The Attorney-General has certain exclusive powers due to his position. He can discontinue ongoing legal proceedings. He also has the power to determine the court in which a case will be judged. Most importantly, he is the main legal advisor to the government. The AG is assisted by the Solicitor General who acts with the power of the AG in his absence. The Solicitor General is also responsible for civil matters, interviews, intakes, transfers, postings and promotions of officers and any other duties directed by the AG. Then there are the Deputy Public Prosecutors who are also called DPPs. They attend court on behalf of the AG’s Chambers. The AG’s Chambers is responsible for advising the government on legal matters. Within the chambers are many divisions that are separated according to functions. There is the research, drafting, international affairs, advisory, management, law reform, civil and prosecution divisions.
Each division serves a different job function and is led by a Head of Division and the Deputy Heads, sometimes also called Deputy Directors. Providing advice spans all areas of governance. Immigration, customs, securities and the police department are just some of the areas that require extensive legal advice. The advice largely encompasses providing prosecution instructions to all enforcement agencies for criminal cases. For international affairs, the AG’s Chambers advises on matters related to international law and national policies. The AG’s Chambers is also responsible for drafting all legislation for the federal government. This is done by the drafting division. It revises laws and identifies areas that need reforms. This is not just for national level laws but also the drafting of various legal matters in support of Malaysia’s international treaties. The advisory division helps in contract negotiation and contract drafting in large projects such as company privatisations and ICT development projects. Advising is not the only thing. This division also provides training sessions for government and non government agencies.
More commonly, the AG’s Chambers, specifically the prosecution division, prosecutes and sues on behalf of the government in criminal and civil cases respectively. Therefore, the job scope is wide and varied. Some of the cases include high profile, sensitive cases and some with public interest. Besides prosecuting, they also defend the government in civil suits. Within the civil division there are many subdivisions designed to tackle the various aspects such as arbitration and constitutional matters. The management division takes care of more legal administrative work. They act as Secretariat to various committees within the AG’s Chambers such as the financial and account management committee, human resource development panel, promotional board and the training committee.