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Capacity-Building in Drafting Nuclear Legislation: IAEA’s Nuclear Law Institute Concludes Ninth Session


65 Participants from 58 Member States attended the 9th Session of the Nuclear Law Institute (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA).

Sixty-five lawyers and regulators from different regions of the world came together for the ninth session of the Nuclear Law Institute (NLI) in Vienna recently to strengthen their knowledge in all areas of nuclear law and enhance their skills in drafting comprehensive nuclear legislation.

In the concluding session of the course, which was held from 30 September until 11 October 2019, participants took part in an interactive session presenting the results of what they had learned during the past two weeks.

In her closing remarks Peri-Lynne Johnson, IAEA Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs, highlighted the objective of the NLI. “Our goal is to provide a forum to consider the special nature of nuclear law drafting and to enable participants to delve in more deeply into the study and implementation of safety, security, safeguards and liability treaties in their national legal system,” she said.

“The Nuclear Law Institute is indeed an eye opener as it gave me a better understanding of the various international legal Instruments and terminologies in respect to nuclear law. It also helped me understand the rules in drafting nuclear legislation,” said Oluchi Ngwu from Nigeria’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority.

“The opportunity to meet and interact with participants from different parts of the world in the field of nuclear law is amazing and educative.”

With approximately 550 officials trained since its establishment in 2011, the NLI has played a key role in developing national capacities for establishing national laws that provide for the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation.

“After their NLI training, participants are in a better position to advise their authorities on how best to develop or revise the national legal framework,” said Wolfram Tonhauser, Head of IAEA’s Nuclear and Treaty Law Section. “Many of the NLI alumni have in fact been or are still actively engaged in the legislative processes in their respective countries.”

Marcio Taveira from Brazil’s Institutional Security Cabinet of the Presidency highlighted the usefulness of the NLI session. “We were given access to information that we will use on the continued improvement of our nuclear legal framework, especially in the context of our recently enacted National Nuclear Policy Act,” he said. “Brazil always strives to achieve the highest levels of nuclear safety and security in our nuclear programme, as well as to fully comply with all our international obligations. We also realize that the nuclear world should be an area of exchanging experiences and knowledge. Therefore, we look forward to continue participating in future similar IAEA events."

Next year will mark a decade of nuclear law capacity building through the NLI.

Luis Longoria, Director of the Division for Latin America and Caribbean in the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Department, emphasized in his keynote speech the Agency’s role in capacity-building in Member States through events like the NLI. “Establishing and maintaining a sound legal framework and an adequate regulatory infrastructure are essential to ensure the safe and secure use of the technology,” he said. “The NLI is an important component of the support provided to our Member States in these endeavours through the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Programme.”

The 10th session of the NLI will be held in October 2020.

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