Attorney-General's Department (Australia)
The Australian Attorney-General's Department is a department of the Government of Australia charged with the responsibility to serve the people of Australia by providing essential expert support to the Government in the maintenance and improvement of Australia's system of law and justice. It is also the central policy and co-coordinating element of the department and its associated agencies.
The Attorney-General's Department is one of seven original Commonwealth Departments of state, commencing with the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901. It is one of only three departments, along with Defence and Treasury, to have operated continuously under their original name and charter since Federation.
The department is organised into three groups, each headed by a Deputy Secretary. These Deputy Secretaries report to the Secretary who co-ordinates and devises departmental structure and policy.
These three groups are:
- Civil Justice and Legal Services
- National Security and Criminal Justice
- Strategic Policy and Coordination
Mission and outcomes
The mission of the department is "achieving a just and secure society". In pursuing this mission, the department works towards achieving *A just and secure society through the maintenance and improvement of Australia’s law and justice framework and its national security and emergency management system".
- Law and justice including -
- Legal services to the Commonwealth
- Criminal law and law enforcement
- National security, protective security policy and co-ordination
- Protective services at Commonwealth establishments and diplomatic and consular premises in Australia
- Commonwealth emergency management
- Natural disaster relief, recovery and mitigation policy and financial assistance including payments to the States and Territories and the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
- Administrative support for Royal Commissions and certain other inquiries
- Critical infrastructure protection co-ordination
- Freedom of Information
- Cultural affairs, including movable cultural heritage and support for the arts
- Management of government records
The department does not provide legal advice to members of the public. While legislative drafting is listed in the Administrative Arrangements Order, the function was taken over by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in July 2012.
- CA 5: Attorney-General's Department, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 25 October 2013
- Australian Government. "Budget Paper No. 1". 2013-14 Commonwealth Budget. Statement 6: Expenses and Net Capital Investment: Australian Government. Archived from the original on 24 September 2013.
- Cornall, Robert (2 November 2007), Redefining the role of Government lawyers in today's Public Service – ACLA National Conference 2007, archived from the original on 8 June 2011
- "Contact us". Attorney-General's Department. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- "Administrative Arrangements Order" (PDF). Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.