The role of the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office

The State reserves the right to seek services from the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office (VGSO). The VGSO may be engaged directly or may be required to provide an estimate prior to being engaged to provide legal advice consistent with government policy concerning the panel arrangements.

The State reserves the right to direct certain services to the VGSO where it determines that it is in the interests of the State to do so.

The State has currently reserved certain ‘VGSO exclusive services’ to be provided, where required, solely by the VGSO. These may be varied from time to time.

VGSO exclusive services

1. All matters relating to any one or more of the following:

  • the Royal Prerogative of Mercy
  • matters where there is no obvious contradictor
  • providing legal services to Royal Commissions and Boards of Inquiry (subject to Cabinet approval)
  • representation of judicial officers (except for personal injuries matters).

2. All matters involving the following, other than where those issues arise in a way which is incidental, self-evident or requires the application of well-settled precedent:

  • the State’s constitutional powers and privileges and the Commonwealth Constitution
  • the Governor 
  • the relationship between the State and other government, including drafting and settling intergovernmental agreements
  • charities and charitable trusts, relator actions and vexatious litigants
  • administrative challenges to the exercise of a discretion by a minister
  • representation for Ministers and Crown employees (except for personal injuries matters)
  • allegations by the State of contempt of court, except where DPP is handling the matter
  • native title
  • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
  • Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

3. All matters in which the unusual nature of the case or the best interests of the State require central and authoritative legal management, for example, when such management is required in relation to:

  • resolution of disputes between departments or agencies of the State
  • composition, jurisdiction and rules of quasi-judicial bodies
  • litigation involving more than one department
  • the Equal Opportunity Act 1995
  • administrative challenges to the exercise of a discretion by a department head or staff member
  • Crown copyright
  • interpretation of legislation,

Unless there has been a specific contrary decision by the minister after consultation with the Attorney General.