General Areas of Legal Practice
Bill of Rights litigation, advice on International Human Rights Obligations and Constitutional Conventions, Advice and legal representation on all issues arising out of the Constitution such as, interface between Constitution and other Acts of Parliament, the formation of multiparty Cabinet and Senate under 1997 Constitution and Presidential Reference under Section 123 of 1997 Constitution.
These arise in many forms, shapes and varying degrees of complexities from the exercise and control of Government power and public sector governance. The Litigation and the Legal Advisory Divisions of the Office provides advice and representation to the Government in all facets of administrative law, including representation in all judicial review, habeas corpus, extradition and relator proceedings.
The Litigation Division provides legal representation to the State in all civil proceedings by and against the State. Pursuant to Section 12 of the State Proceedings Act, all civil proceedings are instituted in the name of the Attorney General. In addition, criminal proceedings in specialized departmental areas, which are not carried out directly by Director of Public Prosecutions, are conducted by Legal Officers under the guidance and supervision of the Office e.g. Labour Laws, Rural Local Authority Compliance Laws, Occupational Health & Safety prosecutions etc.;
Contract/Commercial Sector of the State
Invariably, all contracts from their inception to finalization are prepared out under strict supervision and advice of the State Law Office to ensure unnecessary exposure to liability.
Native Land, Title and Indigenous Issues
This is a burgeoning area of law. Currently, a mammoth task is being undertaken by the office for the formulation and drafting of legislation in areas of land, fishing and other resource rights of indigenous resource owners.
Industrial Relations and Employment
Due to very vibrant industrial relations in the work environment, both public and private sector, and its continuing economic impact on the State all industrial relations matters are handled in very close liaison with the Office. This area continues and will continue to be a very time consuming field of law requiring the involvement of the State at all times on very short notices at odd hours of the day or week. The Office was closely involved in the preparation of the Employment Relations Bill, which is currently before the Parliament.
International Law and Treaty Issues
As a developing country, and being signatory to many treaties and conventions, a team is required on full time basis to monitor our treaty obligations, as well as considering the need to reform our domestic laws to comply with development of international law and obligations. Vast resources are also needed to continue the progress of all foreign relations, which is vital at various levels such as regional, commonwealth or international;
Parliamentary Procedure and Standing Orders
On regular basis, the Office, through the Parliamentary Counsel, provides legal advice on Parliamentary procedure and Standing Orders, and is also required to be involved in considering progressive amendments to these procedures and standing orders.