Attorney General of Ireland


Attorney General of Ireland

The Attorney General ( _ga. An tArd-Aighne) is a constitutional officer who is the official adviser to the Government of Ireland in matters of law. He is in effect the chief law officer in Ireland. The Attorney General is not a member of the Government but does participate in cabinet meetings when invited and attends government meetings.

As the Attorney General advises the Government on the constitutionality of bills and treaties, he also presents the Government's case if the President refers any bill to the Supreme Court under Article 26 of the Constitution of Ireland, before signing it.

The Attorney General has few prosecution duties; these are limited to functions under the various Fisheries Acts and Extradition Acts. Instead, the Director of Public Prosecutions has responsibility for all other criminal prosecutions in the State.

The Office of the Attorney General consists of a number of different offices:
* The Advisory Counsel to the Attorney General (providing legal advice)
* The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel (drafting legislation)
* The Chief State Solicitor's Office (providing litigation, conveyancing and other transactional services)
* The Statute Law Revision Unit (simplifying and improving the body of statute law)

Part of the Attorney General's function has been to identify and prepare the repeal of all legislation passed before independence. This includes laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Britain, England and the Irish Parliament. For example the killing of cattle in Dublin is still regulated, in part by an Irish act of 1743, whilst the "Treatment of Foreign Merchants" is governed by "25 Edw. 1 Magna Carta c. 30", an act of the Parliament of England dated 1297.

The office, which was created in the 1937 Constitution of Ireland, is a lineal successor of the offices of Attorney-General for Ireland, Attorney-General for Southern Ireland and the Attorney-General of the Irish Free State ( _ga. Príomh-Atúrnae Shaorstáit Éireann). Unlike the modern office, those earlier offices were a creation of statute law, not a written constitution. Unlike the modern office, the earlier offices also had a dash between the words "attorney" and "general".

List of Attorneys General

Attorneys General of the Irish Free State

Attorneys General of Ireland

ee also

*Politics of Ireland

External links

* [http://www.gov.ie/ag/index.html Official site of the Attorney General]
* [http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/home.html Irish Statutes (1922–2005)]


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