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attorney-General


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The principal law officer of the Crown. The Attorney General is usually a Member of Parliament of the ruling party and holds ministerial office, although he is not normally a member of the Cabinet. He is the chief legal adviser of the government, answers questions relating to legal matters in the House of Commons, and is politically responsible for the Crown Prosecution Service, Director of Public Prosecutions, Treasury Solicitor, and Serious Fraud Office. He is the leader of the English Bar and presides at its general meetings. The consent of the Attorney General is required for bringing certain criminal actions, principally ones relating to offences against the state and public order and corruption. The Attorney General sometimes appears in court as an advocate in cases of exceptional public interest, but he is not now allowed to engage in private practice. He has the right to terminate any criminal proceedings by entering a * nolle prosequi. See also Solicitor General.

Subjects: Law.


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