Difference Between Attorney General & Solicitor General

Attorney General vs Solicitor General

Many people have heard the terms Attorney General and Solicitor General but may not know the difference between the two. While both are important figures in the legal sphere, they have different roles and responsibilities. The Attorney General is more widely known, but both positions are crucial in their respective jurisdictions. In this article, we will explore the definitions, roles, and differences between an Attorney General and a Solicitor General.

Who is an Attorney General?

An Attorney General is defined as the chief law officer of a state or government. In simpler terms, the Attorney General is the highest-ranking lawyer or attorney in a country and represents the government in legal actions. However, the role and function of an Attorney General may vary from country to country. In common law jurisdictions, the Attorney General is recognized as the chief legal adviser to the executive branch of the government, which includes the president, government agencies, departments, and other executive offices. In civil law jurisdictions, the office of the Attorney General is referred to as either a ‘Procurator’ or ‘Advocate General,’ although their role is different from that of an Attorney General.

Who is a Solicitor General?

The role of a Solicitor General also varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In most common law jurisdictions, the Solicitor General is considered the deputy of the Attorney General or the Assistant to the Attorney General. In jurisdictions such as the United States and the United Kingdom, the Solicitor General is the second high-ranking law officer in the country, or the second-in-command after the Attorney General. The Solicitor General represents the government or state in legal actions and is responsible for arguing cases on behalf of the state in court. In the United States, the Solicitor General is tasked with deciding which cases must be appealed by the government, primarily focusing on appeals to the Supreme Court.

Key Takeaways

  • The Attorney General is the chief law officer of the state, while the Solicitor General is the Deputy Law officer.
  • Legal actions against the state, particularly federal criminal cases, are brought in the name of the Attorney General, but it is often the Solicitor General who represents the state before the court.
  • The Attorney General serves as the legal adviser to the government and other executive agencies, while the Solicitor General has the additional task of deciding which cases must be appealed by the government, primarily focusing on appeals to the Supreme Court.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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