Global Taxes

Co-Chair
Lynn Bergeson

Co-Chair
Nusrat Hassan

Agriculture and Food Section

The Agricultural Law Section is a newly formed Section for those interested in any area of the ever-evolving area of agricultural law. Agriculture law covers a comprehensive and dynamic legal practice area, in particular relating to (i) agriculture land usage, ownership and farmer’s rights (ii) seed law, plant variety law, biotechnology / GMO law and (iii) food trade, food safety and food liability.

About the Section

Agriculture law covers a comprehensive and dynamic legal practice area, in particular relating to (i) agriculture land usage, ownership and farmer’s rights (ii) seed law, plant variety law, biotechnology / GMO law and (iii) food trade, food safety and food liability.

Modern agriculture has also a widespread importance to society and international trade.

Latest news

Highlights From the Agricultural Law Section Presentations at the IBA Annual Conference

The International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conferencetook place in Miami between October 30 and November 4, 2022. During the Annual Conference, the Agricultural Law Section (ALS) welcomed attendees to several events: an open committee meeting on October 31 and two sessions on current topics in agricultural law on October 31 and November 3. During the open committee meeting, ALS Officers discussed matters of interest and future activities. The committee meeting was attended by several ALS Officers, such as Co-Chair, Nusrat Hassan; Senior Vice Chair, Fabrizio Paratore; Publication and Newsletter Editor, Adeniji A. Oni; and Member of the ALS Advisory Board and former ALS Chair, Sara Moyo.

The first presentation, on October 31, was titled “Agricultural Food Products Availability and Pricing in Pandemic Times -- Has Anything Changed? ” The session explored the challenges faced by farmers, food businesses, consumers, and environmental institutions and entities when dealing with the global tensions that concern the production and supply of food commodities and products, in relation to farming costs and financing. The panel, moderated by Fabrizio Paratore, discussed strategic and legal solutions to be adopted to prevent present and future stress conditions from happening throughout the healthy and less healthy areas of the world. This session’s speakers were former U.S. Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND), now with ArentFox Schiff in Washington, D.C.; Courtney Esko, from TreeHouse Foods in Oak Brook, Illinois; Simon Hotte from FIDAL in Lyon, France; and Adeniji A. Oni from Niji Oni & Co. in Lagos, Nigeria.

The second presentation, on November 3, during the session “Sustainability Focus: Sustainable Investment in Agriculture -- The Role Lawyers Play,” was titled “Responsible Land-Based Investments in Agriculture: Africa and Asia-Pacific.” The session explored the current regulatory framework for sustainable and responsible investment in agriculture, with a focus on Africa and the Asia-Pacific region and how this can contribute to the mitigation of the climate crisis. It analyzed how lawyers in the private and public sectors can use a variety of legal tools, including environmental and human rights law, to promote sustainable and responsible investment in agriculture within their national contexts. The session was moderated by Sara Moyo and Nusrat Hassan, and the speakers were Adeniji A. Oni and Valerie Anne Johnston, from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), in Rome, Italy. In response to positive feedback, ALS plans to organize a presentation on the same topic covering Central and South America.

Alfred L.J. Page, Liaison Officer; Fabrizio Paratore, Senior Vice Chair; Sara Moyo, Member of the Advisory Board and former Chair; Jan Holthuis, Member of the Advisory Board; Nusrat Hassan, Co-Chair; and Adeniji A. Oni, Publication and Newsletter Editor.

The ALS is a newly formed Section for those interested in any area of the ever-evolving area of agricultural law. Agricultural law covers a comprehensive and dynamic legal practice area, in particular relating to: Agriculture land usage; Ownership and farmer’s rights; Seed law, plant variety law, and biotechnology; and Food trade, food safety, and food liability.

Please contact the IBA Membership Office at www.ibanet.org/membership/joinTheIBA if you are interested in joining, or e-mail lbergeson@lawbc.com or nusrat@linklegal.infor more information about the ALS.

Regulation of the eco-marine system as a guide to sustainable development growth post Covid-19

Although 38 per cent of the world’s population live within a narrow fringe of coastal land, it occupies only 7.6 per cent of the Earth’s total land surface (UN Environment Programme 2006). These populations largely depend on coastal resources for their livelihoods.

Released on Jun 01, 2021

Harnessing SAATM and an Africa-UK trade agreement to enable agricultural development

The United Kingdom depends significantly on agricultural imports to meet domestic food demand importing more than 40 per cent of its total food requirements. Demand is expected to increase steadily in future due to anticipated population growth.

Released on Jun 01, 2021

The essential role of evolving technologies in securing a safe and sustainable food supply

Emerging tools enabled by nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and other innovative technologies are today increasingly supplementing the ploughs and tractors so emblematic of the agricultural community of the past. These precision farming tools are ensuring a sustainable food supply otherwise threatened by climate change and population growth, among other global challenges, while diminishing worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Released on Jun 01, 2021

Covid-19 and the risk to food supply chains

The food supply chain is still strong and is not suffering from contraction so far. We have also been informed of a strong increase in orders of food products (both commodities and processed goods) during the Covid-19 crisis.

Released on Apr 03, 2020

IBA Global Insight: ALS contributions

Sri Lanka: Attach rule of law commitments to country’s bailout, urge experts. In this news analysis, Nusrat Hassan Co-Chair of the IBA Agricultural Law Section was interviewed about the situation in Sri Lanka.

'Miles-long petrol queues, empty shop shelves and fields that produce only half the crops they used to: these are the more obvious signifiers of Sri Lanka’s current economic crisis. The less visible are the meals citizens are beginning to miss as a result of unaffordable food and the time at school children are missing as the country tries to save power.

Sri Lanka is in the throes of an economic crisis that’s swiftly morphing into a humanitarian disaster and wreaking havoc on the rule of law. As a result, international support should come with the caveat of instilling democratic rule, experts say.'

Read the full article: Sri Lanka: Attach rule of law commitments to country’s bailout, urge experts.

UN Food and Agriculture Organization

The IBA’s Agricultural Law Section (ALS) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have built a strong relationship over the past few years, collaborating on topics of mutual interest. Following successful joint sessions at the IBA Annual Conferences in Sydney (2017) and Rome (2018), the two bodies signed a Letter of Agreement at the IBA Annual Conference in Seoul on 24 September 2019, formalising and strengthening this collaboration.

The Development Law Service of the FAO has issued law and policy briefs that can assist countries in their response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The briefs include legal considerations in the context of Covid-19 responses to mitigate the risk of food insecurity, the risk of disruptions to fisheries and aquaculture food systems as well as legal mechanisms to contribute to safe and secured food supply chains. The law and policy briefs can be accessed on the FAO’s website.

The Section looks forward to working with the FAO on activities such as legal research and capacity development projects aimed at strengthening developing countries’ and their legal professionals’ knowledge and capacities in areas including food security and nutrition, rural poverty eradication, sustainable agriculture production, climate change mitigation and adaptation and conservation and sustainable utilisation of natural resources. Through its Development Law Service, FAO will actively contribute to the activities of the ALS, although it may not be a formal member, given its neutral and impartial status. The IBA will be invited to participate as an observer at the FAO Committee on Food Security and other important FAO Governing Body Sessions.

Representatives from the IBA and the FAO at the signing of the Agreement

Pic: Representatives from the IBA and the FAO at the signing of the Agreement

Subcommittees and other groups

The Agriculture and Food Section also coordinates the activities of the following subcommittees/working groups.

  • Agriculture and Food Section Advisory Board