Legal Office

The FAO Legal Office provides in-house counsel in accordance with the Basic Texts of the Organization, gives legal advisory services to FAO members, assists in the formulation of treaties on food and agriculture, for which the Director-General acts as Depositary, publishes legal studies and maintains a database (FAOLEX) of national legislation and international agreements concerning food and agriculture (including fisheries, forestry and water).

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.

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: Albania, Argentina, Austria, Bosnia, Cameroon, Canada, Croatia, Ecuador, Eritrea, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jordan, Madagascar, the Netherlands, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Spain and Turkey. The Development Law Service works in many languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and more...

Visit our publications page for a full list of legislative studies in print. Hard copies can be obtained by contacting FAO Publications Catalogue online.

DevLaw newsletter

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This study by the FAO Investment Centre aims to give an overview of the legal framework that applies to animal welfare in the EU and a group of non-EU countries. In particular, it builds on earlier analytical and technical work carried out in 2010 by FAO’s Development Law Service.

The FAO Right to Food team, in collaboration with the FAO Development Law Branch and Office in Nepal, is pleased to announce the launch of this publication. The review discusses overarching aspects of Nepalese law and jurisprudence dealing with this human right.

Urbanization is one of the key drivers of change in the world today as the world’s urban population will almost double by 2050. Providing support to the most vulnerable in an urbanizing world demands discussions on food, agriculture and cities in the context of rural-urban linkages.

identifies and explains the different legal issues related to organic production. A comparative analysis is presented and recommendations are made for consideration in the design of national organic agriculture legislation.

Designing national pesticide legislation

Designing national pesticide legislation, already available in English and Spanish has recently been translated into Arabic.... more publications