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In recent years, controversy has surrounded the role of top government lawyers in the United States and the United Kingdom. Allegations of bad lawyering and bad ethics in public office over the 'torture memos' in the United States and the political pressure placed on the Attorney-General in the United Kingdom to approve the legality of the Iraq war, have seen these relatively obscure group of government lawyers thrust into the public debate. Unlike its Anglo-American contemporaries, Australia's chief legal adviser, the Solicitor-General, has remained largely out of the public eye.
This collection provides a rare and overdue insight into a fundamental public institution in all Australian jurisdictions. It provides a historical, theoretical, practical and comparative perspective of this little known, but vitally important, office at a time when the transparency and accountability of government has taken on an increased significance. Of interest to anyone interested in the integrity of government, the book will be particularly useful to government, political parties and the academy. It will also be a valuable reference work to those working towards a redefinition of the role of top government legal advisors.