The office of Legal Affairs (LGA) aims to defend and protect the interests of the ITER Organization.
It is charged with ensuring the compliance of the Organization's activities and decisions with the applicable legal framework. The office of Legal Affairs is the "guardian" of the international treaties that establish and define the activities of the ITER Organization.
The office of Legal Affairs provides the ITER Council, the ITER Organization Director-General, ITER Organization departments and directorates, and ITER Organization staff members in the course of their official duties with legal advice and guidance.
As provided in the Note on the Roles and Responsibilities of Legal Affairs, which was approved by the ITER Organization Director-General, Legal Affairs is responsible for:
• preparing legal texts which implement provisions of the ITER Agreement, its Annexes and its related instruments;
• providing legal advice and analysis in support of ITER Organization policies and in the context of international cooperation;
• providing legal interpretation and advice pertaining to questions of international law, the ITER Agreement, the Headquarters Agreement, and regulations and instruments developed by the ITER Organization;
• providing legal interpretation and advice for questions relating to privileges and immunities, insurance, information and intellectual property, Staff Regulations, the Project Resource Management Regulations, the ITER Council Rules of Procedure, and any other internal instrument;
• managing notarial deeds and servitude agreements related to access to the ITER site that are needed for the implementation of ITER activities, and all agreements in conjunction with the relevant ITER departments.
In particular, the Office of Legal Affairs handles a variety of issues in all fields of law:
The legal status of the Organization: including all issues related to privileges and immunities, inviolability of the site, and immunity of jurisdiction and execution;
International law: interpreting and enforcing the constituent legal texts of the ITER Organization, providing legal advice on all general documents implementing the ITER Agreement, and advising on international employment law;
Internal rules of the ITER Organization: interpreting and enforcing the ITER Organization's internal rules and providing all necessary legal advice;
French laws and regulations: as related to Article 14 of the ITER Agreement. Article 14 foresees that the ITER Organization shall observe French laws and regulations in the fields of public and occupational health and safety, nuclear safety, radiation protection, licensing, nuclear substances, environmental protection and protection from acts of malevolence.
Construction activities: providing support on all legal matters concerning construction activities (administrative authorizations, permits, licenses) and providing legal opinions related to responsibilities on the ITER site;
Contract law: supporting the Procurement & Contract Division on legal issues relating to contractual matters and in-kind procurement;
Intellectual property rights: handling intellectual property legal issues and providing general legal support to the ITER Organization on intellectual property matters. The Legal Advisor is a member of the Intellectual Property Board and chairs the Intellectual Property Contact Persons meeting with the Members;
International cooperation: drafting Memoranda of Understanding and collaboration agreements;
Insurance: dealing with any issue related to insurance, such as risk management, coverage and the settlement of claims;
Settlement of disputes: managing pre-litigation cases and litigation files. The Legal Advisor represents the ITER Organization Director-General during internal or external legal and administrative procedures and before courts and/or arbitration bodies, both in written procedures and at hearings.
The Legal Advisor reports to the Director-General of the ITER Organization. The Legal Advisor supervises the office of Legal Affairs, which comprises a team of lawyers with general and/or specialized legal backgrounds. The Legal Advisor is also a member of the Ethics Committee constituted pursuant to the ITER Organization Code of Conduct
The Legal Advisor supervises a PhD student in the field of ITER legal activities in joint supervision with the University of Aix-Marseille (France), Faculty of Law.