Office of Legal Affairs
Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the
Legal Counsel of the United Nations: Mr. Nicolas Michel
The Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) of the United Nations was established
in 1946 (UNGA res. 13(I) of 13 February 1946). Originally, it was organized
as a department; but in 1954 it was reorganized into an office to reflect
more closely its role in providing legal advice to the Secretary-General and
acting on his behalf in legal matters (see Yearbook of the United Nations 1954,
pages 438 and 568-570).
In 1946, the Legal Department was headed by an Assistant Secretary-General
and consisted of the Office of this official, the Division of General Legal
Problems, the Division for the Development and Codification of
International Law, the Division of Immunities and Registration of Treaties
(see Yearbook of the United Nations 1946-1947, page 630).
In 1967, the International Trade Law Branch was established, and in 1992,
the Office for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea was integrated into