The United Republic Council was the governing body of the United Republic of Nations until early 171 AG. It was a deliberative assembly composed of non-elected representatives from the Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, Air Nation, and both the Northern and Southern Water Tribes. The Council discussed governing and political affairs inside the City Hall, along with acting as the commanding body of the United Forces. The Council also served as judge and jury in the case of important trials. However, after the Anti-bending Revolution proved that the Council was flawed in its composition and unable to handle the challenges of new political movements, it dissolved itself in favor of democratic elections of the first president of the United Republic.
Some years after the Hundred Year War, Avatar Aang established the United Republic Council as a means of keeping no single nation from exerting its own will over the infant country. It was comprised of five members and came to be chaired by Southern Water Tribe representative Sokka by 128 AG. The Council put Yakone on trial for the crimes he committed as a bloodbender and sentenced him to life in prison. After being sentenced, however, Yakone single-handedly bloodbent everyone in City Hall and escaped. Avatar Aang quickly caught up with him, however, and removed his bending.
In 170 AG, following an Equalist gathering where Amon showcased his ability to permanently remove people's bending, the Council convened over the best course of action. Tarrlok proposed to create a task force to find Amon and bring him to justice. Councilman Tenzin opposed this aggressive move, stating that it would only further divide the bending and nonbending communities of the city. Tenzin was strengthened in his opposition as Tarrlok volunteered to lead the task force himself, seeing that move as a play to gain more power. In order to gain the approval of the other three Council members, Tarrlok drew a comparison between his own actions against Amon and the actions of Avatar Aang against Yakone, stating that they were both willing to deal with danger head on. The waterbender emphasized that Amon was not going to stop with the bending triads, and was going to come after every bender in the world, including the friends and families of the Council members, unless they voted for the task force and let him stop Amon. This argument worked, as the Councilors, except Tenzin, voted in favor of the attack, and subsequently declared Amon to be public enemy number one.
Several days later, Amon called on the Council to shut down the Pro-bending Arena on the night of the championship match or there would be "severe consequences" should the Council fail to comply. Concerned about the safety of the innocent spectators, the Council members unanimously agreed to shut the arena down. Korra, Mako, and Bolin barged in on the closed Council meeting and argued that they should not give in to Amon's threats. Just as Tarrlok was about to make the decision final by slamming the gavel on the table, Chief Lin Beifong showed up and halted him by destroying the object with her metal cables. Agreeing with Korra, she stated that the Council should show some backbone and offered to personally oversee the extra security measurements during the tournament with her Metalbending Police Force. Except for Tenzin, the rest of the Council agreed to Lin's offer and let the tournament continue.
At a later Council meeting, Tarrlok proposed that a new law be created to outlaw Equalist membership and create a curfew for all nonbenders. Tenzin strongly opposed the proposal, but the other Council members voted in favor, thus approving the law.
Not too long afterward, the other three Council members and Chief Saikhan were called to City Hall by Tenzin, who had gone to the Equalists' secret underground prison and discovered that Tarrlok had lied about Korra's kidnapping. The five of them, along with Lin and the rest of Team Avatar, confronted Tarrlok and were informed by the council page that Tarrlok was a bloodbender. Despite being vastly outnumbered, Tarrlok was able to bloodbend everyone into unconsciousness, made his escape, and was later captured by Amon.
Just prior to the Equalists' battle for Republic City, the Council attempted to hold a session without a Northern Water Tribe representative. However, all the Council members except for Tenzin were captured by Amon's forces. With Tenzin as the only person on the Council who was not incapacitated, the leadership of Republic City was solely in his hands, as acknowledged by the council page.
Through the joint efforts of Team Avatar and General Iroh, the Equalist threat was neutralized and Amon was driven from the city. The former Equalist leader and Councilman Tarrlok escaped the city on a speedboat, though the latter sacrificed himself to end Amon's life by blowing up their vehicle. Due to his death, the title of chairman and the council seat for the Northern Water Tribe became vacant, though this would prove inconsequential, as the council dissolved itself some time after these events.
The United Republic Council was a deliberative assembly consisting of five members, each representing one of the four nations, but with both the Northern and Southern Water Tribes being represented separately. Each member of the Council wore a small, ten-sided gold badge somewhere on their clothing. The badge was in the same shape as the insignia located on one of City Hall's windows. The honorary title for a member was either councilman or councilwoman, including the chairman.
The chairman was the moderator and spokesperson of the Council. He or she was the member that managed the Council and their meetings in an orderly fashion, and addressed the public as the head of state for the United Republic of Nations. The chairman used a wooden gavel to keep the meeting and deliberation in order. The chairman during the start of the Anti-bending Revolution was the representative of the Northern Water Tribe, Councilman Tarrlok. At one point, the Council was chaired by Councilman Sokka. During the battle for Republic City, all the Council members, except for Tenzin, were captured before a new chairman was chosen to replace Tarrlok. Until the Council members returned or were reappointed, Tenzin could make decisions and speak on behalf of the Council without any deliberations.
- Fire Nation councilwoman (representative for the Fire Nation)
- Sokka (representative for the Southern Water Tribe and chairman)
- Tarrlok (representative for the Northern Water Tribe and chairman)
- Tenzin (representative for the Air Nation)
- Before its dissolution, all the Council members were benders. This, however, was not a requirement, seeing as Sokka and an Air Acolyte were on the Council in 128 AG.
- Tarrlok and Tenzin had a longstanding rivalry, as they rarely agreed on the best way to govern Republic City.
- The Fire Nation councilwoman was the only female member on the Council that governed Republic City around 170 AG.
- The Council had some commonalities to the United Nations, particularly in the five member system similar in fashion to the five permanent member United Nations Security Council.
- The Council had a quorum of four members, shown when the legislative body convened without a Northern Water Tribe representative to serve as Tarrlok's replacement.
- Both known chairmen represented the Water Tribes, Sokka from the South, and Tarrlok from the North.
- Michael Dante DiMartino posited that the reason the other Council members were so servile to Tarrlok was that he had some kind of blackmail on them.
- DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko considered giving the background Council members more characterization to avoid them seeming like "hand-raising robots", but were unable to given the time constraints of Book One.
- Although the Council was no longer the governing body of the United Republic after the presidential office was created, there was still some form of a council whose members had regular meetings with the president.