The FAO Legal Office ensures that the Organization's activities are carried out in accordance with its Constitution and the other statutory texts of the Organization (FAO Basic Texts) and in a manner consistent with its status as an intergovernmental organization of the United Nations system.
The Legal Office advises the Director-General on legal matters, acts as legal adviser to the Organization's governing and statutory bodies and advises Member Nations on international law relating to FAO's field of competence.
It also provides advice to the technical units, regional and field offices of the Organization on all legal and constitutional aspects of their activities, including the drafting of international treaties, relations with the Host Government and other governments and international organizations, personnel matters and the handling of complaints lodged with Administrative Tribunals of the International Labour Organisation and United Nations.
The Legal Office performs depositary functions with respect to multilateral treaties for which the Director-General is the depositary. It also maintains the list of experts in the field of fisheries for the purposes of article 2 of Annex VIII (Special Arbitration) to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.