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.

DevLaw newsletter

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Warehouse receipt systems allow agricultural producers to access credit by borrowing against receipts issued for goods stored in independently controlled warehouses. These systems enable producers to delay the sale of their products until after harvest, to a moment when prices are generally more favourable. Warehouse receipt systems can therefore mobilize credit for the agricultural sector and improve agricultural trade. International experience shows that benefits are maximized when the receipt system is based on a well-designed and enabling legal framework that ensures integrity and transparency. Legislation is important to provide clarity and predictability to the rules governing the warehouse receipt system and to the rights and obligations of participants.

El objetivo principal de esta investigación es brindar un análisis comparado de la legislación en materia de seguridad alimentaria y nutricional en El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua, incluyendo también una perspectiva regional de los instrumentos adoptados por instancias parlamentarias en América Latina. El estudio examina la legislación en este campo de manera exchaustiva y pone de relieve los avances y desafíos en el ámbito constitucional, asi como en la regulación de elementos esenciales que constituyen la base de una ley marco sobre el derecho a la alimentación.

This FAO Legal Paper is the overall synopsis of a series of legal assessment reports that evaluate the laws and policies in the land, forestry and fisheries sectors in Sierra Leone and make recommendations to align them with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), which were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in May 2012.