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Legal Definition and Related Resources of Cabinet

Meaning of Cabinet

The inner council of ministers collectively responsible for the policy of the government . In the government of the United States of America, the cabinet consists of the heads of the several departments of government.

Cabinet Alternative Definition

Certain officers who, taken collectively, form a council or advisory board; as the cabinet of the president of the United States, which is composed of the secretary of state, the secretary of the treasury, the secretary of the interior, the secretary of war, the secretary of the navy, the secretary of agriculture, the attorney general, the secretary of commerce, the secretary of labor, and the postmaster general.

Related Entries of Cabinet in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Cabinet in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Cabinet in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Cabinet in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Cabinet in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Attorney General, Prime Minister, Privy Council.

What does Cabinet mean in American Law?

The definition of Cabinet in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

“Other things being the same” (or “equal”). The term is widely used, either in Latin or translated, in sentences like “When two parties claim the same property, caeteris panibus it will be awarded to the one with present lawful possession.”

As the example indicates, the term stands for a mode of reasoning of enormous power-and danger. First of all, it is in fact never the case that all other things are equal. Especially when used in legal contexts, caetris panibus really means “all-other-things-which-by-the-substantive-law-aremade- relevant-to-this-determination being equal,” i.e., only a limited number of real variables are to be considered.

Second, it is frequently the case that some variables, in theory highly relevant, are one way or another less easy to prove than others. Hence caeteris paribus often means “in default of proof of nonequality of other things, then . . . .” which, if that proof cannot really be forthcoming, determines the issue.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Cabinet in the Dictionary Cabinet in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Cabinet
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Cabinet in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Cabinet Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Cabinet (more about URIs)

Cabinet in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of Cabinet. This legal term is related to the United Kingom and/or the English Legal System.


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Cabinet

(You may find cabinet at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

1540s, “secret storehouse, treasure chamber,” from Middle French cabinet “small room” (16c.), diminutive of Old French cabane “cabin” (see cabin); perhaps influenced by (or rather, from) Italian gabbinetto, diminutive of gabbia, from Latin cavea “stall, stoop, cage, den for animals” (see cave; this term is also a noun.). Meaning “case for safe-keeping” (of papers, liquor, etc.) is from 1540s, gradually shading to mean a piece of furniture that does this. Sense of “private room where advisors meet” (c. 1600) led to modern political meaning (1640s); perhaps originally short for cabinet council (1630s); compare board (n.1) in its evolution from place where some group meets to the word for the group that meets there.


See Also

  • Department
  • President


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

English Legal System: Cabinet

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Cabinet :

A body of *ministers (normally about 20) consisting mostly of heads of chief government departments but also including some ministers with few or no departmental responsibilities; it is headed by the *Prime Minister, in whose gift membership lies. As the principal executive body under the UK constitution, its function is to formulate government policy and to carry it into effect (particularly by the initiation of legislation). The Cabinet has no statutory foundation and exists entirely by convention, although it has been mentioned in statute from time to time, e.g. in the Ministers of the Crown Act 1937, which provided additional salaries to “Cabinet Ministers”. The Cabinet is bound by the convention of collective responsibility, i.e. all members should fully support Cabinet decisions; a member who disagrees with a decision must resig If the government loses a vote of confidence, or suffers any other major defeat in the House of Commons, the whole Cabinet must resig

Legal Usage of Cabinet in English

An European Commission document offers the following explanation about the misused of Cabinet :’Cabinet’ (usually pronounced ‘cabinay’ by English speaking European Union officials and ‘cabinet’ by others) is the term used at the Commission (and informally at the Court of Auditors) to refer to the private office of a Commissioner (or Member). Other than denoting a piece of furniture, the term is most commonly used in Britain to refer to ‘the senior ministers of the British Government’. The ‘British cabinet’ is therefore ‘the principal executive group of British government’ and not the private office of the British member of the Commission or Court or the staff thereof.


‘the British cabinet.’


‘private office’, sometimes, just ‘office’.


Further Reading

  • David Mellinkoff, “Mellinkoff’s Dictionary of American Legal Usage”, West Publishing Company, 1992
  • Bryan A. Garner, “A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage”, West Publishing Company, 1995

Concept of Cabinet

An introductory definition of cabinet in relation to the European Union law and policies is available here: The private office of a European VIP, especially a Commissioner.


Notas y References

See Also


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