Office and Appointment
The office of the State Attorney-General of Sabah is a constitutional post. Together with the State Secretary, the office of the State Attorney-General is constituted under Article 11(1) of the State Constitution. Appointment to the office of the State Attorney-General is made by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri acting on the advice of the Chief Minister, who shall select for appointment a person whose name is included in a list submitted for the purpose by the State Public Service Commission. Before tendering his advice, the Chief Minister shall consult the Federal Government.
The duties and powers of the State Attorney-General are as follows:
- to advise the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, the Chief Minister, the State Cabinet and State Ministers and the State Government on such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character as may, from time to time, be referred or assigned to him by the Yang di-Petua Negeri, the Chief Minister, the State Cabinet, any State Minister and the State Government and to discharge such functions conferred upon him by or under the Federal Constitution, the state Constitution or any other written laws; and
- at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any civil proceedings by or against the State Government in accordance with the Government Proceedings Act 1956 and to exercise all such powers conferred upon him by the law in his capacity as the Chief Legal Officer of the State Government by whatever designation known, to wit, State Attorney, State Legal Advisor, State Attorney-General, Attorney or Attorney-General of the State of Sabah.
Rights and Privileges Under the Advocates Ordinance (Cap.2)
- The State Attorney-General is also the nominal head of the Bar of Sabah. All applications for admission to be advocates together with the documents in support thereof shall be delivered to the State Attorney-General (and the Sabah Law Association), who shall be entitled to be heard thereon.
- The State Attorney-General shall take precedence over all other advocates in Sabah and shall be entitled to the same rights and privileges as are enjoyed by the Attorney-General in the Courts in England.
Civil Proceedings by and against the State Government
Under Section 24 of the Government Proceedings Act 1956, in all civil proceedings by or against the State Government, the State Attorney-General is authorised to appear on behalf of the State Government and to make and do all appearances, acts, applications in respect of such proceedings on behalf of the State Government. The State Attorney-General is also empowered to authorise a legally qualified member of his Chambers to appear and act on behalf of the state Government in such proceedings. Moreover, under section 25 of the same Act, the State Attorney-General is likewise empowered to authorise a public officer to appear as advocate and act on behalf of the State Government in such proceedings.
Consultation in the Appointment of Notaries Public
Under section 3(3) of the Notaries Public Act 1959 (Act 115), the Federal Attorney-General is required to consult the State Attorney-General before appointing any Notary Public in Sabah.
Signification of Acts of Yang di-Petua Negeri
By virtue of Gazette Notification No.S110 made under section 9 of the Delegation of Powers Enactment 1963, the State Attorney-General has been designated by the Yang di-Petua Negeri as an officer empowered to signify under his hand the exercise by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of any powers and functions referred to in the said section conferred upon the Yang di-Pertua Negeri under any State Law.
State Pardons Board
The State Attorney-General sits as a member of the State Pardons Board as and when the Federal Attorney-General delegates his functions to him by instrument in writing.
Designation Under the Immigration Act 1959/63
By virtue of Gazette Notification No.S145 of 1963, the State Attorney-General has been designated by the Chief Minister under section 12 of the Immigration Act 1959/63 to issue directions to the Director of Immigration to deem any specified person as undesirable immigrant in Sabah.