Roles & Function
The Office of the Solicitor-General is a ‘one-stop shop’ for all the legal needs of the Government of the Somaliland, its agencies and Statutory Bodies including government owned and controlled Commercial Bodies.
The Office of the Solicitor General has the following Roles and Functions:
- Civil Litigation and Representation
The Office of the Solicitor General acts as the legal representative of the Government of the Somaliland, its agencies and instrumentalities including government owned and controlled corporations and their subsidiaries, officials and agents in any proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer.
The office represents the Government in the Court and tribunals in all civil actions in which the Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity is a party. Hence it is the responsibility of the Solicitor General to initiate and conduct civil action on behalf of the government and also defends the government in all civil matters initiated against it.
- Legislative Drafting
Legislative drafting constitutes a vital component of the work of the Solicitor General’s office. The Office of the Solicitor General is the government institution responsible for the government in Legislative and legal drafting Services. The office conducts drafting original bills, amendment bills and subsidiary pieces of legislation with a view to giving effect to the objectives of the Government, in terms of the constitutional, political, social and economic goals and aspirations of the Government. This includes:
- Government Bills to be introduced into Parliament – these will become Acts of Parliament if passed by Parliament.
- Regulations to be made by a Minister, or in some cases, by a body authorized by an Act of Parliament to make regulations.
- Orders by a Minister.
- Certain types of notices in the Government Gazette that have legislative implications.
In addition, the office provides advice to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government on proposed legislation by assisting development of the legislative proposal.
The Solicitor-General also works in close collaboration with the Executive Counsel by Attending sittings of the Executive Counsel when bills are being presented, to render legal assistance to the Counsel and incorporate amendments made in the bills during the sittings and Prepare Cabinet memoranda for bills to be laid before the Parliament.
- Legal adviser to the Government
The Solicitor-General Office is the Principal Legal Advisor to Government and as chief law officer; the Solicitor General has a special responsibility to be the guardian of that most elusive concept – the rule of law. It is the rule of law that protects individuals, and society as a whole, from arbitrary measures and safeguards personal liberties. The role of chief law officer might be referred to as the Solicitor General’s overall responsibility as the legal advisor to the Cabinet, The Solicitor General has a special role to play in advising Cabinet to ensure the rule of law is maintained and that Cabinet actions are legally and constitutionally valid.
The Solicitor-General Office is the principal legal adviser (the senior law officer) to the government and furnishes legal advice to the heads of ministries and agencies of Government upon all matters of law connected with such ministries and agencies in the course of government decision making. Therefore, The Solicitor-General renders his advice to the Government on legal matters, and performs other legal duties referred or assigned to him by the President or the Cabinet.