ICNL logo

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 (Corporate Philanthropy: A Moral, Social, and Legal Obligation)
por Antonio L. Itriago Machado y Miguel Angel Itriago Machado

Conference Report on the "Simposio de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial en Las Américas" (Symposium on Corporate Social Responsibility in the Americas) Held in Caracas Venezuela, June 10-12, 2001

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

- - - - - - - - - -

Editorial Board

Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

We offer our sincere condolences to all the victims and families who were affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11.  It was a tragic event for everyone who was personally involved and for world peace. 

Terrorism strikes at the heart of civil society – it inhibits peaceful collaboration among people and across borders; it inflicts fear and enmity toward strangers in a way that harms civil discourse and interaction.  In working to create a legal and fiscal enabling environment for the not-for-profit sector, ICNL’s work is intended, in its own small way, to support the development of a stronger civil society and thus to reduce support for terrorism, wherever it may exist. 

It is, however, difficult to strike a balance between protecting the freedom of citizens to associate and establish NGOs and protecting the public from “illegitimate” NGOs, used to hide terrorist cells.  We hope in the weeks and months to come to address issues raised by this difficult balance in the Journal and through other ICNL publications and conferences.  If any reader would like to contribute to beginning a dialogue about these issues in the aftermath of September 11, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

About this issue:  In our first issue of Volume 4, we have a wide range of Country Reports, Articles, Self-Regulation Reports, Book Reviews, and Case Notes, covering a variety of issues and special themes.  In addition, we use the online nature of our Journal once again to good effect.  We have redesigned the pages of IJNL to make them easier to use and to work with as the reader makes links to off-site web pages and then comes back to reading an IJNL story.  In addition, in the Self-Regulation section, we feature a link to an online presentation of a panel discussion that occurred at the CIVICUS conference in Vancouver in August.

We also address four prominent themes.  One of these is Corporate Philanthropy and Social Responsibility, which we are covering in a Special Feature about developments in Latin America.  The lead article in the Special Feature is by Antonio and Miguel Angel Itriago, provocatively titled: Corporate Philanthropy: A Moral, Social, and Legal Obligation.  The Itriagos’ argument is that the privileges given to corporations under law require that they “give back” to support social and human needs.  The other papers in the Special Feature deal with conferences and websites in Latin America, where these issues are being discussed.  The theme is also linked to the report on the UN Global Compact, which considers ways in which the Compact promotes corporate social responsibility.

A second theme is the limitation on political activities in the common law notion of charity, which is found in one of our lead articles, by Prof. Graham Moffatt of the University of Warwick, who discusses this against the backdrop of the Human Rights Act of 1998.  The theme comes up again in discussions of the definition of charity in the UK, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, all of which are covered in Country Reports.  It is clear that the modern concept of charity should allow for at least a certain amount of political activity, but how far the common law standard should be loosened is a subject of hot debate in a variety of countries.

A third theme is the freedom of association, which has come up in cases involving Turkey (with rather unsettling results) and Hungary, as well as in new legislation in Croatia and proposed legislation in Cambodia.  One of the most interesting stories in this issue concerns a successful attempt by Kyrgyz NGOs to defeat a proposal requiring that NGOs must register in order to exist, which would have completely eliminated informal organizations.  Our Country Report on Kyrgyzstan discusses these developments. 

A fourth theme is self-regulation, which is dealt with in an article by Bob Bothwell, in which he discusses results of a survey he did in the United States about the efficacy of self-regulation.  Other aspects of self-regulation are discussed in that section, including the development of a new Code of Conduct for NGOs in Tanzania and the beginning of a project on Humanitarian Accountability.

Other articles in this issue include Mary George’s treatise-length discussion of “Issues in Charity Litigation in Malaysia” and Radost Toftisova’s analysis of ICNL’s Educational Initiative in Central and Eastern Europe.  In all we are covering developments in the legal and regulatory/self-regulatory framework affecting NGOs in 45 jurisdictions.  This is thus a rich issue, and not one to be read in one sitting!  However, we hope that you enjoy it and look forward to your feedback.

Best regards,

Karla Simon and Lee Irish, General Editors

ICNL is grateful to those who have supported this publication, including the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the Wallace Global Fund, the Helen Bader Foundation, the Compton Foundation, the American Express Foundation, the AT&T Foundation, the GE Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Alcoa Foundation, the Chevron Corporation, the Counterpart Foundation, the Aga Khan Foundation, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, the Asian Development Bank, and the Eurasia Foundation.

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