Attorney General of Australia

From Academic Kids

The Attorney General of Australia is the chief law officer of the Crown and a member of the Federal Cabinet. In theory, he or she is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister, and serves at the Governor-General's pleasure. In practice the Attorney-General is a party politician and his or her tenure is determined by political factors.

The Attorney General is head of the Attorney-General's Department and is the minister responsible for the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. The Attorney also serves as a general legal advisor to the Cabinet, and has carriage of legislation dealing with copyright, human rights and a range of other subjects. The Attorney-General is nearly always a distinguished lawyer, and a number of Attorneys-General have gone on to judicial appointments.

List of Australian Attorneys General

Attorney-General Party Term
Alfred Deakin Protectionist 1901-1903
Senator James Drake Protectionist 1903-1904
Henry Higgins Labor* 1904
Senator Josiah Symon Free Trade 1904-1905
Isaac Isaacs Protectionist 1905-1906
Littleton Groom Protectionist 1906-1908
Billy Hughes Labor 1908-1909
Patrick Glynn Free Trade 1909-1910
Billy Hughes Labor 1910-1913
William Irvine Commonwealth Liberal 1913-1914
Billy Hughes Labor
Nationalist
1914-1917
1917-1921
Littleton Groom Nationalist 1921-1925
John Latham Nationalist 1925-1929
Frank Brennan Labor 1929-1932
John Latham United Australia Party 1932-1934
Robert Menzies United Australia Party 1934-1938
Billy Hughes United Australia Party 1938-1941
Dr H.V. Evatt Labor 1941-1949
Senator John Spicer Liberal 1949-1956
Senator Neil O'Sullivan Liberal 1956-1958
Sir Garfield Barwick Liberal 1958-1964
Billy Snedden Liberal 1964-1966
Nigel Bowen Liberal 1966-1969
Tom Hughes Liberal 1969-1971
Nigel Bowen Liberal 1971
Senator Ivor Greenwood Liberal 1971-1972
Gough Whitlam Labor 1972
Senator Lionel Murphy Labor 1972-1975
Senator Ivor Greenwood Liberal 1975
Robert Ellicott Liberal 1975-1977
Senator Peter Durack Liberal 1977-1983
Senator Gareth Evans Labor 1983-1984
Lionel Bowen Labor 1984-1990
Michael Duffy Labor 1990-1993
Duncan Kerr Labor 1993
Michael Lavarch Labor 1993-1996
Daryl Williams Liberal 1996-2003
Philip Ruddock Liberal 2003-
* Higgins served in the Labor cabinet of Chris Watson but was not a member of the Labor Party. He was a Protectionist, but agreed to serve because Labor had no suitably qualified lawyer in Parliament.
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