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Attorney-General's Chambers

About the AGC

About the AGC

Meet the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General

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Marlene Malahoo Forte, QC, MP, JP

Attorney-General of Jamaica

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Marlene Aldred

Solicitor-General of Jamaica

Roles and functions of the Attorney-General

As the Principal Law Office of the Crown, the Attorney-General’s Chambers is responsible for providing legal advice and representation on behalf of all Ministries and Departments of Government.  The Attorney-General or his/her appointee appears for the Crown in all civil cases which must be instituted against the Attorney-General, and pursuant to the Crown Proceedings Act his/her  office also institutes civil proceedings on behalf of the Crown.

The Attorney-General carries out numerous miscellaneous functions and powers: he/she may initiate or intervene in certain legal proceedings of a public nature, for example:-

  1. Those relating to the administration of charities;
  2. Under the Patent law his/her certificate that an application for Letters Patent is legally in order is a prerequisite of the grant;
  3. To prevent the continuation of a public nuisance;
  4. He/She is also empowered to institute enquires in connection with petitions for the grant or revocation of patents, and may make orders as to who should bear the costs;
  1. He/She may on his own initiative, or on the application of a third party or relator, institute proceedings in respect of statutory duties;
  2. He/She may take action to restrain a corporation from exceeding its statutory powers;
  3. He/She may enforce public rights in an undefined residue of cases.
  4. He/She may make an application pursuant to the Vexatious Actions Act in relation to any person who habitually and persistently and without any reasonable grounds institutes vexatious proceedings.

No law can come into force without receiving the signature of the Governor General, but the Attorney-General must first certify it.

The overall nature and responsibilities of the office of Attorney-General require him/she to protect the public interest as parens patriae (parent of his/her country).

Even though the post of the Attorney-General is a political one, it is also a professional post, and he/she should not be influenced by political considerations in giving legal opinions.

Within the legal profession he/she is the head of the Bar.  It should be noted that he/she takes precedence at the Bar in matters before the court because he/she is the first law officer,  he/she must set an example for the legal profession to follow, and he/she is, by statute, a member of the General Legal Council.  The Attorney-General need not be a Minister of Government, or a Member of Parliament.  A private person may be appointed.

The office of the Solicitor-General

The office of the Solicitor-General was created in 1939 by the Solicitor-General’s Act, which empowers the Solicitor-General, subject always to the directions of the Attorney-General, to perform any of the duties and exercise any of the powers of the Attorney-General. The Solicitor-General is a civil servant and the administrative head of the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Disclaimer

The material on this website is provided for general information only, and on the understanding that the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Government of Jamaica are not providing professional advice on a particular matter. This website may from time to time contain information that is intended to simplify the law for ease of comprehension. In addition, errors or omissions can occur in the preparation of web pages. The Government of Jamaica and the Attorney General’s Chambers make no representation or warranty, expressed or implied and accept no legal liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the legal information posted on this website. Before relying on the material users should independently verify its accuracy, completeness, relevance for their purposes and that it is up-to-date. The information obtained on this website is not, or intended to be, legal advice. Visitors of the website should consult an attorney for advice regarding their individual situations.