The Crown Law Department is under the direction of the Attorney General of the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga.
The Attorney General is the First Law Officer for the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga. The Attorney General is not a Minister of the Crown, and will thus not be a member of Cabinet, Privy Council, or the Legislative Assembly of Tonga. The Attorney General however will still hold the same powers and privileges of a Minister of the Crown.
The change of the nature of the office of Attorney General from the previous appointment is an initiative by His Majesty to ensure that the Attorney General performs his legal functions independent of Government, as part of His Majesty’s vision for Constitutional Reform and Good Governance.
The Attorney General’s main responsibility is to direct the legal services provided by the Crown Law Department for the Government. These legal services include the following:
- Providing legal advice to His Majesty’s Cabinet, Government Ministries, and Departments
- Drafting legislation for Government to be submitted to the Legislative Assembly
- Conducting criminal prosecutions on behalf of the Crown (The Crown meaning his Majesty the King and the community at large)
- Representing the Crown in civil, land, and where appropriate, family litigation
- Performing law officers roles for the Judiciary and
- Facilitating community law initiatives promoting the rule of law and legal awareness
In addition to the Crown Law Department’s legal services, the Attorney General will also be responsible for the following:
- Supporting constitutional integrity and governance
- Ensuring legislative and statutory efficacy
- Facilitating Government’s lawful and responsible legal dealings
- Providing legal advice on law reform
- Executing statutory enforcement powers and
- Performing responsibilities in an independent and transparent manner
The Solicitor General is the deputy to the Attorney General, and is the Head of Department of the Crown Law Department. He is responsible for implementing the directions of the Attorney General, and the daily administration and operations of the Crown Law Department.