The Office of the Advocate General is a constitutional office created under Article 140 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and is headed by an Advocate General. A person who is competent to be appointed as a Judge of the High Court is appointed Advocate General for the province. He is the principal law officer of the province. The Advocate General’s office represents, defends and protects the interests of the provincial government, and provides invaluable legal guidance to the provincial government in matters of policy formulation and execution of its decisions. He is assisted by a team of law officers comprising of Additional Advocates General, Assistant Advocates General & Advocates-on-Record who have been appointed to attend to litigation involving the provincial government and its requisite departments. 66 law officers are currently working under the guidance and supervision of the Advocate General. The Advocate General has also been endowed with all administrative and financial powers. Also see Code of Conduct.
Rules and orders pertaining to the management of the legal affairs of the Government of Punjab can be found in the Punjab Law Department Manual of 1938. The Office of the Advocate General has been declared a “Special Institution”, which has its own rules of business. The Punjab Law Department Manual of 1938, with such adaptations as may be necessary, applies to an Additional Advocate General or an Assistant Advocate General.
The Advocate General and other law officers are under the administrative control of the Department of Law and Parliamentary Affairs. Law officers are prohibited from taking any case against the government or give advice against the government. Even if a partner of a law officer’s firm has appeared or acted against the government, the same should be brought to the notice of the government. Law officers are strictly not allowed to engage in politics and elections. A law officer cannot hold any other post in the provincial government and cannot continue as director of any company without the sanction of the provincial government.
It is the duty of the Advocate General to offer advice to other law officers if consulted. The Advocate General shall also advise the provincial government upon such legal matters including legislative projects which are referred to him by the government. The Advocate General shall represent the government in civil, original, appellate or other matters before the Lahore High Court or any other High Court or the Supreme Court where the provincial government is a party. It is the duty of the Advocate General to distribute the cases involving provincial government’s work in the High Court between various law officers.