In this podcast, RoLIA CEO, Kate Burns, interviews the Shadow Attorney General for NSW, the Hon Paul Gerard Lynch, about how he sees the role and any inherent tensions. You can listen to the podcast below.
The “First Law Officer” in each state, territory and the federal government is the Attorney-General who has the role of principal legal advisor to the government and is responsible for the administration of justice. That role dates back to thirteenth century England, evolving over the years, to protect, preserve and promote the rule of law.
Traditionally this means that the Attorney-General should be “aloof” from politics, so he or she can give advice independent advice. However, since the Attorney-General is also an elected politician, this can create tensions in the role. In addition, pairing the role of the federal Attorney-General with oversight of national security and absorbing the position of Attorney General into the NSW Department of Police and Justice jeopardises the “independent aloofness” of the Attorney General.