Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Governor

A Lieutenant Governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction. In the American and many Commonwealth systems, lieutenant governors are usually deputy heads of state. In Canada, however, a lieutenant-governor represents the sovereign to a provincial government, just as the governor general represents the sovereign to the federal government.

In federal states, the term "lieutenant governor" is never used at federal level. Rather, federal governments typically have "vice" or "deputy" presidents, or deputy governors general.

The term is generally pronounced "loo-ten-ant" in the United States but "lef-ten-ant" in most Commonwealth countries.


When Australia was a collection of colonies of Britain, lieutenant-governors ran Australian sub-colonies that were initially subordinate to the colony of New South Wales, such as Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) or the Bay of Islands (New Zealand).

Today there are still Lieutenant-Governors in Australia. Constitutionally Lieutenant-Governors, Administrators and the Chief Justices of the State Supreme Courts are normally separate offices [ [ New South Wales Constitution Part 2A Section 9B] ] [ [ Queensland Constitution] ] in the Australian states, however in many states most notably New South Wales, [ [ NSW Governor and Parliament Directory with Lieutenant Governor] ] Victoria [ [ Victoria Governor Directory with Lieutenant-Governor] (link dead)] the role of Lieutenant-Governor is played by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In 2001, the Constitution of Queensland was amended to restore the office of Lieutenant-Governor in that state. When a Governor-General or state Governor dies, resigns, or is absent, an Administrator, or acting Governor, would be appointed. In the case of the Governor-General this officer is styled as an Administrator, while in the case of State Governors this officer may either be an Administrator or the Lieutenant-Governor. The state Lieutenant-Governors/Administrators have no standing powers but stand ready to take up the Governor's role.

When the Governor-General is overseas or on leave, the longest serving State governor acts as Administrator of the Commonwealth.


In Canada, the lieutenant-governor (often without a hyphen, in French "lieutenant-gouverneur", always with a hyphen), is the Canadian monarch's representative within a provincial government, just as the Governor General is the sovereign's representative in the federal area. Contrary to popular belief, the lieutenant-governors are not subordinate to the Governor General; rather, they are all equal in rank as they all represent the same monarch, who cannot be subordinate to him or herself. For purposes of protocol and precedence, the Governor General is first among equals after the sovereign, followed by the lieutenant-governors of, in order of entry into Confederation, Ontario (1867), Quebec (1867), Nova Scotia (1867), New Brunswick (1867), Manitoba (1870), British Columbia (1871), Prince Edward Island (1873), Saskatchewan (1905), Alberta (1905), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1949).

As with the Governor General, the lieutenant-governors are appointed on the advice of the federal prime minister. [ [ The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario - Frequent Questions] . Retrieved on July 31, 2008.] However, unlike the Governor General, who is appointed by the monarch, the lieutenant-governors are appointed by the Governor General.

Each of Canada's three territories has a commissioner who performs functions comparable to a lieutenant-governor. Unlike the provinces and federal government, however, the territories are not sovereign jurisdictions. Territorial commissioners thus do not represent the sovereign, but are merely officers of the federal government.


:"See also: List of Governors of India"

In India, a Lieutenant-Governor is in charge of a Union Territory. He is given almost the same powers chief ministers have over their states. However the rank is given just to the 4 union territories of Chandigarh, Delhi, Pondicherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Lieutenant-governors hold the same rank as a governor of a state in the list of precedence.

However, Delhi and Pondicherry have a measure of self-government with an elected legislature and cabinet- hence the role of the Lieutenant-Governor in those territories is more akin to that of a state governor.

The other 3 territories have an administrator appointed, who is an IAS officer.

New Zealand

The only person to have held the rank of Lieutenant Governor of New Zealand was Captain William Hobson, RN from 1839–1841, during which time the New Zealand colony was a dependency of the colony of New South Wales, governed at that time by Sir George Gipps. When New Zealand was designated a crown colony in 1841, Hobson was raised to the rank of Governor, which he held until his death the following year.

Subsequently in 1848 New Zealand was divided into three provinces: New Ulster, New Munster, and New Leinster, each with their own Lieutenant Governors.

Channel Islands

In the British Crown Dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey the Lieutenant Governor is the Queen's representative, but the post is largely ceremonial, with executive power remaining with each Island's elected administration. The post was originally created in 1259 following the Treaty of Paris as Warden. This was subsequently renamed Governor and again changed to Lieutenant Governor.

See also List of Lieutenant Governors of Jersey, List of Lieutenant Governors of Guernsey

Isle of Man

In the Isle of Man, the Lieutenant Governor was until 1980 the presiding officer of the Legislative Council and of Tynwald Court (the Legislative Council and the House of Keys in joint session), but both roles have been transferred to the President of Tynwald. Now, the Lieutenant Governor only presides once a year on Tynwald Day. On the 19 October 2005 Tynwald approved proposals to change the title of the Lieutenant Governor to Crown Commissioner ( _gv. Barrantagh y Chrooin). In April 2006, however, after much public disapproval, Tynwald rejected the previously approved proposal and withdrew their request for Royal Assent. Accordingly, the Lieutenant Governor will remain as currently titled. [cite news | title = Governor's title could be changed | url = | work = BBC News | date = 9 October 2005 | accessdate = 2008-01-13 ]

United States

See also: "List of United States Lieutenant Governors"

Present day

In the United States, 42 of the 50 states have lieutenant governors. In most cases, the lieutenant governor is the highest officer of state after the governor, standing in for that officer when he or she is absent from the state or temporarily incapacitated. In the event a governor dies, resigns or is removed from office, the lieutenant governor typically becomes governor. In states like Massachusetts, however, the lieutenant governor becomes acting governor until the next election.

In 24 states, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected on the same ticket, to ensure they both come from the same political party. In the remaining 18 states, they are elected separately and, thus, may come from different parties. The lieutenant governor is also frequently the presiding officer of the upper house of the state legislature (usually called the Senate). This mirrors the federal procedure, under which the Vice President is President of the United States Senate. In a few states, including Hawaii and Utah, the position of Lieutenant Governor is equivalent to that of Secretary of State.

Among the states without the office of lieutenant governor, the president of the state senate assumes the governor's office upon a vacancy in Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee and West Virginia. New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment in November 2005, to create the office of Lieutenant Governor. It will become effective with the 2009 general election. Although the West Virginia Constitution establishes no such office, the title of Lieutenant Governor is assigned by statute to the Senate President. In Tennessee, the full title of the leader of the Senate is the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate. John S. Wilder was elected to that post in 1971 and held the Office until 2006, when he was replaced by Ron Ramsey. He had been both the longest-serving and oldest Lieutenant Governor in the United States.

Arizona, Oregon and Wyoming also do not have a Lieutenant Governor. In these three states and the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Secretary of State becomes Governor upon the office's vacancy.

The U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, and the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands have the office of Lieutenant Governor.

Colonial America

In colonial America the Royal Governor would be paid directly by the crown, where as the Lieutenant Governor would be paid by the colonial treasury.

Other former colonial positions

"(incomplete list)"
*British Lieutenant-Governor of Tangiers
* Lieutenant Governor of Hong Kong


Further reading

* George F.G. Stanley, "The Role of the Lieutenant-Governor: A Seminar." Fredericton: Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, 1992.

External links

* [ National Lieutenant Governors Association]

ee also

*Deputy Governor
*Administrator of the Government

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lieutenant governor — Lieutenant Lieu*ten ant (l[ u]*t[e^]n ant), n. [F., fr. lieu place + tenant holding, p. pr. of tenir to hold, L. tenere. See {Lieu}, and {Tenant}, and cf. {Locum tenens}.] 1. An officer who supplies the place of a superior in his absence; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lieutenant governor — lieutenant governors 1) N COUNT A lieutenant governor is an elected official who acts as the deputy of a state governor in the United States. [AM] 2) N COUNT A lieutenant governor is an official elected by the Canadian government to act as a… …   English dictionary

  • lieutenant governor — 1. an elected official of a State who ranks below the governor and substitutes for the governor in case of the latter s absence or death 2. the official head of the government of a Canadian province, appointed by the governor general: also… …   English World dictionary

  • Lieutenant Governor — (engl., spr. leffténnent gowwĕrnĕr), Vize , Unterstatthalter …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Lieutenant-Governor — (Canada) See constitutional law (Canada). Collins dictionary of law. W. J. Stewart. 2001 …   Law dictionary

  • Lieutenant-governor — Ein Vizegouverneur (engl. lieutenant governor) ist die Bezeichnung für einen hohen Staatsbeamten in den Vereinigten Staaten und zahlreichen Staaten des Commonwealth of Nations. Meist handelt es sich dabei um den Stellvertreter des Gouverneurs bzw …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lieutenant governor — Ein Vizegouverneur (engl. lieutenant governor) ist die Bezeichnung für einen hohen Staatsbeamten in den Vereinigten Staaten und zahlreichen Staaten des Commonwealth of Nations. Meist handelt es sich dabei um den Stellvertreter des Gouverneurs bzw …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • lieutenant governor — /lɛfˌtɛnənt ˈgʌvənə/ (say lef.tenuhnt guvuhnuh) noun a deputy governor or acting governor. Also, lieutenant governor …   Australian-English dictionary

  • lieutenant governor — lieutenant governorship. 1. a state officer next in rank to a governor, who takes the governor s place in case of the latter s absence, disability, or death. 2. Brit. a deputy governor. 3. the executive officer of a Canadian province appointed by …   Universalium

  • lieutenant governor — noun Date: 1595 a deputy or subordinate governor: as a. an elected official serving as deputy to the governor of an American state b. the formal head of the government of a Canadian province appointed by the federal government as the… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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