Skip to main content
Select Source:

Justice, United States Department of

United States Department of Justice, federal executive department established in 1870 and charged with providing the means for enforcing federal laws, furnishing legal counsel in federal cases, and construing the laws under which other federal executive departments act. The department is headed by the U.S. Attorney General, the chief U.S. law officer and an original cabinet member.

Before the formation of the Dept. of Justice, the attorney general had represented the government in legal matters and given legal advice to the executive branch under the authority of the Judiciary Act of 1789, but there was no executive department to assist in carrying out the duties of the office. Because of the mounting responsibilities of the attorney general and because of the growing need for uniformity in the administration of law, a department was created. The act of 1870 also set up the office of solicitor general to represent the government in Supreme Court cases.

The Dept. of Justice comprises six specialized divisions (the Antitrust Division, the Civil Division, the Civil Rights Division, the Criminal Division, the Environment and Natural Resources Division, and the Tax Division). The Justice Dept. also includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Prisons, the United States Marshals Service (the nation's oldest federal law enforcement agency), the U.S. Central Bureau–International Criminal Police Organization, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Office of Justice Programs.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Justice, United States Department of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Justice, United States Department of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/justice-united-states-department

"Justice, United States Department of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/justice-united-states-department

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Justice, US Department of

Justice, US Department of Legal office of the US federal government. Directed by the attorney general, it is responsible for the enforcement of federal laws, represents the government in legal matters and advises the president and members of the executive. It includes a number of associated agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Justice, US Department of." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Justice, US Department of." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/justice-us-department

"Justice, US Department of." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/justice-us-department

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.