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What exactly is an AG's Reference? Watch

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    Hi I'm just wondering if someone can help me.

    I keep running into cases that are cited as Attorney General's Reference (No. 874 1987) such as the AG v Jonathan Cape or AG v Jackson ... most of these are constitutional law cases, but I've seen them in the criminal law too.

    I don't udnerstand how a case such as Jackson can be the claimants vs the Attorney General of the UK?

    Oh and what exactly does the AG do?
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    The attorney general is the main legal advisor to the state.

    As to what they do, i'll try and explain via a sort of example. Basically, let's take a criminal law case (they're most common in crime, especially in sentencing law). Let's say the defendant is found guilty. If there was an error of law, the defendant is able to appeal to the Court of Appeal and have the decision quashed (or affirmed). Now let's say the defendant was found innocent. But there was an error of law in the judge's speech. There's no way the defendant is ever going to appeal something which worked in their favour. The attorney general, however, on behalf of the state may appeal the decision in the same way (except i don't think the defendant can then be sentenced on it). They often do it if they think a sentence given was too lenient but have done it for aspects of law as well.

    In constitutional law, sometimes the claimant challenges the state - in Jackson, i think the claimant challenged the government on how the Hunting Bill was passed. The attorney general can choose to appeal the decision and chose to do so there. Basically, the attorney general acts for the state and is in many ways, just a second party.
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    (Original post by gethsemane342)
    The attorney general is the main legal advisor to the state.

    As to what they do, i'll try and explain via a sort of example. Basically, let's take a criminal law case (they're most common in crime, especially in sentencing law). Let's say the defendant is found guilty. If there was an error of law, the defendant is able to appeal to the Court of Appeal and have the decision quashed (or affirmed). Now let's say the defendant was found innocent. But there was an error of law in the judge's speech. There's no way the defendant is ever going to appeal something which worked in their favour. The attorney general, however, on behalf of the state may appeal the decision in the same way (except i don't think the defendant can then be sentenced on it). They often do it if they think a sentence given was too lenient but have done it for aspects of law as well.

    In constitutional law, sometimes the claimant challenges the state - in Jackson, i think the claimant challenged the government on how the Hunting Bill was passed. The attorney general can choose to appeal the decision and chose to do so there. Basically, the attorney general acts for the state and is in many ways, just a second party.
    Fantastic, great example, thank you!
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    The Attorney-General basically refers the case to the Court of Appeal. Gethsemane has it nailed.
 
 
 
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