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Attorney General

An Attorney General may be -- depending on the legal and constitutional system of the jurisdiction -- a government lawyer of a given nation (or state of the United States of America) with the prime responsibility, under the executive, for prosecutions, and possibility the capacity to give advisory opinions.

United States

In the United States the Attorney General is a member of the Cabinet. An attorney general may need to be distinguished from the Solicitor General (in Ireland, Chief State Solicitor[?]), the top lawyer with the responsibility of representing the government in court (in the United States, the United States Solicitor General represents the government before the Supreme Court) (see also United States Attorney General).

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In Ireland the Attorney General is the principal law officer of the state and legal adviser to the Government of Ireland. He is not a member of the Government though he attends cabinet meetings. He is appointed by the President of Ireland upon the nomination of the Taoiseach. Before 1974 all crimes and offences were prosecuted at the suit of the Attorney General. Since then indictable criminal offences have been prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to Government is a constituent department of the Office of Attoney General.

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