Charity Law

Letter from the Editor


The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 3, Issue 1, September 2000

Dear Readers,

This issue, the first of Volume Three of the Journal, is once again filled with updates on recent developments as well as some analytical articles about topics of current and continuing interest. Themes receiving attention in this issue include:

  • The tax treatment of NGOs– an international tax survey written by Ignacio Irrarzaval Llona; an article by Karen Nelson about the successful conclusion of a long-term lobbying campaign for better tax rules in South Africa; a short country report by Alceste Santuari on developments in NGO taxation in Italy; and a discussion of recent tax changes in Australia by Myles McGregor-Lowndes.
  • International human rights– a report about the development of the Arab Initiative for Freedom of Association; an article, written by Kathryn Bromley, about the definition of religion in charity law; an article by Wino Van Veen on “Negative Freedom of Association;” and a discussion by Miguel Angel and Antonio Itriago about problems facing Venezuelan NGOs which inhibit their freedom of association.
  • Cross-border philanthropy–a book review of a new publication by the Charities Aid Foundation; an article by David Chernoff on “Program Related Investments;” the “Barbados Declaration” from the Europhil conference held in September; and a review and discussion of the new United States International Grantmaking web site (

In addition to materials on the mentioned themes, this issue of the Journal contains papers, case notes, and Country Reports on a wide range of topics. An item of note for many readers is that Bulgaria has enacted new NGO legislation.

One issue of concern raised in our last issue is again covered in this one – although Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a noted civil society activist and educator in Egypt, has been released from detention, he currently faces corruption and fraud charges. His trial date on those charges has been set for early November, and we will continue to cover developments in his case. The story of his travails is reproduced here in his own words, and we urge that careful attention be paid by all our readers to the difficulties he faces.

As a reminder from earlier Letters, we would also like to draw the readers’ attention to the fact that we would like to hear from you and that we will publish appropriate comments as Letters to the Editor. There is one in this issue, and we would like to receive more. We have always envisioned using the Journal — and our web site more generally – as a forum for discussion. We will be sponsoring further electronic discussions over the course of the next few months on our site and on related sites for Latin America and Africa. Feedback from all interested readers on issues raised here and on those other sites will always be appreciated. If you have suggestions for discussion topics, please let us know.

Kind regards,

Karla W. Simon and Leon E. Irish, General Editors