commissioners sent from one commonwealth country to another
A Commissioner is also a diplomatic envoy from one Commonwealth government to another, stationed outside the capital city, who heads a consulate. The principal envoy, stationed in the capital city, is known as the High Commissioner, and his mission is called a high commission instead of an embassy.
The reason for this peculiar denomination is that members of the Commonwealth do not traditionally consider each other to be "foreign" countries thus it would be inappropriate for their envoys to be called ambassadors or consuls, although the Commissioners' missions are now known as consulates. Furthermore, many of the commonwealth countries recognize the Queen of England as ceremonial head of state, and ambassadors are normally formally sent from a head of state to another, which would lead to the absurd situation of ambassadors being by the Queen to herself.
In London's Metropolitan Police Service and the City of London Police, the rank of Commissioner is equivalent to that of Chief Constable in the rest of the UK. In the Metropolitan Police, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis is senior to (from next lowest rank downwards) Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, and Commander. The City of London Police does not have Deputy Commissioners or Deputy Assistant Commissioners, only Assistant Commissioners.
A commissioner is a high-ranking police officer, generally in charge of and responsible for the policing of a town or other large area.
Last updated: 08-17-2005 18:33:58