The Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations, established in 1946, provides a unified central legal service to the Secretariat and the principal and other organs of the Organization and contributes to the progressive development and codification of public international law and international trade law. In accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, the Office of Legal Affairs registers, publishes and maintains international treaties. The Office is also responsible for promoting the strengthening, development and effective implementation of the international legal order for the oceans and seas.  The Legal Counsel addressed the tenth meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole on the regular process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment, including socio-economic aspects. Read more United Nations Legal Advisers, Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, made introductory remarks at the third session of the Preparatory Committee established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/292: Elaboration of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction Read more Once adopted, treaties and amendments must follow formal United Nations legal procedures applied by the Office of Legal Affairs, including signature, ratification and entry into force. State Legal Advisers from the Office of the Chief State Legal Adviser (IL) provide legal advice on South African treaty practice, procedural matters related to the conclusion of agreements, including instruments of ratification/accession, powers of attorney, presidential protocols and certification agreements. The Legal Counsel of the United Nations, Mr. Serpa Soares, including in his capacity as Special Adviser to the Presidents of the Conference on Oceans and Legal Affairs, and the UN-Ocean Focal Point participated in numerous events during the week of the UN Conference in Support of the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14): “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Oceans and Their Resources for Sustainable Development”, Ocean Conference Read more The Office of Treaty Affairs advises and assists on matters relating to U.S.
and international contract law and practice. International Law Week 2016, organized by India`s Ministry of External Affairs, took place in the last week of October. The Legal Counsel met with legal advisers from capitals and permanent missions and discussed with them some of the current legal issues facing the United Nations. On 16 April 2018, the United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, inaugurated the Intergovernmental Conference on International Legal Advice Read more The Office of Legal Affairs plays the traditional role of in-house legal counsel to the Agency. He provides legal advice to employees and management on a wide range of legal issues. The Office of Legal Affairs represents the agency in litigation before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Veterans Law Tribunal, the Federal Labour Relations Board, the Civil Contract Appeals Board, and the Texas Manpower Commission. CPPIB counsel also assists U.S. Department of Justice lawyers who represent the Agency in litigation before U.S. District Courts, U.S. federal courts, and U.S. courts of appeals.
The Office of Legal Affairs participates in international negotiations with the Mexican Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) and provides international legal advice and other forms of legal support to the Agency in negotiations and discussions with the Mexican Section. The agency`s lawyers coordinate closely with U.S. State Department lawyers on treaties, protocols, other international agreements, and international law and policy matters. The Chief Legal Counsel performs the functions of “legal counsel” set forth in Article 2 of the 1944 U.S.-Mexico Water Treaty, one of five USIBWC duty posts that enjoy diplomatic immunity when the official is in Mexico on IBWC business. The Chief Legal Counsel and the Deputy General Counsel act as the Agency`s designated ethics executive and the Agency`s alternate designated ethics officer, respectively, and manage and implement the Agency`s ethics and privacy programs. The Legal Counsel of the United Nations signs exchanges of letters with China. Learn more International Law Week and 29th Informal Meeting of Legal Advisers Learn more Information on multilateral treaties of which the United States is the depositary. Visit of the United Nations Legal Counsel to San Remo (Italy) and Brussels (Belgium) – 7-16 September 2016 Read more. The United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, and the Inspector travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Learn more. On 8 September 2015, the United Nations Legal Council issued a statement at the opening of the sixth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group.
Read more On 23 May 2016, the Legal Adviser Mr. Serpa Soares addressed the Conference on the Resumption of Review of the Fish Stocks Agreement Read more The United Nations Legal Counsel, Mr. Serpa Soares, convened the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) for a meeting at City Hall. Colleagues from the Vienna-based Department of International Trade Law participated via video link Read more. The Legal Counsel participates in the 2014 UN-SIDS Conference in Apia, Samoa. United Nations Legal Advisers address the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon. The celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by the international community in the area of children`s rights since its adoption in 1989 and the challenges that remain in its full implementation. Read more United Nations Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares will participate in the International Law Weekend 2019 in New York, NY. Read more UN Legal Counsel meets with Nippon Foundation fellows Read more UN Legal Counsel M. Miguel de Serpa Soares delivered the keynote address at the Oxford Handbook of United Nations Treaties Writers` Meeting, held from 9 to 11 April 2017 at Greentree Estate (NY).