Organic Law of the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic
Decree No. 2.173 was published in Official Gazette No. 6.210 Extraordinary of December 30, 2015. Through said Decree, the President of the Republic issued the Decree with the Status, Value, and Force of Organic Law of the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic (the “Decree-Law”), the purpose of which is to establish the rules relating to the competence, organization, and operation of the Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”), its actions in the defense of the rights, property, and patrimonial interests of the Republic nationally and internationally, and in the exercise of its consulting function, as well as the general rules on administrative proceedings preceding the lawsuits against the Republic.
Following are the most significant changes contained in the Decree-Law in relation to the Law formerly governing this matter:
1. The competence of the AGO now includes (i) representation and judicial and extrajudicial defense of the rights and patrimonial interests of the Republic nationally and internationally and (ii) participation in the negotiations of the international agreements or treaties to be executed by the Republic.
2. As to the specific competence over matters related to contracts, the AGO is in charge of issuing its opinion not only about the contracts of national public interest, but also about any agreement that directly or indirectly affects the patrimonial interests of the Republic.
3. A Chapter on international matters is included. Said Chapter provides that (i) the AGO, in the exercise of its competence over judicial and extrajudicial defense of the property, rights, and patrimonial interests of the Republic, in the national territory and outside the same, may act in defense of the rights of public servants affected by acts of interference on the part of foreign agencies, States, authorities, and powers intended to undermine the sovereignty and self-determination of citizens or to intervene in internal affairs of the Republic. The timing of said representation will be consulted with the ministry with competence over foreign affairs and authorized by the President of the Republic; (ii) the AGO, in coordination with the ministry with competence over foreign affairs, may establish permanent or temporary offices outside the territory of the Republic of Venezuela or designate representatives abroad, with the purpose of defending the rights, property, and patrimonial interests of the Republic; and (iii) the AGO, with the prior authorization of the National Executive and in compliance with the regulations of the national authority for monetary and foreign exchange matters, may create a fund in foreign currency financed under its budget, in order to defray the costs and expenses that are necessary for the judicial and extrajudicial defense of the property, rights, and patrimonial interests of the Republic abroad.
4. The AGO may issue its rules on budgetary modifications in accordance with the legislation in force.
5. The requirements for being designated a legal consultant are established. They are: (i) to be a Venezuelan, older than 25 years old, and (ii) having practiced law for at least 5 years.
6. A regime of absences of the Attorney General of the Republic is included. They are categorized as absolute absences (death, resignation from office, removal, and definitive cessation of the exercise of his functions for any reason whatsoever) and temporary absences (absence from office by virtue of license, use of the right to vacations, suspension declared in a criminal proceeding, and temporary absence from office for any reason whatsoever). The absences of the Attorney General will be filled by the Assistant Attorney General of the Republic until the vacancy is filled according to the legislation. If the Assistant Attorney General is temporarily absent during the time that he is filling the absence of the Attorney General, he may designate, with the previous authorization of the President of the Republic, an officer trusted by him in order to fill the absence, for a maximum period of up to 15 days.
7. A regime that develops all matters concerning the retirement of AGO personnel is included, It regulates the special cases, the legal grounds for granting of retirement by grace, the accrual of the right to retirement, the reinstatement of retirees, the amount of the retirement, and other aspects.
8. The Decree-Law repeals the Decree with the Status, Value, and Force of Organic Law of the Attorney General Office of the Republic, published in Official Gazette No. 5.892 Extraordinary, dated July 31, 2008.
9. The Decree-Law became effective on December 30, 2015.
In order to access the Decree-Law, please click here.