In recent years, there has been increasing recognition of the need for sound regulatory frameworks for bioenergy. Faced with high petroleum and natural gas prices, and increasingly aware of climate change and environmental concerns, many countries are implementing national policies and legislation to encourage bioenergy production and use. These developments stem from the desire to achieve energy security and self-sufficiency, the need to reduce reliance on foreign fossil fuel reserves and the hope of providing increased trade opportunities for some agricultural commodities. Land use, and the competing needs of energy and food security are key issues in the bioenergy debate. International and national regulatory frameworks will have to establish clear guidelines for the sustainable development of the bioenergy industry. This paper aims to stimulate discussion on the elements of appropriate national legal frameworks for bioenergy, particularly in developing countries. It provides legislators and policy-makers with a tool to assist in identifying areas of law which may affect bioenergy regulation, and in designing key elements of national bioenergy laws.