|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Office of the Crown Solicitor was established in 1841 with the appointment of James Montgomery as Crown Solicitor. The Office of the Crown Solicitor has been broadly responsible for the provision of legal advice and the conduct of criminal and civil proceedings on behalf of the Victorian Government, its departments and instrumentalities.
Functions of the Crown Solicitor
By 1858 two major branches had formed within the Office of the Crown Solicitor to separately administer civil and criminal proceedings. The Criminal Law Branch was responsible for the conduct of criminal proceedings, including the preparation of documents required for criminal trials and the briefing of the Crown Prosecutors. In 1983 all functions of this branch were transferred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (VA 2550). The Common Law Branch was responsible for the conduct of civil litigation.
Other branches were subsequently formed within the Office. The Conveyancing Branch assumed responsibility for the conduct of transactions relating to land and other property on behalf of other government departments such as Railways, Public Works and Education. The Workers Compensation and Motor Car Branch were formed to deal with workers compensation and motor car proceedings on behalf of government agencies.
From 1 March 1987 the Office of the Crown Solicitor became known as the Office of the Victorian Government Solicitor following an amendment to Schedule Two of the Public Service Act 1974. The Victorian Government Solicitor acts as solicitor to the Executive Government, ministers, government departments and instrumentalities and the Office provides legal services which range from the provision of legal advice, drafting and conveyancing services to the conduct of summary prosecutions and civil litigation.
Location of Records
For records of the Office of the Crown Solicitor relating to criminal proceedings see also List of Holdings 2nd edition, 1985, section 3.4.2.