Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to minister: Minister of State, cabinet minister
MINISTER, government. An officer who is placed near the sovereign, and is
invested with the administration of some one of the principal branches of
2. Ministers are responsible to the king or other supreme magistrate who has appointed them. 4 Conn. 134.
MINISTER, international law. This is the general name given to public
functionaries who represent their country abroad, such as ambassadors,
(q.v.) envoys, (q.v.) and residents. (q.v.) A custom of recent origin has
introduced a new kind of ministers, without any particular determination of
character; these are simply called ministers, to indicate that they are
invested with the general character of a sovereign's mandatories, without
any particular assignment of rank or character.
2. The minister represents his government in a vague and indeterminate manner, which cannot be equal to the first degree; and be possesses all the rights essential to a public minister.
3. There are also ministers plenipotentiary, who, as they possess full powers, are of much greater distinction than simple ministers. These also, are without any particular attribution of rank and character, but by custom are now placed immediately below the ambassador, or on a level with the envoy extraordinary. Vattel, liv. 4, c. 6, Sec. 74; Kent, Com. 38; Merl. Repert. h.t. sect. 1, n. 4.
4. Formerly no distinction was made in the different classes of public ministers, but the modern usage of Europe introduced some distinctions in this respect, which, on account of a want of precision, became the source of controversy. To obviate these, the congress of Vienna, and that of Aix la Chapelle, put an end to these disputes by classing ministers as follows: 1. Ambassadors, and papal legates or nuncios. 2. Envoys, ministers, or others accredited to sovereigns, (aupres des souverains). 3. Ministers resident, accredited to sovereigns. 4. Charges d'Affaires, accredited to the minister of foreign affairs. Recez du Congres de Vienne, du 19 Mars, 1815; Protocol du Congres d' Aix la Chapelle, du 21 Novembre, 1818; Wheat, Intern. Law, pt. 3, c. Sec. 6.
5. The act of May 1, 1810, 2 Story's L. U. S. 1171, fixes a compensation for public, ministers, as follows
Sec. 1. Be it enacted, &c. That the president of the United States shall not allow to any minister plenipotentiary a greater sum than at the rate of nine thousand dollars per annum, as a compensation for all his personal services and expenses; nor to any charge des affaires, a greater sum than at the rate of four thousand five hundred dollars per annum, as a compensation for all his personal services and expenses, nor to the secretary of any legation, or embassy to any foreign country, or secretary of any minister plenipotentiary, a greater sum than at the rate of two thousand dollars per annum, as a compensation for all his personal services and expenses; nor to any consul who shall be appointed to reside at Algiers, a greater sum than at the rate of four thousand dollars per annum, as a compensation for all his personal services and expenses; nor to any other consul who shall be appointed to reside at any other of the states on the coast of Barbary, a greater sum than at the rate of two thousand dollars per annum, as a compensation for all his personal services and expenses; nor shall there be appointed more than one consul for any one of the said states: Provided, it shall be lawful for the president of the United States to allow to a minister plenipotentiary, or charge des affaires, on going from the United States to any foreign country, an outfit, which shall in no case exceed one year's full salary of such minister or charge des affaires; but no consul shall be allowed an outfit in any case whatever, any usage or custom' to the contrary notwithstanding.
6.-Sec. 2. That to entitle any charge des affaires, or secretary of any legation or embassy to any foreign country, or secretary of any minister plenipotentiary, to the compensation hereinbefore provided, they shall, respectively, be appointed by the president of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the senate; but in the recess of the senate, the president is hereby authorized to make such appointments, which shall be submitted to the senate at the next session thereafter, for their advice and consent; and no compensation shall be allowed to any charge des affaires, or any of the secretaries hereinbefore described, who shall not be appointed as aforesaid: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize any appointment, of a secretary to a charge des affaires, or to any consul residing on the Barbary coast; or to sanction any claim against the United States for expenses incident to the same, any usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
7. The Act of August 6, 1842, sect. 9, directs, that the president of the United States shall not allow to any minister, resident a greater sum than at the rate of six thousand dollars per annum, as a compensation for all his personal services and expenses: Provided, that it shall be lawful for the president to allow to such minister resident, on going from the United States to any foreign country, an outfit, which shall in no case exceed one year's full salary of such minister resident.
MINISTER, eccl. law. One ordained by some church to preach the gospel.
2. Ministers are authorized in the United States, generally, to marry, and are liable to fines and penalties for marrying minors contrary to the local regulations. As to the right of ministers or parsons, see Am. Jur. No. 30, p. 268; Anth. Shep. Touch. 564; 2 Mass. R. 500; 10 Mass. R. 97; 14 Mass. R. 333; 3 Fairf. R. 487.
MINISTER, mediator. An officer appointed by the government of one nation, with the consent of two other nations, who have a matter in dispute, with a view by his interference and good office to have such matter settled.,