Attorney General
Attorney General
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Attorney general
the attorney general or attorney-general (sometimes abbreviated AG) is the main legal advisor to the government. The plural is attorneys general (traditional)

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In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general or attorney-general (sometimes abbreviated AG) is the main legal advisor to the government. The plural is attorneys general (traditional) or attorney generals.[1][2][3]

In some jurisdictions, attorneys general may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement, prosecutions or even responsibility for legal affairs generally. In practice, the extent to which the attorney general personally provides legal advice to the government varies between jurisdictions, and even between individual office-holders within the same jurisdiction, often depending on the level and nature of the office-holder's prior legal experience.

Where the attorney general has ministerial responsibility for legal affairs in general (as is the case, for example, with the United States Attorney General or the Attorney-General for Australia, and the respective attorneys general of the states in each country), the ministerial portfolio is largely equivalent to that of a Minister of Justice in some other countries.

The term was originally 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 came to represent the state in the same way could, in the past, be referred to as such, even if only for a particular case. Today, however, in most jurisdictions, the term is largely reserved as a title of the permanently appointed attorney general of the state, sovereign or other member of the royal family.

Civil law jurisdictions have similar offices, which may be variously called "public prosecutor general", "procurators", "advocates general", "public attorneys", and other titles. Many of these offices also use "attorney general" or "attorney-general" as the English translation of the title, although because of different historical provenance, the nature of such offices is usually different from that of attorneys-general in common law jurisdictions.

  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 Attorneys-general in common law and hybrid jurisdictions
    • 2.1 Australia
    • 2.2 Bangladesh
    • 2.3 Barbados
    • 2.4 Canada
    • 2.5 Fiji
    • 2.6 Hong Kong
    • 2.7 India
    • 2.8 Ireland
    • 2.9 Isle of Man
    • 2.10 Israel
    • 2.11 Jamaica
    • 2.12 Kenya
    • 2.13 Kiribati
    • 2.14 Malaysia
    • 2.15 Maldives
    • 2.16 Mauritius
    • 2.17 Myanmar
    • 2.18 Nepal
    • 2.19 New Zealand
    • 2.20 Pakistan
    • 2.21 Philippines
    • 2.22 Samoa
    • 2.23 Singapore
    • 2.24 Sri Lanka
    • 2.25 Tonga
    • 2.26 Trinidad & Tobago
    • 2.27 United Kingdom
      • 2.27.1 England and Wales
      • 2.27.2 Northern Ireland
      • 2.27.3 Scotland
      • 2.27.4 Wales
      • 2.27.5 Other attorneys-general in the UK
    • 2.28 United States
    • 2.29 Zimbabwe
  • 3 Similar offices in non-common law jurisdictions
    • 3.1 Afghanistan
    • 3.2 Brazil
    • 3.3 Crimea
    • 3.4 Dominican Republic
    • 3.5 Germany
    • 3.6 Hungary
    • 3.7 Indonesia
    • 3.8 Italy
    • 3.9 Mexico
    • 3.10 Netherlands
    • 3.11 Norway
    • 3.12 Russia
    • 3.13 Serbia
    • 3.14 Soviet Union
    • 3.15 Spain
    • 3.16 Vietnam
  • 4 Lists of countries, states or territories with attorneys-general
  • 5 References
    • 5.1 Citations
    • 5.2 Sources
  • 6 External links

In regard to the etymology of the phrase Attorney General, Steven Pinker writes that the earliest citation in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1292: "Tous attorneyz general purrount lever fins et cirrographer" (All general attorneys may levy fines and make legal documents).[4] The phrase was borrowed from Anglo-Norman French when England was ruled by Normans after the conquest of England in the 11th-century. As a variety of French, which was spoken in the law courts, schools, universities and in sections of the gentry and the bourgeoisie, the term relating to government got introduced into English. The phrase attorney general is composed of a noun followed by the postpositive adjective general and as other French compounds its plural form also appears as "attorneys generals".[5][6] As compared to major generals, a term that also originates from French ("major-général") and also has a postpositive adjective, it also appears as "attorney generals". Steven Pinker writes: "So if you are ever challenged for saying attorney-generals, mother-in-laws, passerbys ... you can reply, 'They are the very model of the modern major general.'"[4]

Attorneys-general in common law and hybrid jurisdictions

Attorneys-General in common law jurisdictions, and jurisdictions with a legal system which is partially derived from the common law tradition, share a common provenance.

Australia Main article: Attorney-General for Australia Bangladesh Main article: Attorney-General of Bangladesh Barbados Main article: Attorney-General of Barbados Canada Main articles: Canadian Minister of Justice and Canadian Minister of Public Safety Fiji Main article: Attorney-General (Fiji) Hong Kong Main article: Secretary for Justice (Hong Kong) India Main article: Attorney General of India Ireland Main article: Attorney General of Ireland Isle of Man Main article: Attorney General (Isle of Man) Israel Main article: Attorney General of Israel Jamaica Main article: Attorney General of Jamaica Kenya Main article: Attorney General of Kenya Kiribati Further information: Politics of Kiribati Malaysia Main article: Attorney General of Malaysia Maldives Main article: Attorney General of the Maldives Mauritius Main article: Ministry of Justice (Mauritius) Myanmar Main article: Attorney General of Myanmar Nepal

In Nepal, the Attorney General is the chief legal adviser of Government of Nepal as well as its chief public prosecutor. An Attorney General is appointed by the President on the recommendation of Prime Minister. The Attorney General's Office is a constitutional body under the Constitution of Nepal (2072). For a person to be eligible for the post of Attorney General, they must also be qualified to be appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court.[7]

New Zealand Main article: Attorney-General (New Zealand) Pakistan Main article: Attorney-General of Pakistan Philippines Main article: Office of the Solicitor General (Philippines) Samoa

In Samoa, the Attorney General is the legal adviser to the government. The current[update] Attorney General is Aumua Ming Leung Wai.[8]

Singapore Main article: Attorney-General of Singapore Sri Lanka Main article: Attorney General of Sri Lanka Tonga Main article: Attorney General (Tonga) Trinidad & Tobago Main article: Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago United Kingdom Main article: Law Officers of the Crown England and Wales Main article: Law Officers of the Crown in England and Wales Northern Ireland Main article: Law Officers of the Crown in Northern Ireland Scotland Main article: Law Officers of the Crown in Scotland Wales Main article: Law Officers of the Crown Other attorneys-general in the UK Main article: Law Officers of the Crown (Other persons) United States Main articles: United States Attorney General and State attorney general See also: District attorney and United States Attorney

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 Attorney General may need to be distinguished from the Solicitor General, a high Justice Department official with the responsibility of representing the government before the Supreme Court. In cases of exceptional importance, however, the Attorney General may choose personally to represent the government to the Supreme Court.

The individual U.S. states and territories, as well as the federal district of Washington, D.C. also have attorneys general with similar responsibilities. The majority of state attorneys general are chosen by popular election, as opposed to the U.S. Attorney General, who is a presidential appointee confirmed by the Senate.

In nearly all United States jurisdictions the attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer of that jurisdiction, and as such attorney general may also be considered a police rank. The proper form of addressing a person holding the office is addressed Mister or Madam Attorney General, or just as Attorney General. The plural is "Attorneys General" or "Attorneys-General".

Zimbabwe Main article: Attorney General of Zimbabwe Similar offices in non-common law jurisdictions See also: Advocate General and Public procurator

Non-common law jurisdictions usually have one or more offices which are similar to attorneys-general in common law jurisdictions, some of which use "attorney-general" as the English translation of their titles.

Afghanistan Main article: Attorney General's Office of Afghanistan Brazil Main articles: Attorney General of the Union and Prosecutor General of the Republic Crimea Main article: Prosecutor General of the Republic of Crimea Dominican Republic Main article: Attorney General of the Republic (Dominican Republic) Germany Main article: Public Prosecutor General (Germany) Hungary Main article: Chief Prosecutor of Hungary Indonesia Main article: Attorney General of Indonesia Italy Main article: Ministry of Justice (Italy) Mexico Main article: Attorney General (Mexico) Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there are two types of attorneys-general, that are only historically related.

The first type of attorney-general ("advocaat-generaal" in Dutch) is the public prosecutor in criminal cases at appellate courts.

The second type of attorney-general ("procureur-generaal", while their replacements are called "advocaat-generaal") is an independent advisor to the Supreme Court. These people give an opinion on cases (called "conclusies") in any field of law (not just criminal law), supported by a scientific staff. The Supreme Court may either follow or reject the opinion of the attorney-general (which is published together with the eventual decision). In a way, an attorney-general acts as yet another judge, but in the Dutch system that does not allow dissenting opinions to be published, it is the only way to reflect different perceptions on a case. The Procureur-Generaal also prosecutes members of parliament in the case of misfeance.[9]

Dutch attorneys-general do not normally advise the government.[citation needed]

Norway Main article: Office of the Attorney General of Norway Russia Main article: Prosecutor General of Russia Serbia Main article: Public Attorney's Office of the Republic of Serbia Soviet Union Main article: Procurator General of the USSR Spain Main article: Spanish Attorney General Vietnam Main article: Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam Lists of countries, states or territories with attorneys-general

See Justice ministry § Related articles and lists

References Citations
  1. ^ Collins English Dictionary
  2. ^ American Heritage Dictionary
  3. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  4. ^ a b Pinker, Steven (1999). Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (1st ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books. pp. 25, 28. ISBN 0-465-07269-0. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Attorneys Generals Protest Trump's Ban: Liberty Is Bedrock of Our Country". Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Former Attorneys Generals at Work". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "Office Of The Attorney General". Retrieved 4 July 2015. 
  8. ^ Tait, Maggie (12 May 2008). "Customary land excluded from Samoa bill". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 17 September 2011. 
  9. ^ " - Regeling - Wet op de rechterlijke organisatie - BWBR0001830". Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
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  • Barzilai, Gad; Nachmias, David (1997). The Attorney General: Authority and Responsibility. Principles, Institutions in Comparative Perspective, Analysis and Recommendations for Reforms. No. 6. Jerusalem: Israel Institute for Democracy. 
  • Barzilai, Gad (2010). The Attorney General and the State Prosecutor: Is Institutional Separation Warranted?. Jerusalem: Israel Institute for Democracy. 
External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to Attorneys General.
  • Quotations related to Attorney general at Wikiquote
Authority control
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Federalism on Trial: State Attorneys General and National Policymaking in Contemporary America
Federalism on Trial: State Attorneys General and National Policymaking in Contemporary America
"It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system," Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1932, "that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory, and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country." It is one of the features of federalism in our day, Paul Nolette counters, that these "laboratories of democracy," under the guidance of state attorneys general, are more apt to be dictating national policy than conducting contained experiments. In Federalism on Trial, Nolette presents the first broadscale examination of the increasingly nationalized political activism of state attorneys general. Focusing on coordinated state litigation as a form of national policymaking, his book challenges common assumptions about the contemporary nature of American federalism. In the tobacco litigation of the 1990s, a number of state attorneys general managed to reshape one of America's largest industries—all without the involvement of Congress or the executive branch. This instance of prosecution as a form of regulation is just one case among many in the larger story of American state development. Federalism on Trial shows how new social policy regimes of the 1960s and 1970s—adopting national objectives such as cleaner air, wider access to health care, and greater consumer protections—promoted both "adversarial legalism" and new forms of "cooperative federalism" that enhanced the powers and possibilities open to state attorneys general. Nolette traces this trend—as AGs took advantage of these new circumstances and opportunities—through case studies involving drug pricing, environmental policy, and health care reform. The result is the first full account—far-reaching and finely detailed—of how, rather than checking national power or creating productive dialogue between federal and state policymakers, the federalism exercised by state attorneys general frequently complicates national regulatory regimes and seeks both greater policy centralization and a more extensive reach of the American regulatory state.

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The People's Lawyer: The Life and Times of Frank J. Kelley, the Nation's Longest-Serving Attorney General (Painted Turtle)
The People's Lawyer: The Life and Times of Frank J. Kelley, the Nation's Longest-Serving Attorney General (Painted Turtle)
After several years as a small-town lawyer in Alpena, Frank J. Kelley was unexpectedly appointed Michigan's attorney general at the end of 1961. He never suspected that he would continue to serve until 1999, a national record. During that time, he worked with everyone from John and Bobby Kennedy to Bill Clinton and jump-started the careers of dozens of politicians and public figures, including U.S. Senator Carl Levin and Governors James Blanchard and Jennifer Granholm. In The People's Lawyer: The Life and Times of Frank J. Kelley, the Nation's Longest-Serving Attorney General, Kelley and co-author Jack Lessenberry reflect on the personal and professional journey of the so-called godfather of the Michigan Democratic Party during his incredible life and thirty-seven years in office.The People's Lawyer chronicles Kelley's early life as the son of second-generation Irish immigrants, whose father, Frank E. Kelley, started out as a Detroit saloon keeper and became a respected Democratic Party leader. Kelley tells of becoming the first of his family to go to college and law school, his early days as a lawyer in northern Michigan, and how he transformed the office of attorney general as an active crusader for the people. Among other accomplishments, Kelley describes establishing the first Office of Consumer Protection in the country, taking on Michigan's public utility companies, helping to end racially restrictive real estate practices, and helping to initiate the multibillion-dollar Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement in 1998. Kelley frames his work against a backdrop of the social and political upheaval of his times, including the 1967 Detroit riots, the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr. All those interested in American history and legal history will enjoy this highly readable, entertaining account of Kelley's life of public service.

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The Attorney (Paul Madriani Novels Book 5)
The Attorney (Paul Madriani Novels Book 5)
Paul Madriani takes on dual roles—defense attorney and sleuth—in this riveting legal thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of Blood Flag and The Secret Partner.“Legal thrillers don't get much better than this,” wrote Publishers Weekly in praise of The Judge. Kirkus Reviews hailed Undue Influence as “the courtroom novel of the year.” Now Martini delivers one of Paul Madriani’s most challenging cases in The Attorney: where a drug-addicted mother is pitted against her daughter’s newly rich grandfather in a contentious custody case that leads to criminal accusations—and ultimately murder...

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An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States   In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.   In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

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Advising the President: Attorney General Robert H. Jackson and Franklin D. Roosevelt
Advising the President: Attorney General Robert H. Jackson and Franklin D. Roosevelt
President George W. Bush authorized the use of torture. President Barack Obama directed the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen in Yemen. What President Donald Trump will do remains to be seen, but it is broadly understood that a president might test the limits of the law in extraordinary circumstances—and does so with advice from legal counsel. Advising the President is an exploration of this process, viewed through the experience of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Robert H. Jackson on the eve of World War II. The book directly and honestly grapples with the ethical problems inherent in advising a president on actions of doubtful legality; eschewing partisan politics, it presents a practical, realistic model for rendering—and judging the propriety of—such advice.Jackson, who would go on to be the chief US prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, was the US solicitor general from 1938–1940, US attorney general from 1940–1941, and Supreme Court justice from 1941–1954. William R. Casto uses his skill and insight as a legal historian to examine the legal arguments advanced by Roosevelt for controversial wartime policies such as illegal wiretapping and unlawful assistance to Great Britain, all of which were related to important issues of national security. Putting these episodes in political and legal context, Casto makes clear distinctions between what the adviser tells the president and what he tells others, including the public, and between advising the president and subsequently facilitating the president’s decision.Based upon the real-life experiences of a great attorney general advising a great president, Casto’s timely work presents a pragmatic yet ethically powerful approach to giving legal counsel to a president faced with momentous, controversial decisions.

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The General (Cherub Book 10)
The General (Cherub Book 10)
Teen special agents James and Lauren travel to the US in the tenth book of the CHERUB series, which Rick Riordan says has “plenty of action.”CHERUB agents are highly trained, extremely talented—and all under the age of seventeen. For official purposes, these agents do not exist. They are sent out on missions to spy on terrorists, hack into crucial documents, and gather intel on global threats—all without gadgets or weapons. It is an extremely dangerous job, but these agents have one crucial advantage: Adults never suspect that teens are spying on them. In The General, James and Lauren travel to America to help train the army. And while they’re there, they get into a little trouble in Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…right?

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Omitted Chapters Of History Disclosed In The Life And Papers Of Edmund Randolph - Governor Of Virginia - First Attorney-General United States - Secretary Of State
Omitted Chapters Of History Disclosed In The Life And Papers Of Edmund Randolph - Governor Of Virginia - First Attorney-General United States - Secretary Of State
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original artwork and text.

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