Legal and Regulatory Framework - FAO
Chief, Development Law Service (LEGN)
Tel: +39 06 570 54080
E-mail: Blaise.Kuemlangan [at] fao.org
The Development Law Branch (LEGN) of the FAO Legal Office provides assistance to countries, regional organizations and FAO technical divisions on matters related to: (i) Implementation of the WTO agreements related to agriculture; (ii) development of SPS- related legislation in the areas of food safety, plant protection and animal health; (iii) awareness of WTO and regional trade agreements; and (iv) implementation of TRIPS in the agricultural sector (protection of IPR resulting from new plant and animal varieties). It is part of LEGN’s mandate to assist members in drafting regulatory frameworks in several areas relating to agriculture and agricultural trade, including SPS, TBT, and TRIPS Agreements.
Legal framework review to support implementation of agricultural treaties & relevant international trade standards
FAO supports countries to revise their national legislation to: (i) facilitate implementation of the international agreements to which countries are parties; and (ii) foster alignment of national laws with international recommendations and reference standards that support the development of the agricultural sectors and facilitate trade.
Through LEGN, FAO provides legal advisory services to governments on all areas under the FAO mandate, including agriculture, animal, plant and food safety legislation, access to natural resources and agricultural inputs, including fisheries and aquaculture, land, water, forestry, wildlife, biodiversity and climate change, as well as access to agricultural markets, agricultural finances, contracts in agriculture and agribusiness. LEGN supports governments in preparing their national or regional laws, regulations, agreements and other legal texts. An element of most advisory projects is capacity building through participatory training of national officials and other stakeholders.
In more than forty years, FAO LEGN has provided assistance to members in drafting legislation for the implementation of the SPS agreement, covering the areas of food safety, animal health and plant protection, as well as the protection of intellectual property rights resulting from the development of new plant varieties or animal breeds in the context of the TRIPS agreement. In the area of plant protection, LEGN has closely collaborated with the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in the development of global assessment tools and their implementation and the national level. In the area of food safety and quality, the review of the existing food control systems, including national legal frameworks, has often been the initial step to the provision of technical, scientific, and regulatory inputs for short, medium, and long-term improvements and for implementation of Codex standards. In the area of animal health, FAOLEGN has provided assistance to the revision of animal health legislation, facilitating the establishment of strong national veterinary authorities ready to meet the recommendations contained in OIE standards.
LEGN’s support is provided primarily to the executive arm of the state, both at the level of central governments as well as regional and local governments as appropriate. Pursuing a multidisciplinary approach which ensures participation by stakeholders and civil society organizations, a human rights approach and focus on vulnerable groups are also part of LEGN’S methodology in delivering assistance in the review and development of legislation. Depending on the area and project context, legal assistance services are also provided in collaboration with partners such as the WHO, the OIE, the IPPC and the Codex Secretariats or UPOV.
For more information: www.fao.org/legal/development-law/en/