- Attorney General of Ireland
The Attorney General ( _ga. An tArd-Aighne) is a constitutional officer who is the official adviser to the
Government of Irelandin 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
ExtraditionActs. Instead, the Director of Public Prosecutionshas 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, Englandand 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 Cartac. 30", an act of the Parliament of Englanddated 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 Irelandand 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
Politics of Ireland
* [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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