Attorney General of New South Wales

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Attorney General of New South Wales
Coat of Arms of New South Wales.svg
Incumbent
Gabrielle Upton

since 2 April 2015
Department of Justice
Style The Honourable
Nominator Premier of New South Wales
Appointer Governor of New South Wales
Inaugural holder Saxe Bannister
Formation 14 April 1824
Deputy Solicitor General
Website NSW Department of Justice

The Attorney General of New South Wales, in formal contexts also Attorney-General or Attorney General for New South Wales[1] and usually known simply as the Attorney General, is one of the Law Officers of the Crown. Along with the subordinate Solicitor General, Crown Advocate, and Crown Solicitor, the Attorney General serves as the chief legal and constitutional adviser of the Crown and its government in the Australian state of New South Wales.

The current Attorney General, since 2 April 2015, is Gabrielle Upton, MP, a representative of the Liberal Party of Australia (NSW Division).[2] The Attorney General administers their portfolio through the Department of Justice, which is headed by the Minister for Justice and Police, Troy Grant.[2]

History and function[edit]

Sir William Montagu Manning, Solicitor-General: 1844–1848; Chancellor of Sydney University: 1878–1895.
Sir William Charles Windeyer, Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales: 1881–1896; Chancellor of Sydney University: 1895–1898.
Sir Edmund Barton, Prime Minister of Australia: 1901–1903; Judge of the High Court of Australia: 1903–1920.
Sir Charles Wade, Premier of New South Wales: 1907–1910; Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales: 1920–1922.
Sir Edward McTiernan, Justice of the High Court of Australia: 1930–1976.
Sir Henry Manning, First leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council: 1941–1958.
Brad Hazzard MP, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure: 2011–2014.

The position of Attorney General has existed since 1824, well before the full establishment of the New South Wales Parliament (in 1856) but coinciding with the establishment of the New South Wales Legislative Council. From the beginning, the Attorney General has been the Crown's advisor and representative in legal matters. It was modelled after the office of the Attorney General for England and Wales. As such the Attorney General advises and represents the Crown and government departments in court. The person appointed to this role provides legal advice to the Government, acts as the representative of the public interest and resolves issues between government departments.

The Attorney General also has supervisory powers over the prosecution of criminal offences, but is not personally involved with prosecutions. Today prosecutions are carried out by the Public Prosecution Office and most legal advice to government departments is provided by the Government Legal Service, both under the supervision of the Attorney General. The Attorney General may appeal cases to the higher courts where, although the particular case is settled, there may be a point of law of public importance at issue. The Attorney General is responsible to Parliament for activities of the Department of Justice and has responsibility for the all state's courts and tribunals and the appointment of judges, magistrates and statutory officers in New South Wales.

List of Attorneys General[edit]

Ordinal Attorney General[3] Party affiliation Period
1 Saxe Bannister No party 14 April 1824 – 13 October 1826
2 William Moore (acting) 13 October 1826 – 31 July 1827
3 Alexander Baxter 1 August 1827 – 24 January 1831
William Moore (acting) 24 January 1831 – 24 June 1831
4 John Kinchela 25 June 1831 – 18 April 1836
5 John Plunkett 17 September 1836 – 5 June 1856
6 William Manning 6 June 1856 – 25 August 1856
7 James Martin 26 August 1856 – 2 October 1856
William Manning 3 October 1856 – 25 May 1857
8 John Darvall 26 May 1857 – 7 September 1857
James Martin 7 September 1857 – 8 November 1858
9 Alfred Lutwyche 15 November 1858 – 21 February 1859
10 Lyttleton Bayley 21 February 1859 – 26 October 1859
11 Edward Wise 27 October 1859 – 13 February 1860
William Manning 21 February 1860 – 8 March 1860
12 John Hargrave 2 April 1860 – 31 July 1863
John Darvall 1 August 1863 – 15 October 1863
James Martin 16 October 1863 – 2 February 1865
John Darvall 3 February 1865 – 20 June 1865
John Plunkett 25 August 1865 – 21 January 1866
James Martin 22 January 1866 – 26 October 1868
William Manning 21 October 1868 – 15 December 1870
James Martin 16 December 1870 – 13 May 1872
13 Edward Butler 15 May 1872 – 10 November 1873
14 Joseph Innes 20 November 1873 – 8 February 1875
15 William Bede Dalley 9 February 1875 – 21 March 1877
16 William Charles Windeyer 22 March 1877 – 16 August 1877
William Bede Dalley 17 August 1877 – 17 December 1877
17 William Foster 18 December 1877 – 20 December 1878
William Charles Windeyer 21 December 1878 – 10 August 1879
18 Robert Wisdom 13 August 1879 – 4 January 1883
William Bede Dalley 5 January 1883 – 6 October 1885
19 John Henry Want 7 October 1885 – 21 December 1885
20 George Bowen Simpson 22 December 1885 – 25 February 1886
John Henry Want 26 February 1886 – 19 January 1887
William Foster Free Trade 20 January 1887 – 18 May 1887
20 Bernhard Wise 27 May 1887 – 7 February 1888
George Bowen Simpson 10 February 1888 – 16 January 1889
21 Edmund Barton Protectionist 17 January 1889 – 7 March 1889
George Bowen Simpson Free Trade 8 March 1889 – 22 October 1891
Edmund Barton Protectionist 23 October 1891 – 14 December 1893
22 Charles Heydon 15 December 1893 – 2 August 1894
George Bowen Simpson Free Trade 3 August 1894 – 1 December 1894
John Henry Want 18 December 1894 – 18 April 1899
23 George Reid 19 April 1899 – 13 September 1899
Bernhard Wise Protectionist 14 September 1899 – 14 June 1904
24 James Gannon Progressive 15 June 1904 – 29 August 1904
25 Charles Wade Liberal Reform 29 August 1904 – 20 October 1910
26 William Holman Labor 21 October 1910 – 29 January 1914
27 David Hall 29 January 1914 – 15 November 1916
Nationalist 15 November 1916 – 23 July 1919
28 John Garland 23 July 1919 – 12 April 1920
29 Edward McTiernan Labor 12 April 1920 – 20 December 1921
30 Thomas Bavin Nationalist 20 December 1921
Edward McTiernan Labor 20 December 1921 – 13 April 1922
Thomas Bavin Nationalist 13 April 1922 – 17 June 1925
Edward McTiernan Labor 17 June 1925 – 26 May 1927
31 Andrew Lysaght 27 May 1927 – 18 October 1927
32 Francis Boyce Nationalist 18 October 1927 – 3 November 1930
Andrew Lysaght Labor 4 November 1930 – 16 June 1931
33 Joseph Lamaro 16 June 1931 – 15 October 1931
Labor (NSW) 15 October 1931 – 13 May 1932
34 Daniel Levy United Australia 16 May 1932 – 17 June 1932
35 Henry Manning 18 June 1932 – 16 May 1941
36 Clarrie Martin Labor 16 May 1941 – 23 February 1953
37 Bill Sheahan 23 February 1953 – 15 March 1956
38 Reg Downing 15 March 1956 – 13 May 1965
39 Ken McCaw Liberal 13 May 1965 – 3 January 1975
40 John Maddison 3 January 1975 – 14 May 1976
41 Frank Walker Labor 14 May 1976 – 1 February 1983
42 Paul Landa 1 February 1983 – 24 November 1984
43 Neville Wran 27 November 1984 – 12 December 1984
44 Terry Sheahan 12 December 1984 – 26 November 1987
45 Ron Mulock 26 November 1987 – 21 March 1988
46 John Dowd Liberal 25 March 1988 – 6 June 1991
47 Peter Collins 6 June 1991 – 3 July 1992
48 John Hannaford 3 July 1992 – 4 April 1995
49 Jeff Shaw Labor 4 April 1995 – 28 June 2000
50 Bob Debus 28 June 2000 – 2 April 2007
51 John Hatzistergos 2 April 2007 (2007-04-02) – 28 March 2011 (2011-03-28)
52 Greg Smith Liberal 3 April 2011 (2011-04-03) – 23 April 2014 (2014-04-23)
53 Brad Hazzard 23 April 2014 (2014-04-23) – 2 April 2015 (2015-04-02)
54 Gabrielle Upton 2 April 2015 (2015-04-02) – present

References[edit]

  1. ^ See, e.g. Leahy v Attorney-General for New South Wales and Makin v Attorney General for New South Wales
  2. ^ a b Hasham, Nicole (3 April 2015). "Premier Mike Baird's new NSW cabinet sworn in: Gladys Berejiklian and Gabrielle Upton first female Treasurer and Attorney-General". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  3. ^ O'Neill, Patrick. "New South Wales Attorneys-General 1823+". List of Australian Attorneys-General. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 

External links[edit]