Crown Solicitor's Office
The Crown Solicitor is the solicitor for the State of Queensland and has the particular role of providing legal advice to the Attorney-General, especially in relation to the Attorney’s role as the First Law Officer. The Crown Solicitor has statutory functions of accepting service in legal proceedings commenced against the State, in accordance with the Crown Proceedings Act 1980, and making applications to the Supreme Court under the Vexatious Proceedings Act 2005.
The Crown Solicitor is the head of the Crown Law Office which operates much like a private law firm, funded by the fees paid for its legal services by clients comprised of Queensland Government departments, agencies and instrumentalities.
As the head of the Crown Law office, the Crown Solicitor is responsible for setting the professional and ethical standards of the office and for resolving any real or potential conflicts of interest arising from any matters handled by the office. The Crown Solicitor is the solicitor on the record in all litigation conducted by Crown Law on behalf of its clients.
The Queensland Government has published Model Litigant Principles which apply to all Government agencies in the conduct of civil litigation. The Crown Solicitor has the role of ensuring those principles are adhered to in civil proceedings in which the Crown is involved.
The Crown Solicitor has prepared and conducted numerous workshops and seminars on judicial review, FOI and procedural fairness. He has published articles and papers which he presented in various legal and academic settings, including on:
- ‘Parliamentary privilege’ – Griffith University Constitutional Law Interest Group
- ‘Public interest and freedom of information’ – Second National FOI Conference
- ‘Administrative law and Government Owned corporations’ – Crown Law Seminar
- ‘Freedom of Information Act’ – Queensland Law Society
- ‘The demise of the cross vesting scheme’ – Queensland Law Society
- ‘Vexatious Litigants Act’ – Crown Law Seminar.
The Crown Solicitor has extensive expertise in complex and specialised areas of law with particular impact on government departments and agencies, including:
- Commonwealth constitutional law
- Federal/state cooperative schemes
- constitutional litigation and s. 78B notices
- intergovernmental legal relationships
- inconsistency of Commonwealth and state laws
- scope of Commonwealth powers.
- State constitutional law
- state constitution and conventions
- vexatious litigants
- indemnities for Crown employees
- parliamentary procedures.
- Administrative law
- judicial review
- Freedom of Information (FOI).
- Commissions of Inquiry, such as advising on terms of reference and suitable mechanisms to undertake inquiries.