In a speech to the Administrative Law Bar Association on “The role of the Attorney General in the 21st Century”, Baroness Scotland said: “After the analysis, the talk of tensions and contradictions, I say simply this: for all the problems, which I acknowledge, no suggestion that an Attorney General in modern times has in fact taken a decision on the basis of political or otherwise improper considerations has been substantiated ... Let us not apply nice theoretical tests to the role of Attorney General and watch the role fail them; let us see whether the role works in practice. And if it does not need fixing, why break it?”

On controversy surrounding advice given on Iraq, BAE and cash for honours, she said: “It is the issues that are difficult and controversial; and that will be the case whoever has to take them.”

However, some reforms have been implemented which have not required a change in the law. These include a Protocol setting out that the Attorney General no longer has the power to give a direction in an individual case save in “exceptional circumstances” and where necessary to safeguard national security.

Baroness Scotland said she would lay an annual report of her duties before Parliament.