United Kingdom Encyclopedia of Law     Wiki Legal Encyclopedia (BETA)
What do you need to know about law? Search in more than 1.500.000 entries

Attorney General in United Kingdom

Attorney General in the United Kingdom

The office of attorney general dates from the reign (1272-1307) of King Edward I. It developed gradually until the 17th century, when the attorney general became chief legal counsel to the Crown and all departments of state and represented them in court cases. As the position grew in importance, the attorney general was made a government minister and sometimes a member of the cabinet. The office carries with it precedence over all other members of the bar. (1)

History of the Attorney-General

The following commentary about Attorney-General in the Churchill Era is produced by the Churchill College (Cambridge): Chief legal officer in England.

Concept of Attorney-general

The following is an old definition of Attorney-general [1], a term which has several meanings:1. King’s counsel

Alternative Meaning

The head of the department of justice in the government of the United States. The chief law-officer in the government of each State. The former has a deputy in each judicial district, known as the ” United States district attorney; ” and the latter has a deputy in each county, known as the “district” or ” county attorney,” the attorney for the people, Commonwealth, State, or government. The attorney representing the United States is also often referred to as the attorney or counsel for the government. In the capacity of accusing and trying alleged violators of the criminal law, they are severally spoken of as the “prosecuting attorney ” or attorney for the prosecution. The attorney-general of either government may appear by a special deputy attorney-general; and their subordinates, in districts and counties, by assistant district attorneys. The attorney-general of the United States is not authorized, by the law creating and defining his office, to give legal opinions at the call of Congress. His duty to render such opinions is limited to calls from the President and the heads ot departments, see, in this resource, the term He manages government suits before the Supreme Court. His opinions are preserved in a series of reports known as the Opinions of the Attorneys-General, which include decisions rendered from 1791 to date. The attorney-general of a State advises the governor, and exhibits informations in the name of the State.


Notes and References

  1. Meaning of Attorney-general provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)


Notes and References

  1. Encarta Online Encyclopedia

See Also

Attorney General History

Chief legal adviser to the Government, as well as being responsible for all Crown prosecutions including the Crown Prosecution Service.

Law is our Passion

This entry about Attorney-general has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0) licence, which permits unrestricted use and reproduction, provided the author or authors of the Attorney-general entry and the Encyclopedia of Law are in each case credited as the source of the Attorney-general entry. Please note this CC BY licence applies to some textual content of Attorney-general, and that some images and other textual or non-textual elements may be covered by special copyright arrangements. For guidance on citing Attorney-general (giving attribution as required by the CC BY licence), please see below our recommendation of "Cite this Entry".

Cite this entry

Legal Citations Generator

(2017, 05). Attorney-general lawi.org.uk Retrieved 05, 2021, from https://lawi.org.uk/attorney-general/

05 2017. 05 2021 <https://lawi.org.uk/attorney-general/>

"Attorney-general" lawi.org.uk. lawi.org.uk, 05 2017. Web. 05 2021. <https://lawi.org.uk/attorney-general/>

"Attorney-general" lawi.org.uk. 05, 2017. Accesed 05 2021. https://lawi.org.uk/attorney-general/

Asa Briggs, 'Attorney-general' (lawi.org.uk 2017) <https://lawi.org.uk/attorney-general/> accesed 2021 May 9

Usage Metrics

878 Views. 711 Visitors.

Google Scholar: Search for Attorney-general Related Content


Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Attorney-general
  • Author: Asa Briggs
  • Description: Attorney General Attorney General in the United Kingdom The office of attorney general dates from the reign (1272-1307) of [...]

This entry was last updated: May 6, 2017



Recent Comments