Conduct of Crown Legal Business

The Cabinet Directions for the Conduct of Crown Legal Business 2012 set out parameters for the management and delivery of legal services in the public sector. These instructions recognise the special nature of the Crown's requirement for legal services which safeguard its interests. They stipulate those services that are to be provided by the Solicitor-General, Crown Law Office and Crown Solicitors and those that may be referred to other lawyers. In practice, however, the Crown Law Office relies upon the continued development of the working relationships it has established with its client departments and Ministries and its ability to provide the service they require.

The achievement of a responsive and quality driven service for clients can place considerable demands on the Office and its staff. The diversity and complexity of issues being raised, in a legal and political context, challenges the Office to maintain its independence from the pressures faced by policy makers and administrators, yet at the same time remain aware of the Attorney-General's responsibility to consider the public interest. These two aspects of the Crown Law Office functions, of advising the Attorney-General in the public interest and advising government through its departments, have the potential to conflict, and the Office works hard to manage the tension responsibly and sensitively.