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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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

Overwhelmingly approved by the FAO Conference, the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing aims to prevent illegally caught fish from entering international markets through ports...more treaties

A new regional fisheries management body for the Central Asia and Caucasus region has been established under the Agreement on the Central Asian and Caucasus Regional Fisheries and Aquaculture Commission...more treaties