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The World Law Dictionary Project

English may be the common language of the world, but the Common Law is not the common law of the world

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e.g. principle, consideration, jurisdiction
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council noun

an official group of people chosen to represent a particular group of people, to run something, to make decisions or to give advice on a particular subject
The UK Film Council funds a variety of schemes to develop and nurture new filmmakers.

Hello, my name is Angelique Vega and welcome to TransLegal's lesson of the week.

Today I'll be talking about “council” versus “counsel” versus “consul”.

The first two words are pronounced the same but have distinct meanings.

The first one, “council”, is a body serving in an administrative capacity.

The second, “counsel”, is a noun and a verb. The noun is a lawyer who pleads his case in court and the verb is to give advice.

The last term is pronounced “consul” and is a diplomat appointed by a government to protect its commercial interests and help its citizens in a foreign country.

Now, “council”, the first one that we have here, is a noun and in its most common sense is an assembly of persons convened for deliberation or the like. It's generally used with a singular verb. A member of such a group is a councillor.

“Counsel” is both a noun and a verb and its most common meaning as a noun is advice given to another – "his counsel on domestic relations is sound". A person giving such advice is a counsellor. In law, “counsel” means legal advisor or advisors and can be either singular or plural. As a verb, “counsel” means to give advice, to advise.

“Consul”, means as I said before, someone who is appointed to protect the interests of a nation’s citizens while in a foreign country and is usually a diplomat. And it's pronounced differently than the first two. It's “consul”.

Thank you for watching. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the box below. Goodbye.

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