Crossing the Line?

The Attorney General and the Law/Politics Divide

January 12, 2022

This paper defends the legitimacy of the Attorney General’s decision to offer public remarks on judicial review and rejects the characterisation that they pushed impermissibly at the boundaries of her office. The paper outlines the role and responsibilities of the Attorney General’s office, noting the tension between the political and legal aspects of the role, which provides the critical contextual lens for assessing the propriety of the Attorney General’s recent remarks. While the Attorney General is an inescapably political actor, it is vital for their constitutional role that political partisanship be avoided in the determinations of what the public interest requires. The paper defends the position that advancing a good faith constitutional critique of important Supreme Court jurisprudence, and defending legislative intervention to correct them, is entirely consistent with the Attorney General’s role.

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