Rt Hon Victoria Prentis MP Attorney General

Biography

Victoria Prentis was appointed Attorney General on 25 October 2022. She was previously Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions from 7 September 2022 to 25 October 2022. Victoria was previously Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 16 September 2021 to 7 September 2022. Before that, she was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 14 February 2020 to 15 September 2021. She was elected as the Conservative MP for Banbury in May 2015.

Political career

Victoria served on the Justice Select Committee from 2015 to 2019, the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments from 2015 to 2017, and as a lay member on the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art from 2019.

Victoria also served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General from 2019 to 2020, to the Leader of the House of Commons from 2017 to 2019, and to Junior Ministers at the Department for Transport from 2016 to 2017.

Career outside politics

For seventeen years Victoria was a lawyer for the Treasury Solicitors’ Department and headed up the government’s Justice and Security team. Her responsibilities included providing advice on military, prisons and national security matters and representing the government in court.

Attorney General

The Attorney General is chief legal adviser to the Crown and has a number of independent public interest functions, as well as overseeing the Law Officers’ departments.

Responsibilities include:

Overall responsibility for the work of the Attorney General’s Office and superintended Departments (the Government Legal Department, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Fraud Office and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate)
Specific statutory duty to superintend the discharge of duties by the Director of Public Prosecutions (who heads the Crown Prosecution Service) and the Director of the Serious Fraud Office

Non-statutory general oversight of the Services Prosecuting Authority and government prosecuting departments

Government’s principal legal adviser dealing with (amongst others) questions of international law, human rights, devolution and COVID-19 issues
Public interest functions, for example, reference of unduly lenient sentences to the Court of Appeal, bringing proceedings for contempt of court and intervention in certain proceedings to protect charities

Questions of law arising on Bills and with issues of legal policy

Legal aspects of all major international and domestic litigation involving the Government, (including matters related to future relations with the EU)

The Attorney General also holds the separate office of Advocate General for Northern Ireland. The Advocate General for Scotland has specific responsibility for Scottish law matters.

Attorney General’s Office

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) provides legal advice and support to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General (the Law Officers) who give legal advice to government. The AGO helps the Law Officers perform other duties in the public interest, such as looking at sentences which may be too low.

 

 

 

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