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Providing Legal Support to the Regulatory Body: First Meeting of Legal Advisers Held in Vienna

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Peri Lynne Johnson, IAEA Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs, during her opening remarks at the first legal advisers meeting held in Vienna/Austria. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Legal support plays an important role in the efficient and effective performance of regulatory functions for the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation, a role that was discussed in depth at a dedicated meeting for legal advisers of regulatory bodies held at IAEA headquarters in Vienna from 30 July to 2 August 2019.

The meeting, implemented under the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative, brought together legal advisers and regulators from 22 countries.

In her opening remarks, Peri Lynne Johnson, IAEA Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs, noted that “the meeting, the first of its kind organized by the IAEA, provided a unique opportunity to share and consolidate information, experiences and views from legal advisers from various regions".

During the meeting, which combined plenary sessions and group discussions, participants exchanged views on various areas where legal support is usually provided, in particular regarding the analysis and implementation of the relevant international legal instruments, the development and updating of related national laws and regulations and the performance of relevant regulatory functions. Other topics of discussion included the means to ensure effective communication and interaction between legal and technical experts, as well as the knowledge and training necessary for legal advisers to effectively perform their functions.

“Legal advisers in regulatory bodies play a key role in monitoring and promoting compliance and consistency with international obligations and in the maintenance of national legal frameworks for regulating, and they provide important legal support to the exercise of core regulatory functions, including authorization and enforcement”, said Lisa Thiele, Legal Adviser to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The meeting was organized in the framework of IAEA’s legislative assistance programme in response to requests from Member States to strengthen opportunities for training and information exchange among legal advisers of regulatory bodies.

Legal advisers in regulatory bodies play a key role in monitoring and promoting compliance and consistency with international obligations and in the maintenance of national legal frameworks for regulating, and they provide important legal support to the exercise of core regulatory functions, including authorization and enforcement.
Lisa Thiele, Legal Adviser to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

Participants from 22 countries attended the first Legal Advisers Meeting held in Vienna/Austria. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

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