The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 2, Issue 3, March 2000

A quarterly publication of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Table of Contents

Letter from the Editor


Introduction: "Codes of Conduct for Partnership in Governance: Texts and Commentaries"
By Tatsuro Kunugi and Martha Schweitz

On the Establishment of Social Organizations Under Chinese Law
By Ge Yunsong

Australia's Nonprofit Taxation Reforms
By Myles McGregor-Lowndes


Codes of Conduct for Partnerships in Governance: Text and Comments
Edited by Tatsuro Kunugi and Martha Schweitz
Reviewed by Catherine Shea

Case Notes

Central and Eastern Europe: Croatia | Poland | Serbia

Middle East and North Africa: Egypt

Newly Independent States: Azerbaijan

North America:
the United States

South Asia:

Country Reports

Asia Pacific:
| East Timor |
New Zealand
| the Philippines | Vietnam

Central and Eastern Europe: Regional | Kosovo | Romania

Latin America:
Regional | Belize | Brazil | Venezuela

Newly Independent States:
Russia | Ukraine

Middles East and North Africa: Sudan

North America:
| Mexico |
the United States

South Asia:

Sub-Saharan Africa:
Cameroon | Kenya |
Sierra Leone
| South Africa | Tanzania | Zimbabwe

Western Europe:
France | Germany |
the United Kingdom

Self Governance

Law and Governance-- A Lesson in Limits
By Leon Irish and Karla Simon

Trends in Self-Regulation and Transparency of Nonprofits in the U.S.
By Robert O. Bothwell

The Role of Governing Boards in Fostering Accountability
By Crispin Gregoire

Financial Implications Affecting Nonprofit Nongovernmental Organizations Today
By Michael A. Freedman

International Grantmaking

Grantmaking by U.S. Foundations in Canada: A Canadian Lawyer Provides a Plain Language Primer
By Blake Bromley

Community Philanthropy

Community Philanthropy Initiative of the European Foundation Centre

Transatlantic Community Foundation Network

New Website


General | Brazil | Kenya | Russia

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Editorial Board

Subscription Information

Previous Issues

ICNL Homepage

Case Notes: Newly Independent States


Azerbaijani Bar Association is Refused Registration Without Justification

 By Aslan Ismaylov

The Azerbaijani government has refused to register the Azerbaijani Bar Association twice without justification.

On June 18, 1999, documents of Azerbaijan Bar Association (ABA) were submitted for registration to the Ministry of Justice of the Azerbaijan Republic. Documents of the association were rejected and returned on August 4, 1999 - not within 10 days after application as required by law. A letter signed by the chief of the Board for State Registration of Legal Entities of the Ministry of Justice was attached to the documents, and stated that the registration of the association could not be considered before enactment of the new law "on Advocacy". However, the law "on Advocacy in Azerbaijan Republic" is still in force and regulates advocacy activity.

As a result, a conference of ABA members was held on August 9, 1999. The Conference unanimously considered that the remarks of the Ministry of Justice were unjustified and illegal. The conference decided that the documents of the Association would be submitted to the Ministry of Justice a second time. The minutes of the conference were attached to the documents of the association in the second application.

The Ministry of Justice still refused to register the documents of the association and these documents were returned along with letter number 11/1373, dated November 19, 1999 and signed by the chief of Board for State Registration of Legal Entities of the Ministry of Justice. This time, the letter stated:            

"constitutive documents of ABA set for state registration    contradict the law of Azerbaijan Republic "on Social Associations". According to part 3 of article 11 of the law, to be registered, a social association must submit an application, signed by authorized representatives, including the residence of founders within a month from the founding day. In addition to the main documents, the protocol of the founders' assembly and the receipt approving payment of state duty are to be included in the application. Further, we inform you again that it is impossible to consider the registration of the Association before the new law "on Advocacy" is enacted. Taking into consideration that which is stated above, the constitutive documents of the Association are being returned without execution."

However, the Board for State Registration of Legal Entities of the Ministry of Justice was in possession of the specified documents and had not returned them deliberately. It is only after a new set of documents was prepared and resubmitted, that the authorities confessed they intentionally kept the copies of the specified documents. The members of ABA and its president, the author, consider both refusals unjustified and illegal and believe the actions of the Ministry of Justice are illegitimate for the following reasons:

  1. "ABA was established in accordance with the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "on Social Associations". The Ministry's efforts to refuse to register the Association on the grounds that the new law "on Advocacy" has not yet been adopted are unjustified and illegal. The Ministry of Justice has also violated the right of freedom of association of the association’s members, a right provided in articled 58 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic. Article 6 of law of Azerbaijan Republic "on Social Associations" stipulates that every person living in the Republic of Azerbaijan has the right to be a member of social association. This law does not prohibit lawyers to associate.
  2. ABA's documents were submitted at first to the Ministry of Justice on June 18, 1999. In accordance with the law "on Social Associations" and article 9 of the law of Azerbaijan Republic "on State Registration of Legal Entities" the Ministry of Justice had to register the Association or give a justified reply for refusal within 10 days. However, the corresponding Board of the Ministry violated this requirement by delaying the reply for more than a month and then by sending an illegal and unjustified refusal to register the association. The documents were resubmitted and again the reply was delayed.
  3. The constitutive documents of ABA were presented to the Ministry of Justice in due time. The delay occurred because of the Ministry's illegal and unjustified actions.
  4. All documents required by law were attached to the constitutive documents at the time of application. However, while being in execution at the Board for State Registration of Legal Entities of the Ministry of Justice, some of these documents were ‘lost’ and the association was informed that the application was incomplete and therefore could not be considered.
  5. The members of ABA consider that one of the reasons of the Ministry's refusal to register the association is connected with pressure being exerted on their president, Mr. Aslan Ismaylov, one of the founders of the association.”

Indeed, of all the associations in which I am a founder, only one passed registration: the Azerbaijani Lawyers Association, and this only after my name was struck from the list of founders. The others, such as the Center for Geostrategic Research, and the printing houses Baki Vaxti and Baki Mamulati were never registered.


Copyright 2008 The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL)
ISSN: 1556-5157