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The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 4, Issue 1, September 2001

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

Table of Contents

Letter from the Editor

Corporate Philanthropy and Social Responsibility in Latin America

La Filantropia Empresarial: Un Deber Moral, Social y Legal
por Antonio L. Itriago Machado y Miguel Angel Itriago Machado

Conference Report on the "Simposio de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial en Las Américas"

Corporate Social Responsibility Conference

Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility

New Web Site to Encourage Social Responsibility


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

ICNL'S Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe: One Year Later
By Radost Toftisova

An Overview of Issues in Charity Litigation in Malaysia 2001
By Mary George

Charity, Politics and the Human Rights Act 1998: Chasing a Red Herring?
By Graham Moffat

Case Notes

Asia Pacific:

Central and Eastern Europe:

Latin America:
The Bahamas

Middle East and North Africa:

North America:
The United States

Western Europe:
The Netherlands
| Switzerland | Turkey

Country Reports

Asia Pacific:
| Australia | Cambodia | East Timor | Indonesia | Malaysia | New Zealand

Central and Eastern Europe:
Regional | Albania | Croatia | Hungary | Romania

Latin America and the Caribbean:
Regional | Argentina | Bermuda | Chile | Guatemala | Saint Lucia

Middle East and North Africa:
Egypt | Iran | Israel

Newly Independent States:
Armenia | Kazakhstan | Kyrgyzstan | Moldova | Russia | Tajikistan | Ukraine

North America:

South Asia:

Sub-Saharan Africa:
| South Africa | Tanzania | Uganda

Western Europe:
Austria | Ireland | Scotland | Turkey | the United Kingdom

The London School of Economics Conference | The United Nations Global Compact

Self-Regulation Reports

The Humanitarian Accountability Project

New Publication on Transparency and Accountability

Tazania's First National NGO Forum Disucsses a Draft Code of Conduct

The United Kingdom:
Reports on Developments with Respect to Self-Regulation in the UK


Charity Law Matters
By Ronan Cormacain, Kerry O'Halloran, Arthur Williamson
Reviewed by Karla Simon


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Editorial Board

Country Reports: International

The London School of Economics Conference

International Seminar on Charity Law at LSE

By Richard Fries*

The Centre for Civil Society Studies of the London School of Economics convened a 2 day seminar on charity law at the LSE on June 18-19.  There were participants from a dozen jurisdictions, in particular ones operating under the common law framework of the Charitable Uses act of 1601.

The focus of discussion, in this the 400th anniversary year of the Act, was the extent to which the concept of the charity, and in particular the notion of public benefit derived from the 1601 Act preamble, serves the needs of the 21st century.  On the face of it, a list of purposes appropriate to the Tudor age seems a curious basis for civil society, even with the benefit of 400 years of judicial development and (in England & Wales) 40 years of Charity Commission determination.  The reform movements in many common law jurisdictions suggest that the time is ripe to take a coordinated look at the advantages and disadvantages of the common law basis for charity. 

At the outset speakers noted that there is a lack of clear definition or indeed authority for the determination of public benefit in common law jurisdictions.  However, inflexibility and complication arising from attempts at legislative codification suggest that the traditional case for preserving the dynamic flexibility of the common law approach continues to have vitality.

Country reports from the various jurisdictions indicated fro all involved the depth of the current problems in both legal and tax jurisprudence.  The participants discussed the problems against the background of a need to determine what constitute purposes beneficial to the public in the 21st century, if there is no modern statutory definition.  While the disadvantages of adhering to an outmoded tradition were acknowledged, the difficulty of inventing a new common law authority for the 21st century was recognised.  The need for a robust determining agency, overseen by active review, was the essence of the common law.  Some regretted the fact that the courts no longer provided active development of the concept of charity.

A report of the seminar proceedings is being prepared for the Centre's website; IJNL will have coverage of its availability.  One of the papers presented at the Conference is being published in this issue of IJNL.  See Mary George, An Overview of Issues in Charity Litigation in Malaysia, in the Articles section.  

* Richard Fries is Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Civil Society at the London School of Economics.  He is the former Chief Charity Commissioner for England and Wales and the Chairperson of ICNL’s Board of Directors.  He can be reached at R.J.Fries@lse.ac.uk.

The United Nations Global Compact

UN Global Compact Aims at Civil Society, Freedom of Association, and Corporate Social Responsibility

The UN Global Compact is an effort of the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, to promote sustainable development, citizen participation, and corporate social responsibility around the world.  It was launched last July, and has had quite good acceptance in its first year, according to Georg Kell, Executive Head of the Global Compact Office at the UN.  At the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, on January 31,1999, the Secretary General launched the idea of the Compact.  He challenged world business leaders to "embrace and enact" the Global Compact, both in their individual corporate practices and by supporting appropriate public policies.  These principles cover topics in human rights, labor and the environment. 

One of the principal efforts of the Global Compact is to promote partnerships involving companies, civil society, and government that will assist in reducing poverty and developing human capital.  In the first and second Global Compact Newsletters, which came out in June and July, several developments among GC members were noted –

UN Global Compact representatives also have been participating in conferences on corporate social responsibility in Latin America (the conference in Sao Paulo in June and the conference in Santiago de Chile in October, both of which are discussed in this issue of IJNL). Other examples of significant corporate involvement to enact the principles of the Global Compact can be found in the July Newsletter.

The UN Global Compact has an easily accessible website.  In addition to providing news updates on its site, it also produces a newsletter to which one can subscribe. 

Coverage of issues raised in the UN Global Compact can be found in previous issues of IJNL.  For example, coverage of tri-sector partnerships (business-civil society-government) can be found in Legal Mechanisms to Encourage Development Partnerships, by Leon Irish and Karla Simon,  and the Symposium Issue on NGO-Government Partnerships.


Copyright © 2012 The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL)
ISSN: 1556-5157