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Chapter 3 - About the portfolio

About the portfolio

The Attorney-General’s portfolio

The Attorney-General’s Department leads a portfolio that provides expert advice and services on a range of law and justice issues to the Attorney-General, the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice and the Australian Government.

The portfolio encompasses a diverse range of responsibilities as listed below. By providing high quality and well-coordinated advice, the Attorney-General’s Department and the portfolio contribute cooperatively to the Government’s long-term reform agenda for a stronger, fairer and more secure Australia.

Portfolio ministers

Attorney-General

The Hon Robert McClelland MP

The Hon Robert McClelland MP

Responsibilities
  • Administrative law
  • Appointments
  • Alternative dispute resolution
  • Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
  • Bankruptcy law
  • Border Protection Sub-Committee of Cabinet
  • Copyright
  • Community legal services
  • Constitutional issues
  • Courts, tribunals and the judiciary
  • Cyber security
  • Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Electronic transactions regulation
  • Emergency Management Australia
  • Evidence Act
  • Family law, including marriage celebrants
  • Human rights
  • Identity security
  • Indigenous justice
  • Indigenous legal aid
  • Insolvency Trustee Service Australia
  • Intercountry adoption
  • International law
  • International Criminal Court
  • Law reform
  • Legal aid
  • Legal profession and legal services coordination
  • Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management – Emergency Management
  • National security and counter-terrorism
  • National Security Hotline
  • Native title
  • Office of Parliamentary Counsel
  • Organised crime
  • Portfolio Budget
  • Pro bono legal assistance
  • Protection of critical infrastructure and national information infrastructure
  • Protective security coordination
  • Royal Commissions
  • Standing Committee of Attorneys-General
  • Telecommunications interception
  • Tracking and listening devices

Minister for Home Affairs and Justice

The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP[1]

Responsibilities
  • Airport physical security (to the extent that it is not the responsibility of the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport)
  • Anti-money laundering strategy
  • Australian Crime Commission
  • Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
  • Australian Federal Police, including Air Security Officers
  • Australian Institute of Criminology
  • Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)
  • Border protection
  • Border Protection Sub-Committee of Cabinet
  • Classification
  • Conference of Corrective Services Ministers
  • Criminal law
  • Criminology
  • Crime prevention
  • CrimTrac
  • Cybercrime
  • Drugs strategy
  • Extradition (to the extent that it is not concerned with terrorism, which is the responsibility of the Attorney-General)
  • Federal prisoners
  • Firearms
  • Forensics
  • Fraud policy
  • Intergovernmental Committee on the Australian Crime Commission
  • International Transfer of Prisoners Scheme
  • Juvenile diversion program
  • Ministerial Council on Drugs Strategy
  • Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management – Police
  • Mutual assistance (to the extent that it is not concerned with terrorism, which is the responsibility of the Attorney-General)
  • Police and police liaison
  • Proceeds of crime
  • Protective security
  • Remission of fines
  • Witness protection

Portfolio structure

The Attorney-General’s Department leads the portfolio, which incorporates the 21 statutory and
non-statutory bodies listed below. The portfolio includes the statutory office of the Solicitor-General, who is the Second Law Officer of the Commonwealth (the Attorney-General is the First Law Officer). The annual reporting requirements and arrangements for those portfolio elements which are not covered by this report are set out in Appendix 1.

The Attorney-General’s Department is the central policy and coordinating element of the portfolio, providing leadership on issues critical to effective delivery of the portfolio’s responsibilities.

Building on the 2009–10 organisational restructure, the Department has implemented a coordinated, whole-of-portfolio approach to the key priorities of the ministers and Government, and provides strategic leadership of the portfolio’s Budget process.

Portfolio agencies

Administrative Appeals Tribunal www.aat.gov.au

Australian Crime Commission www.crimecommission.gov.au

Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity www.aclei.gov.au

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service www.customs.gov.au

Australian Federal Police www.afp.gov.au

Australian Government Solicitor www.ags.gov.au

Australian Human Rights Commission www.humanrights.gov.au

Australian Institute of Criminology www.aic.gov.au

Australian Law Reform Commission www.alrc.gov.au

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation www.asio.gov.au

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) www.austrac.gov.au

Criminology Research Council www.criminologyresearchcouncil.gov.au

CrimTrac www.crimtrac.gov.au

Family Court of Australia www.familycourt.gov.au

Federal Court of Australia www.fedcourt.gov.au

Federal Magistrates Court of Australia www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au

High Court of Australia www.hcourt.gov.au

Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia www.itsa.gov.au

National Native Title Tribunal www.nntt.gov.au

Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions www.cdpp.gov.au

Office of Parliamentary Counsel www.opc.gov.au