Welcome to the first edition of the
Development Law Service newsletter.
DEVLAW will be issued biannually to feature news items based on the work in development law by the Legal Office of of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Together with the General Legal Affairs Service (LEGA) and the Ethics Office, the Development Law Service (LEGN) constitutes the FAO Legal and Ethics Office.
Who we are and what we do
The Development Law Service provides technical legal assistance to FAO Members in developing effective legal frameworks for food and agriculture. The Legal Office as a whole (LEGN and LEGA) assists FAO’s technical bodies to establish global standards in the field of food and agriculture.
Lao’s fisheries and aquaculture law
Continuous population growth, hydropower building plants and ambitious government fish production intensification projects have had a growing impact on fisheries and the livelihoods of fishermen in Laos.
To address these issues, the Government of Laos decided to develop a new fisheries and aquaculture law and asked FAO to help. Together with the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, the Development Law Service drafted a new law which introduces a more flexible and adaptive management approach to aquatic living resources while promoting and recognizing traditional management mechanisms. Wide participation and transparency at every stage in the drafting process enabled a large consensus on the core features of the law. The fisheries and aquaculture law was adopted in 2010 and is now available in English. A number of regulations will soon be developed to support the law. More information on the project is available online.
FAOLEX hits the 100,000 mark
Earlier this year LEGN added the 100,000th legal instrument to FAOLEX, a database through which LEGN collects, analyses and disseminates a growing number of legal instruments related to food, agriculture and renewable resources. FAOLEX is a free and public service available at faolex.fao.org.
In order to keep FAOLEX up-to-date, LEGN continuously reviews and adds to its collection of national legislation of member countries. The FAOLEX team receives legislation from a variety of sources. If you happen to have or know of any legal instruments that have not yet been included in FAOLEX, please send it to the team through the FAOLEX website!
African fruit flies call for (sub) regional cooperation
During a side-event of the sixth session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures, appreciation was made of LEGN's active engagement in the development of phytosanitary legislation. Ms Joyce Mulila-Mitti from the FAO Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa expressed her appreciation for LEGN’s active engagement in the development of phytosanitary legislation in Africa. Ms Hannah Charendon of the regional office for Africa stressed the importance of LEGN’s contribution to strengthening institutional capacities at national levels in Africa. Both Joyce and Hannah used the example of the rapid transboundary spread of the fruit fly within Africa to emphasize the need for cooperation at regional levels to fight the introduction of plant pests. LEGN supports the development of sub-regional efforts to harmonize phytosanitary legislation, balancing the interests of traders and producers with the need to protect local crops and food security.
OIE international conference on veterinary legislation
In cooperation with FAO’s Animal Production and Health division (AGA), LEGN participated in the first International Conference on Veterinary Legislation held in Djerba, Tunisia, organized by the World Animal Health Organization (OIE).
Around 400 participants attended the meeting, including chief veterinary officers, members of regional and national organizations and international donors such as the World Bank, the World Health Organization and the European Union.
LEGN collaborates with AGA to respond to a growing number of requests for assistance in the drafting of animal health and production legislation through projects as diversified in scope and subject matter as they are in geographic distribution. This assistance includes an examination of sectors such as public health, the safety of food of animal origin, animal feed, animal welfare, sustainable development and use of natural resources. FAO’s multi-disciplinary assistance may involve additional experts on food safety, natural resources or agricultural policies, etc.
To ensure full conformity with the country’s legal tradition, FAO has a team of lawyers with expertise that runs the gamut of veterinary-related topics. This assistance may include promoting harmonization of legislation at a regional level.
Not just words
Implementation of port state measures
While the global community waits for the 2009 FAO Port State Measures Agreement to enter into force, LEGN is assisting countries to develop legislation that already includes some of the provisions of the Agreement. Through Port-lex, a database that contains national legal port state provisions, FAO monitors implementation at national level.
Port-lex is accessible online at www.fao.org.
While fishing vessels can avoid fisheries enforcement authorities in the open seas with relative ease, they cannot avoid landing their catches in port to access markets. Strengthening the authority of port states to deny access for fishing vessels engaged in IUU fishing to their ports, or to deny vital port uses (such as the landing of fish, fueling of, or supply to vessels) provides states with an effective means to intercept IUU fishers before they can sell their fish.
Click here to access the Agreement in English or browse www.fao.org/Legal/treaties for more.
Read MORE about
Development Law Service at www.fao.org/legal
Are you interested in volunteering with us? Do you have a paper you think we should know about? Would you like to make use of our legal technical expertise? We would like to hear from you
For more information on who, what and how, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit us online
Events & meetings
Sharing what we know
The Development Law Service
hosts international law students. Utrecht University’s student association URIOS as well as students
from the Ukrainian Center for International Law and Justice, associated with Odessa University were welcomed to FAO earlier this year. LEGN presented
its work on developing international standards and
on the assistance in drafting and reviewing national legislation. Other groups of law students are scheduled
to visit FAO later this year.
The big picture
Setting up a global legal network
on land investment
A global symposium on the legal aspects of large-scale investments in land was organized by LEGN and held earlier this year in cooperation with the World Food Law Institute. Participants underlined the need and importance of raising awareness on food security issues among lawyers who negotiate investment contracts in developing countries. Participants from the International Development Law Institute, UNIDROIT, IFAD and FAO agreed that a global network of lawyers should be established that would promote knowledge sharing and research on the implications of large scale investments in land on food security. The symposium welcomed the development of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure of Land and other Natural Resources. For more information on the symposium, please consult: marshaechols.com/ strengtheninglegalexpertise
legislative studies and
legal papers online
|Global standards facilitate good governance of the food and agriculture sectors, enable sustainable development, facilitate trade, encourage investment and protect and define rights and responsibilities.
Our goal is to develop legislation that is in line with international legal instruments and that contributes to the reduction of hunger, elimination of poverty and the sustainable management and use of natural resources. The Development Law Service (LEGN) has been involved in hundreds of projects covering all technical areas within the mandate of FAO.
We are lawyers, administrative staff, associate professional officers, consultants and volunteers working in FAO headquarters in Rome and in the field.
Our expertise comes from a wide geographical coverage: Cameroon, Iceland, Papua New Guinea, Spain, Italy, Madagascar, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Albania, Argentina, Austria, Croatia, Ecuador, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Jordan, Russia, Turkey, Canada, Eritrea, France and Bosnia. The Development Law Service works in many languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and more...
Where we are
the Development Law Service
in the world
A bit of history
the Development Law Service in time