The term speaker is a title often given to the presiding officer (chair) of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body. The speaker's official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The speaker decides who may speak and has the powers to discipline members who break the procedures of the house. The speaker often also represents the body in person, as the voice of the body in ceremonial and some other situations. The title was first recorded in 1377 to describe the role of Thomas de Hungerford in the Parliament of England. By convention, Speakers are normally addressed in Parliament as Mister Speaker, if a man, or Madam Speaker, if a woman. In most other cultures other styles are used, mainly equivalents of English "chairman" or "president". In Canadian French, the Speaker of the House of Commons or of a legislature is referred to as Président.
Many bodies also have a speaker pro tempore or deputy speaker, designated to fill in when the speaker is not available.
When the upper house is called a senate, the equivalent title is often President of the Senate. Australia, Chile, the United States and many other countries have upper houses with presiding officers titled "president". In several American republics, the vice president of the country serves as the president of the upper house.
In the United Kingdom, the presiding officer of the House of Lords was until recently the Lord Chancellor, who was also a member of the government (a cabinet member) and the head of the judicial branch. The Lord Chancellor did not have the same authority to discipline members of the Lords that the speaker of the Commons has in that house. On 4 July 2006 the office was reformed, and the Baroness Hayman took the woolsack as the first Lord Speaker (The office of Lord Chancellor remains, though with a modified role and duties).
The Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and Presiding Officer of the Northern Ireland Assembly fulfil the same role as the speaker.
List of current Speakers
|The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (February 2012)|
- President of Congress (disambiguation)
- President of the Legislative Assembly (disambiguation)
- President of the National Assembly (disambiguation)
- President of the Senate
- Speaker of the House of Assembly (disambiguation)
- Speaker of the House of Commons (disambiguation)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives (disambiguation)
- Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
- Speaker of the National Assembly (disambiguation)
- Speaker of the Senate
- Speaker of the Canadian Senate
- Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
- Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council
- Cathaoirleach (Speaker of the Irish Senate)
- Lord Speaker (Speaker of the United Kingdom House of Lords)
- Marshal of the Senate, Poland
- President of the European Parliament
- President of the National Assembly of Quebec
- President of the Senate of Romania
- Presiding Officer of the United States Senate
- Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
- Lists of Speakers
- Bergougnous, Georges. Presiding Officers of National Parliamentary Assemblies: A World Comparative Study. Trans. Jennifer Lorenzi. Geneva: Inter-Parliamentary Union, 1997. ISBN 92-9142-028-X.
- Journal of the House of Commons: January 1559
- Lee Vol 28, pp. 257,258.
- "Shirin to become first woman Speaker". bdnews24.com. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "01 September confirmed as date for Vanuatu Presidential Election". Islands Business. 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-08-20.