In most common law jurisdictions, the Attorney General or Attorney-General is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions may in addition have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions. Common law refers to law and the corresponding legal system developed through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive
The term has traditionally been used to refer to any person who holds a general power of attorney to represent a principal in all matters. In the common law tradition, anyone who represents the state, especially in criminal prosecutions, is such an attorney. Although a government may designate some official as the permanent attorney general, anyone who comes to represent the state in the same way, even if only for a particular case, is an attorney general, and when that is a private individual, he may be distinguished from the permanent official as being a private or pro tempore attorney general. Although most nations primarily use full-time professional prosecutors in criminal cases, this is a fairly recent development, emerging in the latter half of the 19th century. Until the advent of public prosecutors (in the United States commonly called district attorneys at the district or county level), criminal prosecutions were conducted by private persons, usually lawyers, who would be appointed attorney general by receiving a bill of indictment from a grand jury. In the Common law, a grand jury is a type of Jury which determines whether there is enough evidence for a trial. Today private criminal prosecutions are discouraged by judges, but the practice survives in the use of "special prosecutors" or "independent counsel" created by special legislation.
This usage can also be seen in the title "secretary general", for a secretary, or executive official, with general authority, normally the chief executive of a hierarchy of executive officials, or "surgeon general", for the chief surgeon of a team of surgeons.
Some people think the word "general" used in that way entitles the official to the honorific "general", but this is strictly only appropriate for military generals.  The word "general" in "attorney general" is an adjective (unlike the military term). The plural of "attorney general" is "attorneys general".
In Australia the Attorney-General is the chief law officer of the Crown and a member of the Cabinet. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. The Attorney-General of Australia is the first law officer of the Crown chief law officer of the Commonwealth of Australia and a Minister of the Crown. TalkCommonewalth realm.-->The monarchy The Cabinet of Australia is the council of senior ministers of the Crown, responsible to parliament. The Attorney-General is the minister responsible for legal affairs, national and public security and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. Robert McClelland has been selected as the Attorney-General under the new Labor government, and he replaces Philip Ruddock. Robert McClelland is the name of Robert McClelland (American politician (1807–1880 Governor of Michigan and U Philip Maxwell Ruddock (born March 12, 1943) is an Australian politician who served in various ministries in the Coalition Government of former Australian
The Minister for Justice and Customs was formerly the minister assisting the Attorney-General. As of the 3rd December 2007, the Minister for Home Affairs has been responsible for the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Customs Service, as well as the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). The Australian Federal Police (AFP is the Federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Australian Customs Service is the Australian Federal Government agency responsible for managing the security and integrity of the Australian border facilitating the movement The current Minister for Home Affairs is Bob Debus. Robert John "Bob" Debus (born 16 September 1943) is an Australian Labor politician
The Australian states each have an Attorney-General, who is a state minister with similar responsibilities to the federal minister with respect to state law.
Functions of the state and federal Attorneys-General include the administration of the selection of persons for nomination to judicial posts, and authorising prosecutions. In normal circumstances the prosecutorial powers of the Attorney-General are exercised by the Director of Public Prosecutions and staff, however the Attorney-General maintains formal control, including the power to initiate and terminate public prosecutions and take over private prosecutions. The Director of Public Prosecutions is the officer charged with the prosecution of criminal offences in several Criminal jurisdictions around the world Statutory criminal law provides that prosecutions for certain offences require the individual consent of the Attorney-General. This is generally for offences whose illegality is of a somewhat controversial nature, or where there is perceived to be a significant risk that prosecutions of a political nature may be embarked upon. The Attorney-General also generally has the power to issue certificates legally conclusive of certain facts (e. g. that the revelation of certain matters in court proceedings might constitute a risk to national security); the facts stated in such certificates must be accepted by the courts and cannot legally be disputed by any parties. The Attorney-General also has the power to issue a nolle prosequi with respect to a case, which authoritatively determines that the state (in whose name prosecutions are brought) does not wish to prosecute the case, so preventing any person from doing so. Nolle prosequi is a Latin legal phrase meaning "do not pursue
Main article: Attorney General in Brazil
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General are combined into one cabinet position in Canada. In Brazil the Attorney-General is the head of the federal prosecution office called " Ministério Público da União " an autonomous agency in charge of criminal prosecution The Minister of Justice (Ministre de la Justice is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for the Department of Justice The Attorney General of Canada (Procureur général du Canada is the top prosecuting officer in Canada. Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page The Attorney General is the chief law officer of The Crown. Throughout the Commonwealth realms The Crown is an abstract metonymic concept which represents the legal authority for the existence of any government The Minister of Justice is concerned with questions of policy and their relationship to the justice system. A policy is a deliberate plan of action to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome(s
The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (previously titled Solicitor General) is a separate cabinet position and administers the police, prisons, and security agencies of the federal government. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Ministre de la Sécurité publique et de la Protection civile is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet
See also Attorney General of Ontario, Attorney General of British Columbia. The Attorney General of Ontario is a senior member of the Executive Council of Ontario (or Cabinet) and governs the Ministry of the Attorney The Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia is a provincial government department responsible for the oversight of the justice system within the province of British Columbia
The Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority is an Egyptian judicial institution that resembles, in respect of competencies, the United States Solicitor General. The United States Solicitor General is the individual appointed to argue for the Government of the United States in front of the Supreme Court of the United States
The Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority had been established in 1874 prior to the establishment of the Egyptian national courts in 1883. The Authority represents the interests of the state in a variety of areas before national and international courts and arbitral tribunals. Under the applicable law, the Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority is granted the power to proceed to plead on behalf of the state even if the state itself does not like to do so and vice versa.
Organizationally, the Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority is divided into several departments, each of which is competent to represent the state before a specified kind of courts with respect to jurisdiction. All the departments are headed by their respective vice presidents, however, the president of the Authority shall preside the Department of Foreign Disputes.
The members of the Department of Foreign Disputes are in charge of representing the Arab Republic of Egypt before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA), International Chamber of Commerce in Paris (ICC) and any other international arbitral or judicial panel for the settlement of International Disputes where Egypt is a party thereto. See also International Commission of Jurists The International Court of Justice (known colloquially as the World Court or ICJ; Cour The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ( ICSID) an institution of the World Bank group based in Washington D The current State Solicitor Asser Harb is primarily known for his eminent international legal practice within the Department of Foreign Disputes.
In General, the main mission of the Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority is to defend the public funds and interests of the Egyptian people.
In Fiji, the role of the Attorney General is defined as "providing essential legal expertise and support to the Government". Fiji 's chief governmental legal officer is the Attorney General. Fiji (Matanitu ko Viti फ़िजी officially the Republic of the Fiji Islands (Matanitu Tu-Vaka-i-koya ko Viti फ़िजी द्वीप समूह गणराज्य More specific functions include "legislative drafting", "legal aid", "the prerogative of mercy" (advising the President), "liquor licencing" and "film censorship" .
The current Attorney General is Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is a Fiji Indian lawyer who was appointed Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Electoral Reform & Anti-Corruption in the interim In January 2008, he sparked controversy by accepting other government positions in addition to his role as Attorney General; Sayed-Khaiyum is currently responsible also for "Public Enterprise, Electoral Reform and Anti-Corruption". 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common An article in the Fiji Times pointed out that "never before in the history of this nation has the Attorney-General held a portfolio dealing with matters other than the law and the judiciary", and criticised the decision . The Fiji Times is a daily Newspaper published in Fiji. Established in Levuka on 4 September 1869, it is Fiji's oldest
The Attorney General of Hong Kong, renamed Secretary for Justice after transfer of sovereignty in 1997, is the legal adviser of the Hong Kong Government and heads the Department of Justice, assisted by 5 law officers, namely:
(The Administration and Development Division is headed by an Administrative Officer). The Secretary for Justice ( is a member of the Hong Kong Government responsible for Prosecutions and legal matters The transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China, often referred to as the Handover The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China ( see pronunciation; conventional short The Department of Justice ( headed by the Secretary for Justice is the department responsible for the laws of Hong Kong.
Crimes and offences are prosecuted at the suit of the Secretary of Justice.
The Secretary of Justice, appointed by the Central People's Government in Beijing on the advice of the Chief Executive, is an ex-officio member of the Executive Council. The Central People's Government is the Central government of the People's Republic of China in Beijing. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong ( is the head of Hong Kong Government and the principal representative of the Hong Kong. The Executive Council of Hong Kong ( ExCo,) is an organ in the Executive branch of the political structure of Hong Kong. The position is normally held by a legal professional, and, before July 2002, a civil service position. JURIST is an online legal news service hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, written by founder Professor Bernard Hibbitts and a staff of more than
"The Mission of the Office of the Attorney General is to provide the highest standard of professional legal services to Government, Departments and Offices"
The Attorney General of Ireland is the legal adviser to the Government and is therefore the chief law officer of the State. The Attorney General of India is the Indian government's chief legal advisor and its primary lawyer in the Supreme Court of India. The Attorney General (An tArd-Aighne is a constitutional officer who is the official adviser to the Government of Ireland in matters of law The Office of the Attorney General, is made up of a number of different offices:
Since the enactment of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1974 the responsibility for the prosecution of indictable criminal offences is mostly in the hands of the Director of Public Prosecutions who is by law independent of the Attorney General and the State.
In the Isle of Man, Her Majesty's Attorney General is a Crown appointment and Mr Attorney sits in the Legislative Council of the Isle of Man, 'ex officio'. The Isle of Man (Ellan Vannin ˈɛlʲən ˈvanɪn or Mann (Mannin) is a self-governing Crown dependency, located in the Irish Sea at the geographical The Attorney General (Yn Turneyr Theayagh of the Isle of Man has an Ex officio seat in the Legislative Council and is the Government The Legislative Council (Yn Choonseil Slattyssagh is the upper chamber of Tynwald, the legislature of the Isle of Man. C D E
The Italian name is Procuratore della Repubblica. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest He or she is the head of the Procura della Repubblica, an institution that represents the people's and the State's interests.
In Kiribati, the Attorney General is defined by section 42 of the Constitution as "the principal legal adviser to the Government". Kiribati or ( kirr-i-bas or KEE-ree-buhss ˈkiɾibas in Gilbertese) officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an Island nation located in The Constitution specifies: "No person shall be qualified to hold or to act in the office of Attorney-General unless he is qualified to practise in Kiribati as an advocate in the High Court. " The current Attorney General, as of 2007, is the Honourable Titabu Tabane.
In Malaysia the Attorney General or Peguam Negara (as he is referred to in Bahasa Malaysia) is the principal legal adviser to the Government. For the biogeographical region see Malesia Malaysia (məˈleɪʒə or /məˈleɪziə/ is a country that consists of thirteen states and The Attorney General of Malaysia, also referred to as the A-G ( Peguam Negara) is the principal legal adviser to the Government of Malaysia. The Malay language ( ISO 639-1 code MS is an Austronesian language spoken by the Malay people and people of other ethnic groups who reside in the He is also the principal public prosecutor in the country, and is also known as the Public Prosecutor. He has the power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court-martial.
In Mexico the Procuraduría General de la República is an institution belonging to the federal executive branch that is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of federal crimes. In Mexico the Office of the Attorney General ( Spanish Procuraduría General de la República) is an institution belonging to the Federal executive branch
In New Zealand, the Attorney-General is the chief law officer and primary legal advisor of the New Zealand government. The Attorney-General is a political office in New Zealand. It is simultaneously a ministerial position and an administrative office and has responsibility for supervising New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island The Attorney-General is a political office in New Zealand. It is simultaneously a ministerial position and an administrative office and has responsibility for supervising Historically, the post could be held either by a politician or by a senior jurist, but today, it is invariably held by a member of Parliament. The Parliament of New Zealand consists of the Queen of New Zealand and the New Zealand House of Representatives and until 1951 the New Zealand Legislative Council The Attorney-General attends Cabinet, but the post is not the same as the Minister of Justice. The New Zealand Cabinet functions as the policy and decision-making body of the Executive branch within the New Zealand government system The Minister of Justice is a minister in the government of New Zealand. The Attorney-General has departmental responsibility for the Crown Law Office, the Parliamentary Counsel Office, and the Serious Fraud Office. By tradition, persons appointed to the position of Attorney-General have almost invariably been lawyers. Only two former Attorneys-General have not been lawyers, most recently Dr Michael Cullen who held the post in 2005, and again from 2006. for the Australian ornithologist see John Michael Cullen Michael John Cullen (born 5 February 1945, London) is a Cullen's appointment was controversial at the time because of his non-legal background.
The Attorney-General of Pakistan is the legal adviser to the government of the Pakistan and its public prosecutor. The Attorney General of Pakistan is appointed under Article 100 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Deputy Attorney General of Pakistan Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society Pakistan () officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia, Southwest Asia, Middle East and The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the Common law Adversarial system, or the civil law
In Samoa, the Attorney General is the legal adviser to the government. Samoa, officially the Independent State of Samoa, is a country governing the western part of the Samoan Islands Archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean The current Attorney General is Aumua Ming Leung Wai. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common 
The Attorney-General of Singapore is the legal adviser to the government of the Republic of Singapore and its public prosecutor. The Attorney-General of Singapore is the legal adviser to the government of the Republic of Singapore and its Public prosecutor. Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society Singapore The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the Common law Adversarial system, or the civil law
The Attorney-General of Sri Lanka is the chief legal advisor of the Government of Sri Lanka and head of the Attorney-General department which the public prosecutor. The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the Common law Adversarial system, or the civil law
The Attorney General for England and Wales is similarly the chief law officer of the Crown in England and Wales, and advises and represents the Crown and government departments in court. The Law Officers of the Crown are the chief legal advisors to the Crown, and advise and represent the various governments in the United Kingdom and the other The Law Officers of the Crown are the chief legal advisors to the Crown, and advise and represent the various governments in the United Kingdom and the other Her Majesty's Attorney General for England and Wales, usually known simply as the Attorney General, is the chief legal adviser of the Crown in England and Wales In practice, the Treasury Solicitor (who also has the title of Procurator General) normally provides the lawyers or briefs Treasury Counsel to appear in court, although the Attorney General may appear in person if he wishes. The Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol is the largest in-house legal organisation in the United Kingdom 's Government Legal Service. He provides legal advice to the Government; for example, on the legality of the Iraq War. The Iraq War, also known as the Second Gulf War, the Occupation of Iraq, or the War in Iraq, is an ongoing Military campaign He also acts as the representative of the public interest; for example, in relation to charities. Privately, he also determines issues between government departments.
The Attorney General has supervisory powers over the prosecution of criminal offences, but is not personally involved with prosecutions; however, some prosecutions (e. g. Riot) cannot be commenced without his consent, and he has the power to halt prosecutions generally. Riots are a form of Civil disorders characterized by disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of Violence, Vandalism or other Criminal prosecutions are the responsibility of the Crown Prosecution Service, headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Crown Prosecution Service, or CPS, is a non-ministerial department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for public Prosecutions The Director of Public Prosecutions is the officer charged with the prosecution of criminal offences in several Criminal jurisdictions around the world The Attorney General may appeal cases to the higher courts where, although the particular case is settled, there may be a point of law of public importance at issue.
The Attorney General's deputy is the Solicitor General for England and Wales. Her Majesty's Solicitor General for England and Wales, often known as the Solicitor General, is one of the Law Officers of the Crown, and the deputy of the Attorney
Under the Government of Wales Act 2006, the Counsel General is the chief legal adviser to the Welsh Assembly Government. The Government of Wales Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reforms the National Assembly for Wales and allows further The Counsel General for Wales advises the Welsh Assembly Government on Welsh legislative matters and advises on legislative competency The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG (Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru LlCC) was firstly an executive body of the National Assembly for Wales, consisting of
During the period of direct rule in Northern Ireland from 1973 to 1998, the Attorney General for England and Wales was also Attorney General for Northern Ireland. The Law Officers of the Crown are the chief legal advisors to the Crown, and advise and represent the various governments in the United Kingdom and the other Direct rule was the term given during the late 20th and early 21st centuries to the administration of Northern Ireland directly from Westminster, seat of Northern Ireland (Tuaisceart Éireann Ulster Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a Country within the United Kingdom, lying in the northeast of Her Majesty's Attorney General for England and Wales, usually known simply as the Attorney General, is the chief legal adviser of the Crown in England and Wales Under the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland executive is now advised by an Advocate General for Northern Ireland. The Agreement, most often referred to as the Belfast Agreement (Comhaontú Bhéal Feirste Belfast Greeance or the Good Friday Agreement (Comhaontú Aoine an
Under the recent constitutional reforms, the Lord Advocate has become an officer of the Scottish Government, while the United Kingdom Government is advised on Scots law by the Advocate General for Scotland. The Law Officers of the Crown are the chief legal advisors to the Crown, and advise and represent the various governments in the United Kingdom and the other Her Majesty's Advocate (or when the monarch is male His Majesty's Advocate) known as the Lord Advocate (Morair Tagraidh is the chief legal officer of the Scottish The Scottish Government (SG ( Scottish Gaelic: Riaghaltas na h-Alba) is the executive arm of the government of Scotland. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Scots law is a unique legal system with an ancient basis in Roman law. Her Majesty's Advocate General for Scotland (Àrd-neach-tagraidh na Bànrighe airson Alba in is one of the Law Officers of the Crown, whose duty it is to advise the Crown
The Lord Advocate is assisted by the Solicitor General for Scotland. Her Majesty's Solicitor General for Scotland ( Àrd-neach-lagha a' Chrùin an Alba) is one of the Law Officers of the Crown, and the deputy of the Lord
The Attorney General of the Duchy of Cornwall is the chief legal adviser to the Prince of Wales, and there is a separate Attorney General for the Duchy of Lancaster, an appointment that is held by the Crown. The Law Officers of the Crown are the chief legal advisors to the Crown, and advise and represent the various governments in the United Kingdom and the other The Duchy of Cornwall is with the Duchy of Lancaster, one of the two Royal duchies in England. Prince of Wales (Tywysog Cymru is a title traditionally granted to the Heir Apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom (and formerly the Kingdom The Duchy of Lancaster is one of the two Royal Duchies in England, the other being the Duchy of Cornwall, and is the personal (inherited property of the
In the Federal Government of the United States, the Attorney General is a member of the Cabinet and as head of the Department of Justice is the top law enforcement officer and lawyer for the government. The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice (see) concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement The state attorney general in the United States is an executive office in all 50 State governments. The federal government of the United States is the central United States Governmental body established by the United States Constitution. The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice (see) concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement The United States Cabinet (usually simplified as "the Cabinet" is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the Executive branch of the Federal government For animal rights group see Justice Department (JD The United States Department of Justice ( DOJ) is a Cabinet department The attorney general may need to be distinguished from the Solicitor General, a high Justice Department official with the responsibility of representing the government in the Supreme Court. The United States Solicitor General is the individual appointed to argue for the Government of the United States in front of the Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. In cases of exceptional importance, however, the Attorney General may choose to represent the government himself or herself in the Supreme Court.
The individual U.S. states also have State Attorneys General with similar responsibilities. A US state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of the United States of America that share Sovereignty with the federal government The state attorney general in the United States is an executive office in all 50 State governments. The majority of state Attorneys General are chosen by popular election, as opposed to the U. S. Attorney General who is a presidential appointee.