Nuclear and Treaty Law Section

Nuclear and Treaty Law Section

 

The Nuclear and Treaty Law Section provides legal advice and assistance to the Secretariat and Member States in the areas of nuclear safety and security, nuclear energy, nuclear applications, technical cooperation, and civil liability for nuclear damage. The Nuclear and Treaty Law Section also carries out the Agency’s depository functions and manages the Agency’s legislative assistance programme.

Nuclear Safety

The Section promotes adherence to and implementation of the nuclear safety instruments adopted under the Agency’s auspices including by providing substantive legal advice to the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security. In this connection, the Section, together with the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, also provides the scientific secretariat for the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Joint Convention on Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, the Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors, Code of Conduct for the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, as well as Supplementary Guidance to the Code.

Nuclear Security

The Section also promotes adherence to and implementation of the nuclear security instruments adopted under the Agency’s auspices, primarily the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the 2005 Amendment thereto and the Code of Conduct for the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and its Supplementary Guidance, as well as other relevant international instruments and Security Council resolutions.

Within the Section, OLA provides legal support to the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security in the areas of physical protection and counter-terrorism. In the area of emergency assistance and response, the Section provides legal support to the Incident and Emergency Centre and under the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency.

Nuclear Liability

In connection with the nuclear liability instruments adopted under the Agency’s auspices, the Nuclear and Treat Law Section  is responsible for the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, the Joint Protocol relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention, the Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage and the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage.

In this context, the Section also serves as the Secretariat for meetings of the International Expert Group on Nuclear Liability (INLEX), which the Director General established in September 2003.

Nuclear Energy

The Section provides legal advice to the Department of Nuclear Energy in support of their efforts to assist States in launching new nuclear power programmes including developing relevant documentation and publications such as Evaluation of the Status of National Nuclear Infrastructure Development and Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power.

Technical Cooperation

The Section also provides legal advice and support to the Department of Technical Co-operation, including issues related to the Revised Guiding Principles and General Operating Rules to Govern the Provision of Technical Assistance by the Agency and the Revised Supplementary Agreement for the Provision of Technical Assistance (RSA), the Country Programme Frameworks and issues relevant to the Agency's role and functions in connection with RCA, AFRA, ARCAL and ARASIA.

Legislative Assistance

The Nuclear and Treaty Law Section coordinates the IAEA’s legislative assistance programme to assist Member States in the development of their national nuclear legislation. Included in this area is the Nuclear Law Institute, a two-week training course aimed at government officials organized by the Section.

Useful resources for Member States in assessing the adequacy of their national legal frameworks governing the peaceful uses of nuclear energy are the Handbook on Nuclear Law and its second volume, the Handbook on Nuclear Law: Implementing Legislation, developed by the Office of Legal Affairs.

Depositary Functions

The Section also performs the depositary functions for the multilateral treaties that have been adopted under the auspices of the IAEA and/or in respect of which the Director General serves as depositary, including the agreements relating to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project.

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