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The Attorney-General

Attorney-General John Rau SC

John worked as a solicitor at law firm Duncan & Hannon and later at Johnston Withers & Associates where he was made a partner.

John was also an adviser to the Hawke Government from 1985-1988. He has been a barrister since 1997.

John is a former member of the ALP National Executive and has been a member of various Parliamentary Committees.

Photo of John Rau
Deputy Premier
Attorney-General
Minister for Justice Reform
Minister for Planning
Minister for Industrial Relations
Minister for Child Protection Reform
Minister for the Public Sector
Minister for Consumer and Business Services
Minister for the City of Adelaide
Member of the Executive Council


Role in the legal system

The role of the Attorney-General is an important element of our legal system. The Attorney-General is the state’s principal legal advisor to the government and is responsible for the administration of justice. The position has administrative responsibility for specific legislation and develops and implements policy in those areas. Examples of legislation falling under the Attorney-General’s portfolio include the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 and the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935.

The role also has a more general responsibility for South Australia’s legal system and laws, and for any legal action relevant to the state government. 

The Attorney-General is a member of cabinet. Due to the independence of the judicial system, the Attorney-General is unable to comment on decisions or matters presented in court. In addition, the Attorney-General is unable to provide legal advice to members of the public.

The Attorney-General often also holds other political portfolios. In addition to supporting the Attorney-General, the Attorney-General’s Department also supports the portfolios of Minister for Justice Reform, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Child Protection Reform and Minister for Consumer and Business Services.