They were elected for the term of one year and re-eligible only after an interval, and they were supported by a municipal council (commune consilium, consilium magnum or secretum or generale, or colloquium) and a general assembly (parlamentum, concio, commune consilium, commune, universitas civium), which, however, as a rule was far from comprising the whole body of citizens.
The report Consilium delectorium cardinalium is, in its plain-spoken directness, one of the most noteworthy documents of the history of the period.
The immense authority of the college centred in the pontifex maximus, the other pontifices forming his consilium or advising body.
He also wrote a suggestion for reform in the administration of justice entitled Libellus de optimo ordine forenses lites audiendi et deferendi; an Apologia, written to answer the charges brought against him by Louis XI.; a Breviloquium, or allegorical account of his own misfortunes; a Peregrinatio; a defence of Joan of Arc entitled Opinio et consilium super processu et condemnatione Johanne, dicte Puelle, and other miscellaneous writings.