Legal Mechanisms to Encourage Development Partnerships

Letter from the Editor

The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 1, Issue 1, September 1998

The Inaugural Issue!

Hello to All Readers!

We are pleased to welcome you to the inaugural issue of a unique new publication – The International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law (IJNL). The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) is proud to be publishing the Journal. We hope it will be a service and resource for the international community of not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization (NGO) leaders, civil society funders, lawyers working in the field of NGO law, legislators and other drafters working on new legislation affecting NGOs, academics and other researchers working on NGO issues, and other persons interested in NGOs and the legal and fiscal enabling environment in which they operate.

You may be reading this online on the ICNL website, in an email version, or in hard copy. Whichever medium you have chosen to access the IJNL, we hope that you enjoy reading it!

IJNL is a quarterly journal that includes or will include information about the following:

1) Legal and regulatory developments affecting the NGO sector in
countries around the world;

2) Developments in NGO self-regulation, including information and resources about NGO codes of ethics and other accountability mechanisms;

3) Discussions about the role of law in creating an enabling environment for NGOs and private philanthropy, and the role of private foundations, bilateral, and multilateral agencies in promoting such an environment;

4) Reports on the legal mechanisms for fostering public/private/NGO partnerships;

5) Tax law developments in domestic law that affect NGOs and problems with cross-border giving;

6) Discussions of important NGO case law developments from national and
international tribunals;

7) Summaries of topical articles, the full-text version of which is accessible through hyperlinks to ICNL’s web site; and

8) Book reviews of important new publications relevant to NGO issues.

In its on-line (website) version IJNL has both color and graphics! Both the email and the online versions have links to ICNL’s list of source documents, some of which are available on the website and many of which are not. Although these source documents are not all available on-line at the present time, they may be obtained by an email request and the payment of copying and handling charges. There will also be a charge for access to certain online documents. The price list will be available by contacting

Available documents include copies of longer country reports, full-text versions of existing laws and regulations, examples of NGO codes of conduct, and other self-regulatory materials. Much of this material is available both in English and in the native language of the country.

In addition, the on-line version of IJNL will host two interactive features. It will post pertinent documents or important discussion topics to its “Bulletin Board.” This feature will permit people from various parts of the world to converse over time about draft laws, controversial rulings, practical problems, and a vast array of other topics. In addition, it will host “chat rooms” for real-time discussions of selected topics. Please let us have your suggestions for topics for both the Bulletin Board and the Chat Room.

Because IJNL is a world-wide publication, its success will depend upon the quality of the input it receives from its international correspondents. The initial issue does not contain reports for all the countries that may eventually be included. ICNL intends progressively to expand the group of countries covered, and we would very much welcome the participation of correspondents from countries that are not presently represented or that might benefit from additional information sources.

IJNL would also welcome the submission of articles for publication in full text in the online and print versions, with abstracts published in the email version of IJNL. If you have news or reports of upcoming events that you would like to see reported in IJNL, please contact Derek Aitken at Article submissions should go to Karla Simon at

IJNL is a journal in development that hopes to provide a needed service. We would very much like your suggestions and comments. ICNL intends to continue to publish IJNL as a quarterly on-line, email, and hard copy journal, and to make its unique library of world-wide NGO laws and related documents available electronically. But doing so will depend on ICNL’s ability to raise funds for ongoing support for these efforts. As previously indicated, the services being provided through IJNL and the ICNL website can be to some extent self-supporting, and ICNL is developing a pricing structure to accomplish that goal.

Please let us know what additional information or features you would like to see provided in future IJNL issues. Please contact the General Editors, Karla Simon ( and Lee Irish (, with suggestions for articles, Bulletin Board topics, etc. For technical matters, please contact Derek Aitken, the Journal Editor (, with your comments.

All the best,

Karla Simon and Lee Irish,
General Editors


ICNL is an international organization whose mission is to facilitate and support the development of civil society and the freedom of association on a global basis. ICNL, in cooperation with other international, national, and local organizations, provides technical assistance for the creation and improvement of laws and regulatory systems that permit, encourage, and regulate the NGO sector in countries around the world. ICNL maintains a documentation center for laws, regulations, self-regulatory materials, and other relevant documents, it provides relevant training and education, and it conducts research relevant to strengthening and improving laws for NGOs.

Funding for the establishment of IJNL has been generously provided by grants from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Report-writing for several of the reports in the Journal has been supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank.


The country reports, articles, and other items in the Journal have been prepared and reviewed with care. They have been contributed by many people. Although every effort has been made to assure that the information is correct, there can be no assurance that every item is accurate. No item in the Journal should be relied upon for legal purposes. Any person needing legal assistance should consult a lawyer licensed to practice in the relevant jurisdiction. If anyone discovers errors in the Journal, please let us know.

If you wish to become involved in making IJNL as useful as possible, please contact Derek Aitken at