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This Act is current to July 16, 2024
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Attorney General Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 22

2Duties and powers
3Compliance with standards established by Attorney General
4Relator action not required to protect use of title
6Annual report


1   (1) The Attorney General of British Columbia, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor by Commission under the Great Seal, must preside over the Ministry of Attorney General.

(2) The Attorney General is her Majesty's Attorney General for British Columbia, holds office during pleasure, and has the management and direction of the ministry.

Duties and powers

2   The Attorney General

(a) is the official legal adviser of the Lieutenant Governor and the legal member of the Executive Council,

(b) must see that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with law,

(c) must superintend all matters connected with the administration of justice in British Columbia that are not within the jurisdiction of the government of Canada,

(d) must advise on the legislative acts and proceedings of the Legislature and generally advise the government on all matters of law referred to the Attorney General by the government,

(e) is entrusted with the powers and charged with the duties which belong to the office of the Attorney General and Solicitor General of England by law or usage, so far as those powers and duties are applicable to British Columbia, and also with the powers and duties which, by the laws of Canada and of British Columbia to be administered and carried into effect by the government of British Columbia, belong to the office of the Attorney General and Solicitor General,

(f) must advise the heads of the ministries of the government on all matters of law connected with the ministries,

(g) is charged with the settlement of all instruments issued under the Great Seal of British Columbia,

(h) [Repealed 1997-7-17.]

(i) has the regulation and conduct of all litigation for or against the government or a ministry in respect of any subjects within the authority or jurisdiction of the legislature, and

(j) is charged generally with duties as may be assigned by law or by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to the Attorney General.

Compliance with standards established by Attorney General

3   (1) In this section, "public body" means

(a) a body that is, under an Act, an agent of the government,

(b) a board, commission, council or other body of persons, whether or not incorporated, all the members of which or all the members of the board of management or board of directors of which are appointed by an Act, an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council or a minister of the government, or

(c) a corporation, more than 50% of the shares or ownership of which is, directly or indirectly, vested in the government.

(2) A public body designated by the Attorney General must comply with all requirements and standards established by the Attorney General for that public body in respect of the following:

(a) retaining, contracting with or employing persons to provide legal services;

(b) reports on and audits of those legal services.

Relator action not required to protect use of title

4   (1) If an Act establishes an organization, whether or not it is incorporated, and requires a person to be a member of that organization before the person can use a title or designation reserved by the Act for the exclusive use of its members, the organization may, in its own name and without the consent of the Attorney General, seek injunctive relief against a person who is not a member in good standing but who is using the title or designation or otherwise representing that the person is a member in good standing.

(2) For the purposes of the Social Workers Act, the board of the British Columbia College of Social Workers has the powers referred to in subsection (1) to restrain an unlawful use of the designation reserved by that Act.


5   (1) A Deputy Attorney General and other officers, clerks and employees required for the conduct of the business of the ministry may be appointed under the Public Service Act.

(2) The Attorney General may, for this Act and any other Act under the administration of the Attorney General, enter into agreements with a person or body.

Annual report

6   The Attorney General must make a report to the Lieutenant Governor of the conduct of the ministry up to March 31 in each year, which must be presented to the Legislative Assembly.