In 2019, following the recommendations of the Venice Commission, the Government divided the Office of the Attorney General, by separating the advisory and prosecutorial functions, hence creating the Office of State Advocate by virtue of Act XXV of 2019, which was crystallized into Chapter 603 of the Laws of Malta. This necessitated the promulgation of a new Article 91A of the Constitution.
The State Advocate acts as the principal advisor to Government in matters of law and legal opinion. He is tasked to act in the public interest and to safeguard the legality of State action. The State Advocate enjoys constitutional independence and is not subject to the scrutiny, direction or control of any other person or authority in the performance of the functions conferred.
The Office of the State Advocate also performs other duties and functions such as may be conferred by the Constitution or by other provisions of Maltese law.
The State Advocate also advises Parliamentary Committees, whilst assisting in any drafting required by said committees. Moreover, the State Advocate represents the Government, its Ministries, departments and entities in lawsuits before all legal fora, in Malta and abroad, as the nomenclature implies. Apart from acting as legal counsel to Government in lawsuits, the State Advocate also mirrors the physical embodiment of the State when an individual wishes to sue an organ of the State which does not have legal standing of its own.
Furthermore, the State Advocate acts as a contact point for the purpose of international affairs, such as the service of documents to, and from, counterpart agencies abroad, or the taking of evidence in Maltese or foreign courts.