News


Charity Law Advances in China China

The proposed Charity Law was introduced in the National People’s Congress for its first reading on October 30.

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China’s proposed legislation on Administration of Foreign NGOs China

China’s proposed legislation on Administration of Foreign NGOs will relax the restrictions on the establishment of branches by foreign NGOs.

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ICCSL Pilot Study of Direct Registration Provisions China

We chose to study the new rules in 7 different localities, choosing them from across China.

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Notice of the State Council on Authorizing the Department of Civil Affairs to be Responsible for NGO's Global

Notice of the State Council on Authorizing the Department of Civil Affairs under the State Council to Be Responsible for NGO's

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US: Draft of China Charity Law prepared by China Charity Law Research Team Global

Charity Law draft prepared by China Charity Law Research Team

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Global: CIVICUS State of Civil Society Report 2014 Global

The State of Civil Society Report 2014: Reimagining Global Governance draws on contributions from more than 30 of the world’s leading experts on civil society as well as on inputs from our members, partners, supporters and others in the global CIVICUS alliance

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China: Concerns Grow Following New Arrests in Ongoing Crackdown on Chinese Lawyers China

Chinese lawyers Chang Boyang (常伯阳) and Ji Laisong (姬来松), who were arrested last week on charges of “suspicion of illegal commercial activities” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”

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Hong Kong: Amnesty Intl. Petition "Stop pursuing charges against peaceful protesters" Hong Kong S.A.R.

According to organizers, over 510,000 people took part in the 1 July protest march marking the 17th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.

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UK: Charity Commission publishes inquiry reports into double defaulting charities United Kingdom

Regulator also makes public charities which entered the class inquiry in 2014.

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India: India Blocks Funding of Charities India

India’s Home Ministry has required the Reserve Bank of India to hold all foreign contributions to domestic Indian charities until the ministry says otherwise.

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US: California Donor Disclosure Law Enacted United States of America

On May 14, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law S.B. 27, which requires large donations from nonprofits and other "multi-purpose" (MPOs) organizations to be disclosed beginning July 1.

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Bangladesh: New NGO Law aims at suppressing independent human rights work Bangladesh

The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, are concerned about the pending adoption of a new Law in Bangladesh reinforcing government control over the work of civil society organisations.

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Zambia: NGOs seek out interpretation of NGO Act Zambia

EIGHT civic organisations have petitioned the Lusaka High Court seeking an interpretation of the NGO Act 16 of 2009 which the government intends to use in regulating operations of civil society.

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China: NGO calls on China to stop escalating tensions in East Sea China

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), an NGO with consultative status to a number of United Nations agencies, announced on Wednesday that it has asked the Chinese government to avoid actions that could escalate tensions in the East Sea

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Bangladesh: Big Brother Law Puts NGOs on the Anvil Bangladesh

The Bangladesh government wants to quash human rights activism. The cabinet has approved the "Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulations Bill, 2014", which will likely become law soon.

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India: Govt questionnaire to Greenpeace on foreign funding India

Government has sent a questionnaire to Greenpeace asking it to give a detailed reply on its foreign funding and spending pattern in the wake of an Intelligence Bureau report accusing the NGO of opposing several development projects in India.

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US: InterAction's leadership award honors team that championed free speech rights for NGOs United States of America

NGO alliance InterAction is awarding today its 2014 Julia Vadala Taft Outstanding Leadership Award to a team that championed the free speech rights of NGOs in a legal battle that lasted 10 years and culminated in a favorable U.S. Supreme Court decision.

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Malaysia: NGO: Repeal law on destitute folk Malaysia

A non-governmental organisation that deals with the homeless community in Kuala Lumpur is calling for an immediate repeal of the Destitute Persons Act (DPA), which it describes as a “punitive instrument – both in premise and implementation”

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Zambia: NGO Act Will Cost PF Zambia

International Zambia chapter president Lee Habasonda says the NGO Act will cost the PF the 2016 general elections.

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Tanzania: Looking At the Future of NGOs in Tanzania Tanzania

In 2005, Tanzania introduced amendments to the Non-Governmental Organisations Act, 2002 (the 'NGO Act') to streamline the legal framework for the registration of NGOs by removing deficiencies in the Act, while also empowering the government to monitor operations and sources of funds.

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Russia: New law allowing Justice Ministry to name foreign agents claims five NGOs Russia

Russia’s Ministry of Justice has slapped five more non-governmental organizations with the “foreign agent” label five days following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s signature on new law allowing the Ministry to apply the controversial moniker without an organization’s consent, the official Interfax news agency reported.

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UK: Charities SORP Approved for Release United Kingdom

On May 22, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) approved the new Charities Statements of Recommended Practice (SORP) for publication.

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US: Supreme Court Rejects Appeal From Reporter Over Identity of Source United States of America

The US Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from James Risen, a New York Times reporter facing jail for refusing to identify a confidential source.

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Cambodia: Cambodia drafts laws to crackdown on online activism Cambodia

Cambodia's online activists are warning that one of their few avenues for free expression could soon be too dangerous to use. A London based NGO says the Cambodian government is drafting laws which would outlaw some online activity and that bloggers and journalists could face jail and hefty fines.

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US: Massachusetts Rules on Property Tax Exemption United States of America

In New England Forestry Foundation v. Board of Assessors of Town of Hawley, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that land owned in fee by a charitable conservation organization, and open to the public was eligible for a property tax exemption.

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Zambia: NGOs fight deregistration threats Zambia

The Council of Non-Governmental Organizations, an umbrella grouping of numerous civil society organizations, has release a statement today regarding recent threats by a Patriotic Front (PF) government official to deregister certain classes of NGOs, which is seen as a repressive move to stamp out potentially critical voices in the public policy debate.

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UK: Charity Commission publishes revised conflicts of interest guidance United Kingdom

The Charity Commission, the independant regulator of charities in England and Wales, has today published revised public guidance on conflicts of interest for charity trustees.

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EU: European Court of Justice Okays Data Scrubbing European Union

The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice today ruled that Internet companies can be made to remove irrelevant or excessive personal information from search engine results.

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US: Three Mysterious Philanthropists Fund Fourth Largest U.S. Charity United States of America

In 1997 a single donor began charting a new direction for the research effort into Huntington’s. The unknown man’s donations to the fight against Huntington’s, it turns out, were just a small part of his generosity. But someone had taken elaborate steps to make sure no one figured out where this money came from, using layers of company subsidiaries to obscure its origins.

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China: China's Officials Muzzle Labor Activists China

What happens to labor advocacy groups that try to help workers organize in China’s factories? For Shenzhen Chunfeng Labor Dispute Service Center, it’s meant repeated evictions from their offices, investigations for tax violations, and police warnings to the staff to stop their work or face unspecified consequences.

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UK: Charity Commission and ICAEW Strategic Review Project United Kingdom

ICAEW has collaborated with the Charity Commission to offer reviews to charities on strategy development, implementation and review. The Report details the key findings, themes and recommendations.

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China: Central Government Announces Guidelines for Digital Publishing Industry China

The central government has released guidelines for developing the digital publishing industry, and said it would give companies financial support as they make the transformation from traditional publishing.

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Kenya: NGO Council Plans to Amend Law Kenya

The Non-Governmental Organisation Council has threatened to collect more than one million signatures from the public to amend the Public Benefits Organisations Act 2013.

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Russia: Russia's Prosecutor Slaps 'Foreign Agent' Label On 24 NGOs in His 2013 Year-End Tally Russia

Russia’s prosecutor general, Yury Chaika, announced earlier this week in a report that 24 non-governmental organizations had been tarred as “foreign agents” under the draconian 2012 Kremlin-backed law designed to target opposition political sentiment, the Interfax Russian news agency reported.

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Cambodia: NGO Input Not Needed said PM Cambodia

Prime Minister Hun Sen lashed out at civil society groups yesterday, calling their requested input on the Council of Ministers’ recently approved judicial draft laws unnecessary at best and unconstitutional at worst.

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China: Public Interest Litigation over the Environment Enhanced by New Law China

China recently amended its Environmental Protection Law, the first amendment since the law was enacted in 1989. Barbara Finamore has an overview of the amendments.

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Uganda: New Legislation Targets Gays Uganda

Uganda has drafted a new law that would bar non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from promoting homosexuality, tightening rules further after anti-gay legislation in February was widely condemned as draconian.

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Cambodia: Cyber law could shutter freedom of expression Cambodia

Cambodia's secretive draft law on cyber crime is unreasonably restrictive, say its critics, far too widely drawn and, if passed in its current form, could close down one of the country's last spaces for free expression.

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Uganda: NGOs lack integrity, say MPs Uganda

Legislators on the defense and internal affairs committee have accused non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in the country of being dishonest and getting resources from abroad to engage in illegal activities.

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UK: Paula Sussex to be new Charity Commission chief executive United Kingdom

Paula Sussex has been appointed the new chief executive of the Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. She will take up the appointment from 30 June 2014. Paula joins the Commission from CGI, where she is Senior Vice President, Public Sector and a member of the CGI UK board.

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US: IRS Will Rewrite Proposed Political Activity Regulations United States of America

The head of the Internal Revenue Service this week signaled that his agency will re-write proposed new limits on the political activities of nonprofit advocacy groups, quelling concerns from the left about overreach but failing to win over conservatives. Lawmakers and policy analysts on both sides of the political spectrum have voiced opposition to the draft guidelines, which would prohibit tax-exempt organizations from engaging in certain election-related activities including voter-registration and get-out-the-vote drives.

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Kenya: The government's failure to gazette PBO causes apprehension Kenya

The Government’s failure to gazette the Public Benefit Organisations (PBO) Act, passed by the 10th Parliament in 2012, has caused apprehension. The big question is why the Act cannot be gazetted in its original form to become law, especially after amendments were suspended by the current government owing to strong opposition from civil society organizations (CSOs).

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India: Small Percentage of NGOs Actually Registered Under FCRA India

Despite voluntary organizations receiving over Rs115 billion of foreign funds annually, only two per cent of the 2 million odd NGOs operating in the country have been registered, raising eyebrows in the home ministry.

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England & Wales: Charity Commission Wins Case England and Wales

The Charity Commission published a news release about a Supreme Court Judgment, which dismisses on all grounds the appeal brought by a newspaper journalist, Dominic Kennedy.

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China: NGO man banned from UN Rights Council China

A person belonging to a supposed Chinese NGO headed by some high-level party and party-supported officials has been barred from the UN after he intimidated a witness from Canada who was testifying at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva recently, said a nytimes.com blog posting Mar 24.

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Russia: HRW Release on Foreign Agents Law Russia

According to a release by Human Rights Watch, there have been dozens of cases brought against Russian NGOs since the adoption of the “foreign agents law” in 2013. Various prosecutors’ offices and the Ministry of Justice filed nine administrative cases against NGOs and an additional five administrative cases against NGO leaders for failure to register under the “foreign agents” law.

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Sri Lanka: Court orders to silence two human rights activists Sri Lanka

Two court orders from a Court in Sri Lanka order the law enforcement authorities responsible for counter terrorism to prevent two human rights activists from making statements about their investigations.

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UK: Said to Undermine Council of Europe and European Commission United Kingdom

Ministers calling for Britain to abandon the European human rights framework are encouraging Russia in its illegal action in Crimea, the head of the Council of Europe has told the Financial Times.

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UK: Charities to be "Silenced" by New Data Protection Law United Kingdom

Campaigning charities that carry out investigations could find themselves falling foul of the Data Protection Act, charity lawyer Mairead O’Reilly has warned. London-based environmental NGO, Global Witness, has been taken to court by BSG Resources (BSGR) Ltd. accused of breaching the 1998 Data Protection Act.

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US: Should Charitable Contribution Deduction Favor the Needy? United States of America

Prof. Miranda Perry Fleischer recently provided provocative food for thought regarding the efforts to reform the charitable contribution deduction. In Tax Notes (2014 TNT 54-4), she argues that charitable reform should result in something that really adds to the incentives to assist the poor rather than our own favorite projects.

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India: NGOs vulnerable to risk of terror financing: Govt India

With voluntary organizations receiving more than Rs 11,500 crore of foreign funds annually, the Union home ministry has warned that the NGOs in the country were vulnerable to risks of money laundering and terror financing.

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Zambia: YALI differs with Katema over NGO Act Zambia

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has dismissed the suggestion by Information and Broadcasting Services Minister and Chief Government Spokesperson Joseph Katema that the NGO ACT can only be reviewed after it has been implemented.

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Burma: Speech on Freedom of Expression Given by Aung San Suu Kyi Myanmar

In a speech given in conjunction with the East-West Center’s International Media Conference on “Challenges of a Free Press” in Yangon, Myanmar, Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi addressed press freedom issues in both emerging and developed democracies. (Watch the video of her talk.)

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Cambodia: New NGO Law to "Control" NGOs? Cambodia

The Cambodian ruling party wants “biased” election watchdogs to be on a tight leash by the next election and wants the opposition to agree to it, senior Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Cheam Yeap said ahead of the third meeting of a bipartisan election reform committee.

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Russia: Pussy Riot lauches prisoners' rights NGO Russia

Pussy Riot members Nadia Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina have launched Zona Prava (Law Zone), a non-governmental organisation which seeks to protect prisoners’ rights in Russia.

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Zambia: NGO Act Should Not Be Entertained Zambia

With members of the civil society refusing to budge, the usually government aligned Transparency International Zambia says it will not register under the new NGO Act.

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Turkey: New Unrest as Police Fight Protesters Turkey

Two people died as protests grew on March 11 in several Turkish cities after the funeral of a teenager whose death kicked off the largest antigovernment demonstrations since unrest swept the nation last year.

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Cambodia: Input on NGO Law Over Says the Government Cambodia

The government will not consult civil society groups on the latest iteration of a draft law that will regulate non-governmental organizations and associations, a senior Interior Ministry official said yesterday.

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China: Successful Employment Discrimination Lawsuit Brought by Beijing Yiren Ping China

A Beijing Yirenping Lawyer brought a successful law suit under the Employment Discrimination Law of 2008 on behalf of a 21-year-old woman was who was searching online for jobs when she hit upon a listing that sounded perfect: administrative assistant at a tutoring school in Beijing.

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Azerbaijan: Lawsuit to be Filed Against Azerbaijan by NGO Azerbaijan

The “Against Legal Arbitrariness” NGO is planning to file a lawsuit against Azerbaijan at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in connection with the Mamikon Khojoyan case

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Global: Human Rights Council Meeting Begins with Calls to Protect Civil Society Activism Global

Noting that more and more people around the world are taking to the streets to lay claim to their rights, United Nations officials opened the latest session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva today with calls for the protection of members of civil society who pursue justice in their countries.

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Zambia: TIZ Refuses to Register Because of "Bad Law" Zambia

Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has vowed not to register itself under the current NGO Act because the law was draconian and archaic and has challenged government to proceed and deregister the NGO.

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Hong Kong: Protest Rally About Attack on Kevin Lau Hong Kong S.A.R.

“They can’t kill us all”: Thousands from across the political spectrum rallied yesterday in support of press freedom and to condemn the attack last week on former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau Chun-to.

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China: Tax Exemption Circular Issued China

On January 29 the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and State Administration of Taxation (SAT) issued a new circular – Cai Shui [2014] 13 No. on tax exemption requirements for CSOs.

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Hong Kong S.A.R: Bypassing Barrels of Ink, Journalists March Hong Kong S.A.R.

The "Free Speech, Free Hong Kong" protest was organised by the Hong Kong Journalists Association, which said 6,000 took part. Police put the figure at 1,600.

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Russia: More Legislation Permitting "Snap" Inspections Russia

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that would set out additional reasons for conducting surprise inspections of non-governmental organizations.

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India: NGO Boom but Lack of Accountability India

For a country which till recently had a weak civil society movement, India is now witnessing a boom in the NGO sector.

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Global: CIVICUS publishes 2013 State of Civil Society Report Global

CIVICUS publishes 2013 State of Civil Society Report

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Azerbaijan: U.S.Expresses Concern Over Changes to "NGO Law" Azerbaijan

The United States expressed deep concern over the new amendments to the law on NGOs in Azerbaijan concerning the NGO registration processes as well as fines and funding

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Cambodia - Clarity Sought on New "NGO Law" Cambodia

A request has been sent to the government’s Human Rights Committee and the interior and foreign affairs ministries seeking clarification on the status and whereabouts of a draft law that will govern associations and non-governmental organizations, asking to see the latest version of the law before it is sent to the National Assembly for ratification.

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Nigeria: Navi Pillay Statement on Anti-Gay Law Nigeria

“This draconian new law makes an already-bad situation much worse,” the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said in a statement.

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US: Fiscal Dispute Could Abolish Land Trusts United States of America

Both the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal report that a dispute in Massachusetts over a $172.87 property tax bill could undermine tax exemption for millions of acres held by land trusts nationwide.

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Belarus: Conscientious Objector Law Withdrawn Belarus

Nearly 20 years after Belarus’ 1994 Constitution enshrined a right to an alternative to compulsory military service for young men, an Alternative Service Law was drafted and sent to Parliament.

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Turkey: Internet Bill Allows Interference with Freedom of Expression Turkey

Turkey’s parliament on February 6, 2014 passed an Internet bill that would authorize the Directorate of Telecommunications to block access to content, citing the right to privacy, AFP reported

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Egypt: Court Upholds Seizure of Brotherhood Funds, Assets Egypt

A misdemeanor appeals court for urgent matters turned down Saturday a legal challenge by members of the Muslim Brotherhood against a verdict ordering the seizure of the group’s funds by the interim government.



Karla Simon gives Peter Geithner a copy of Civil Society in China. United States of America

Karla Simon gives Peter Geithner a copy of Civil Society in China. Peter was instrumental in helping ICCSL in China

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Ukraine: Good News Follows Bad Ukraine

According to ICNL, on January 16, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine adopted a massive package of legislative changes affecting Ukrainian civil society and democracy.

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Rwanda: Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai Issues Statement Regarding Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association Rwanda

He says practices in Rwanda are not in compliance with obligations under international treaties, which it has signed and ratified.

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Manifesto Issued Calling the 1989 Law of the People’s Republic of China on Assemblies, Processions, and Demonstrations into Question China

Seventy-eight lawyers, journalists, and scholars published a manifesto on January 22, 2014

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Law Violates Freedoms of Association and Peaceful Assembly Nigeria

The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act threatens the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly for LGBT individuals.

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Over 500,000 CSOs have been registered in China China

By the end of 2013 over 500,000 CSOs had been registered in China; over 19,000 benefited from “direct registration”!

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Muslim Brotherhood Deemed “Terrorist” Egypt

The military-backed interim Egyptian government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group after blaming it for a deadly attack on a police HQ in December.

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Pussy Riot Activists Released! Russia

Two jailed members of the Russian punk bank Pussy Riot were released following an amnesty law that both described as a Kremlin public relations stunt ahead of the Winter Olympics.

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Big news on Christmas! China

It appears that there will be some new developments with regard to direct registration of CSOs in Guandong.

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List of Public Welfare Social Groups Qualified in 2013 China

List of the First Batch of Public Welfare Social Groups that Obtain Pre-tax Deduction Qualifications of Public Welfare Donations in 2013

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Third Plenum of the Communist Party China

Held in Nov. 2013, this meeting made certain that the highest levels of the CCP have bought into reforms for "social organizations."

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New Associations Law Signed Into Law Afghanistan

President Hamid Karzai signed the Associations Law on September 1, 2013 superseding the 2002 Law on Social Organizations.

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Non-Government Charity Foundation Allowed to Fundraise from Public China

A foundation for leukemia sufferers says it has become the first non-official charity in Beijing to win permission to raise money directly from the public.

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UN Extends Mandate of Special Rapporteur Global

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.

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China’s Social Organizations Could Help Tamp Social Unrest - WSJ Book Review China

Review of Karla Simon's book by Stanley Lubman on WSJ's China Realtime Blog.

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Event Supporting Civil Society at 68th UN General Assembly United Nations

The International Center for Civil Society Law (ICCSL) announces it great pleasure that there was a High Level Event on Supporting Civil Society around the time of the 68th United Nations General Assembly.

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Prof. Karla W. Simon, has resigned from CUA United States of America

The International Center for Civil Society Law (ICCSL) announces that its co-founder and chairperson, Prof. Karla W. Simon, has resigned from her position as Research Professor at the Columbus School of Law (CSL), Catholic University of America (CUA) effective October 2, 2013.

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National Security Resolution Passed by Council of Europe Unit Europe

The Parliamentary Council of the Council of Europe (PACE), which calls itself “the democratic conscience of Greater Europe” has endorsed “reasonable limits” on the use of “national security” as a ground for secrecy.

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U.S. Court of Appeals Confirms Earlier Decision Upholding Texas Statute United States of America

Panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit confirmed its earlier decision that upheld as constitutional a Texas statute allowing charitable organizations to raise money by holding bingo games.

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Taking Rights Implementation Seriously United Kingdom

The government has just laid before the Parliament a copy of the UK Government paper - Good Business: Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (CM 8691).

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Pushback from UN on Public Order Bill Uganda

Three independent United Nations experts today called on the Government of Uganda to repeal a new bill that places restrictions on the freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and to prepare a new version that complies with the country's international human rights obligations.

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Potential for Dissolution of Brotherhood Increases with Lawsuit Egypt

An Egyptian judicial panel advised a court to dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood as a legally registered non-governmental organization on Monday, posing a legal challenge to the group as the army-backed government presses a crackdown.

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Human Rights Watch Deplores Failure to Register Human Rights Organizations Saudi Arabia

According to a Human Rights Watch release, Saudi officials have been refusing to register human rights groups, leaving members subject to criminal prosecution for “setting up an unregistered organization.”

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First Case Involving NGO Law Arrives at Constitutional Court Russia

Russia’s Constitutional Court has received the first official complaint from a non-governmental organization against the controversial law requiring political NGOs receiving funding from abroad to register as “foreign agents.”

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Meetings Being Held to Discuss Draft NGO Law Myanmar

Representatives from local NGOs in upper and lower Myanmar are meeting to prepare for discussions with MPs over the draft Association Law, which will govern how non-government groups register and operate.

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New Companies Bill Passes Parliament India

Noshir Dadrawala reports that on 8th August 2013, India’s Rajya Sabha passed the much-awaited new Companies Bill.

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Calls to Amend New Mass Organizations Law Heard Indonesia

A new law in Indonesia places unnecessary and onerous restrictions on the activities of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on July 18.

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Foreign NGO Registration Rules to Be Eased China

Front page headline in China Daily July 19, 2013. For more details click

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China Hailed for Poverty Cuts in Connection with MDGS United Nations

The United Nations has singled out China - the world's most populous country, with over 1.3 billion people - as one of the key success stories in the longstanding battle against poverty.

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ECHR Rules Against The Government In FOI Case Serbia

The European Court of Human Rights has supported a right to access information held by public bodies, holding that Serbia violated the human rights of a group seeking information.

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Important Freedom Of Speech Case Decided By Supreme Court United States of America

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the U.S. Agency for International Development's requirement that organizations adopt the regulatory aspects of the government's anti-prostitution stance, in order to obtain funds to combat the global HIV / AIDS epidemic.

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Report On 501(C)(4) Determinations Issued United States of America

The report concludes that while there were “significant management and judgment failures,” there is no evidence of intentional wrongdoing.

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Conviction and Sentencing of NGO Workers Announced; Impact Assessed Egypt

A decision by an Egyptian court to jail a number of non-governmental organizations (NGO) workers, including Westerners, over illegal operation and foreign funding is expected to wreck havoc on Egypt’s relations with the West and is seen as a bad omen for the future of NGOs in Egypt.

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Election NGO May be Shut Down Warns Justice Minister Russia

Russia’s Justice Ministry will ask a court to close down the Golos Association, an independent election monitoring NGO, if it fails to register as a “foreign agent,” Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov said on May 15.

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New Law on Associations Applied to Target HR Activists Afghanistan

The conviction of an activist in Algeria after he distributed leaflets about unemployment in the country is a worrying sign that a new law regulating associations is being used to restrict civil society groups’ activities

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Donors for Sichuan Earthquake Relief Choosing Non-Goverment Charities China

The Global Times and New York Times reported that donors are shunning the government-linked charities such as the Red Cross and preferring to donate funds through charity platforms online for relief in the Ya’an Earthquake.

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Human Rights Council Chief Proposes Getting Rid Of NGO Law Russia

Mikhail Fedotov, the chairman of the Kremlin human rights council, has proposed scrapping the law on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Kommersant daily reported on Monday.

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New Public Benefit Organizations Act 2013 Analyzed Kenya

A lot has been written about the newly enacted Public Benefit Organizations (PBO) Act, 2013, which will repeal the NGOs Co-ordination Act of 1990.

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Professor Simon introduced her new book United States of America

Civil Society in China: The Legal Framework from Ancient Times to the “New Reform Era” (Oxford University Press, 2013) at NYU Law School March 27, 2013.



Major Government Reform Plan Adopted By National People's Congress Affects CSOs China

The oversight of CSOs in China is to be streamlined in accordance with a major government restructuring package adopted by the NPC at its March 2013 annual meeting.

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Final Draft of NGO Law Sent to Judiciary Egypt

The Insurance and Social Affairs Ministry has finished their draft of amendments to the Civil Institutions Act and sent it for review to the judiciary, said Minister Nagwa Khalil on January 31.

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2012 Foundation Transparency Report Published China

A report was issued by the China Charity and Donation Center (CCDC) in early January dealing with transparency among China’s large foundations.

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Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Launched Australia

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission was launched on December 3, and the Website is now live at http://www.acnc.gov.au.

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New Legislation United Kingdom

On October 31, the Minister for Civil Society laid the necessary draft secondary legislation before Parliament to underpin the Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Subject to Parliamentary approval of the statutory instruments, the first applications to set up CIOs could be made by the end of this year.

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New Legislation Anguilla

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) is now a reality, after the ACNC Bills were passed by the House of Representatives on November 1. Amendments made by the Senate were accepted in full. A start date for the ACNC has yet to be announced, but is likely to be some time in December 2012. More information and analysis will be available in the December 2012 IJCSL-N.

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Premier-in-Waiting Asks for Tax Breaks for HIV/AIDS NGOs China

Premier-in-Waiting Li Keqiang has asked the Ministry of Finance to arrange a pilot program that would give tax breaks to NGOs specializing in HIV/AIDS prevention, as part of the government’s attempt to reach out to grass-roots groups to help fight the disease.

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Forbes Publishes Philanthropy Survey Gambia

The Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy, supported by Credit Suisse, brought together 150 of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful philanthropists to tackle some of the planet’s most persistent challenges.

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Two Pussy Riot Convictions Upheld, One Overturned Russia

The members of Russian punk collective Pussy Riot finally got their day in court on October 10, when a Moscow City judge upheld the two-year jail sentences for two of the them and issued a suspended sentence for a third.

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New Charity Commission Chair Appointed England and Wales

The Charity Commission welcomes confirmation from the Cabinet Office of its new Chair, William Shawcross, CVO.

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Proposed Treasury and IRS Rules Would Reduce Barriers to Global Grantmaking United States of America

On September 24, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service proposed long-awaited regulatory changes that would significantly modify regulations on equivalency determination in cross-border grantmaking.

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Arrest of Activist Aimed at Reducing Opposition Activities Russia

Accelerating the Kremlin’s campaign against the country's fledgling opposition, Russian investigators charged the blogger and anticorruption activist Aleksei Navalny on Tuesday with embezzlement, a crime that carries a sentence of up to 10 years.

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Crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang as Ramadan Progresses China

The Chinese government has ordered restrictions on Ramadan observances in the northern province of Xinjiang, home to the majority of China's Muslim Uighur minority, leading Uighur leaders to warn of the potential for new violence in the restive region, according to Alexandra Evans on the Foreign Policy blog.

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Charity and Security Network Releases Report on Humanitarian Intervention United States of America

The Charities and Security Project has released an extensive report on how U.

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First Activist Fined Under New Law Russia

A Moscow court has ordered a political opposition leader to pay a $380 fine for organizing an unsanctioned demonstration.

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Legal Assistance CSO Denied Permission to Receive Foreign Funding Jordan

Jordan’s government is violating the right to freedom of association by denying, without explanation, a civil society organization permission to accept foreign funding, according to Human Rights Watch.

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Julian Assange Given Asylum Ecuador

In a strange turn of events, Ecuador said on August 16 that it had decided to grant political asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

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Pussy Riot Members Sentenced to Two Years in Jail Russia

Three women from Russian punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in jail on Friday for their protest against President Vladimir Putin in a church, an outcome supporters described as the Kremlin leader’s "personal revenge.

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New Regulations on Procedural Aspects of CSO Registration Released; Go Into Effect on October 1 China

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has released new regulations on procedures for applying for registration and for administrative penalties in cases of registration irregularities.

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Environmental CSOs Challenging Regulations on Public Interest Litigation China

Two environmental CSOs in Chongqing are petitioning the NPC to amend the relevant regulations regarding public interest litigation.

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Human Rights Tribunal Closed to Individuals Southern Africa

The Open Society Foundations have reported that leaders of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) took a momentous decision in Maputo in late August—to shut the doors of the SADC Tribunal, preventing the region's citizens from seeking justice for human rights abuses.

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New NGO Law Proceeds to Lower House of Parliament Myanmar

The drafting of a new registration law specifically for non-governmental organizations was approved by Burma's Lower House of Parliament, and existing legislation will also be reviewed.

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Protest Movements as Political Strategy Egypt

Recent protests throughout Sudan are the latest in an ongoing trend of protest movements around the world, from Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt to oil workers in Norway and opposition parties in Thailand.

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Human Rights Council Backs Internet Freedom Resolution Global

The United Nations Human Rights Council has for the first time backed people's right to freedom of expression on the Internet in the wake of the massive role that social media networks played in the Arab Spring.

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New Law Passes Parliament; It Goes to Putin for Signature Russia

President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign into law a bill adopted by Russia’s parliament, which labels many foreign-funded, non-governmental organizations operating within the country as "foreign agents.

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First National Charity Fair Held in Shenzen China

China's first ever charity fair was held in Shenzhen on July 13 and 14.

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Concerns Raised Over Draft Telecom Offenses Proclamation Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s draft Telecom Fraud Offenses Proclamation conflicts with internationally guaranteed human rights standards.

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Putin Signs Law and Some NGOs Vow to Ignore It Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 21, 2012 signed into law a new measure that requires non-governmental groups receiving funding from abroad and engaging in political activity to register as foreign agents.

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Draft Transparency Regulations for Foundations Issued China

New draft regulations on the management of the nation’s charitable foundations were issued on July 30, 2012 in an effort to enhance transparency and oversight in a sector whose credibility has suffered considerably following a recent series of scandals involving embezzled funds.

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Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai Presented Inaugural Report Uganda

On June 20, 2012, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Maina Kiai , presented his inaugural report to the UN Human Rights Council.

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NGO Planks in Presidential Platforms Egypt

Egypt's presidential run-off, in which around 50 million people were expected to vote on 16-17 June, is spotlighting challenges such as poverty alleviation, the role of NGOs, and environmental issues.

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National Human Rights Action Plan Addresses Roles of Social Organizations China

Published on June 11, 2012 by the Information Office of the State Council, or China's cabinet, the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012-2015) addressed social organizations as follows:

6. Right to participate point 5

Encouraging orderly participation by social organizations in social construction.

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Charity Law Submitted to State Council China

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has submitted a draft of the Charity Law to China’s State Council (cabinet), a sign the country may be progressing towards rules covering philanthropic organizations.

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Xi Jinping met with the Co-Chairman of the Gates Foundation, USA China

BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhua Reporter Qian Tong) Vice President Xi Jinping, met with the United States Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chairman Bill Gates.

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Government Releases New Regulations on Associations and on Social and Chritable Funds Vietnam

The Vietnamese government released new regulations on social and charitable funds in early May.

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China

Front page story on NPOs and philanthropy in China in China Daily for May 12 available at http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/weekly/2012-05/11/content_15269496.htm.

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Concerns Expressed about Draft Public Order Management Law Uganda

The Uganda parliament should significantly revise the draft Public Order Management bill, which would drastically restrict freedom of assembly and expression, according to the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) and Human Rights Watch.

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VOA Reports Lack of Election Monitors Due to Dispute About US NGOs Egypt

Egyptians go to the polls this week to choose their first democratically elected president.

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ICNL Work on Civil Society Recognized at Hearing United States of America

The work of our organization, ICNL, has recently been recognized by Congress, and we are very humbled by and grateful for the recognition.

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Conference on Modes of Activism and Engagement in the Chinese Public Sphere Singapore

Catholic University law school Professor Karla Simon was among the featured speakers at "Conference on Modes of Activism and Engagement in the Chinese Public Sphere," organized by the Asia Research Institute and held at National University of Singapore on April 26 and 27.

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New "Normative Rules" on Foundations China

New "Normative Rules" on Foundations Issued by Ministry of Civil Affairs (for public comment) MCA issued new normative rules on April 25, which are meant to supplement existing donation disclosure rules issued in December 2011.

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U.S. Eases Sanctions to Allow Nonprofits to Work in Myanmar Myanmar

The United States has eased financial sanctions on Myanmar to enable U.

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Extension of Unrelated Commercial Activities Provisions of Budget Announced Australia

After extensive consultation with the not-for-profit (NFP) sector, the Australian Government has announced that it will extend the start date for the 2011-12 Budget measure to better target NFP tax concessions from 1 July 2011 to 1 July 2012.

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Two Democracy Promotion NGOs Shut Down UAE

Two nongovernmental organizations that worked primarily on promoting democracy abroad were shuttered by the government of the United Arab Emirates at the end of April.

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CIVICUS Releases State of Civil Society 2011 Report Global

Civil society faces a generational opportunity to prove its value as a source of alternatives at a time of profound global crisis.

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New Draft Law on NGOs Draws Intense Criticism Egypt

A number of human rights organizations have declared their utter rejection of a new draft law on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), prepared by the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs and that aims to nationalize civil society.

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ICCSL staff meet with large gathering of folks interested in civil society in Beijing China

Elaine Pratley and David Shallcross were instrumental in organizing this gathering of civil society folks from embassies, the UN, foundations, and national and international CSOs in honor of a trip by Lee and Karla to Beijing.

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Global

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed deep concern about current or recent moves in a number of countries to curtail the freedom of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society actors to operate independently and effectively.

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ICCSL staff meeting in New York United States of America

ICCSL staff meeting in New York with visiting delegation of Ministry of Civil Affairs staff led by Vice Director of NPO Management Bureau Liu Zhenguo.

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UNDP/EU GED Project Evaluation Meeting China

ICCSL staff attended a briefing for the UNDP/EU GED project by Tsinghua University professor He Jianyu at UNDP headquarters in Beijing on April 23.

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Carters Reports on Charity Changes in 2012 Budget Canada

On March 29, 2012, the Federal Government introduced the 2012 Federal Budget ("Budget 2012").

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Karla Simon's talk at U.S.-Asia Law Institute at NYU Law March 6, 2012 United States of America

Karla Simon presented a talk at NYU Law School on March 6 titled "2011 - The Remarkable Year for Civil Society."

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Americans Freed to Leave Country Egypt

Americans who had been stuck in Egypt left the country on March 1, after Egyptian officials lifted a travel ban imposed as part of a politically charged criminal case against four nonprofit groups here, a senior official with the Obama administration and witnesses at the airport said.

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Developments Regarding Charity and Civil Society at the "Two Sessions" of the Ruling Bodies China

Most importantly, Premier Wen Jiabao mentioned charity and civil society in his work report his "State of the Union-style" address for 2012 read out to the National People's Congress (NPC) on March 5, 2012.

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Draft NGO Law Withdrawn by Government Egypt

The government has withdrawn a controversial draft law on civil society organizations, said Mohamed Esmat al-Sadat, chairman of Parliament’s Human Rights Committee.

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Recommendations from Standing Committee on Finance Reported India

The Direct Taxes Code Bill, 2010, introduced in Lok Sabha on 30 August 2010 was referred to the Standing Committee on Finance on 9 September 2010 for examination and report thereon.

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Political Party Law Reformed in Major Ways Russia

Responding to the outcry over disputed parliamentary elections in December and the huge street protests in Moscow that followed, Russian lawmakers on Friday unanimously approved legislation to make it easier to form and maintain new political parties.

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ICNL Receives MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions United States of America

On February 16, 2012, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) as a recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

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Restrictive Law on Associations and Foundations Proposed by Government; Less Restrictive Draft Submitted to Parliament by Civil Society Egypt

The raids on Egyptian and foreign CSOs in December 2011 (and reported on in the February Newsletter) were followed on January 17, 2012 by an announcement from the Egyptian Ministry of Social Justice and Solidarity that it had completed a draft Law on Associations and Foundations to amend Egypt’s existing Law 84 of 2002.

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POMED Releases Backgrounder on Crackdown on NGOs Egypt

The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) has released a long and very informative backgrounder on the current NGO crackdown.

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New Rules For Charitable Activities Of Religious Organization Released by SARA China

The State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) has released regulations on charitable activities for religious organizations.

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ICCSL staff visited Beijing and Shenzhen China

ICCSL staff on a visit to Shenzhen local bureau of civil affairs and local CSOs in connection with a new project for UNDP.

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Developments in the Trial of NGO Workers Indicate Progress Toward Resolution Egypt

Civil society workers for U.S. and other nonprofit groups that are accused of illegally receiving foreign funds entered pleas of not guilty Sunday, the first day of a trial that threatens to unravel three decades of close Egyptian-American relations.

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Crackdown on Foreign Funded CSOs Continues into January Egypt

According to the New York Times, Egypt’s military-led government on January 1, 2012 justified its recent crackdown on human rights and democracy-building organizations as a defense against foreign interference in its politics, defying international pressure and contradicting reports from senior officials in Washington that Egypt's military rulers had pledged to soften their stance.

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Cambodia Draft Law on NGOs Being Reconsidered Cambodia

According to Voice of America, the Cambodian government on December 28, 2011 appeared to bow to pressure and took a step back on the law, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying in a public speech he wanted the Ministry of Interior and local NGOs to continue discussions that would make the law "acceptable" to all.

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Ministries of Civil Affairs and Finance Issue New Audit Guidelines for Foundations Effective January 2012 China

The new Audit Guidelines, available in Chinese at http://www.mca.gov.cn/article/zwgk/fvfg/mjzzgl/201112/20111200248698.shtml, for the first time require that financials of foundations be reviewed by certified public accountants.

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112 Charities to Join Online Disclosure Platform China

To restore public trust in charities, 112 Chinese organizations are on track to participate in a government-sponsored information disclosure platform, according to Caixin Online.

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Human Rights Committee Votes to Overturn Requirement Regarding Removal of Turbans France

Sikhs in France have won a major victory in their attempt to overturn French legal requirements that they remove their turbans for the taking of driver's license photos and for other reasons.

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Freedoms of Peaceful Assembly and Association United Nations

Maina Kiai, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of freedom of peaceful assembly and association, requests responses to a questionnaire that will help him prepare a thematic report to the Human Rights Council.

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4th Draft of NGO Law Released and Discussed Colombia

The highly-anticipated fourth draft of the controversial Draft Law on NGOs and Associations circulated at a meeting of the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia yesterday "is still unacceptable to civil society," attendees told the Phnom Penh Post.

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Ministry Issues Guidelines on Charity Donations China

The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) issued a new guideline on December 16, 2011 to offer suggestions to charity groups on how to disclose donation information in the wake of doubts about the transparency of their operations.

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Second Draft of Anti-Foreign Funding Bill Tabled after AG Pronounces It "Unconstitutional" Israel

Skirmishing over the second draft of bills introduced in both houses of the Knesset to limit foreign funding to Israeli NGOs continues, with Prime Minister Netanyahu once again reversing course on the bills and tabling them.

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Outsourcing Government Financed Social Services to Civil Society Organizations Conference China

Dr. Leon Irish and Prof. Karla Simon attended a major international conference on Outsourcing Government Financed Social Services to Civil Society Organizations on December 10-11.

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National Human Rights Council Barred from Receiving Large Number of Foreign Donations Ethiopia

According to a story in the Addis Fortune, the Federal High Court 11th Civil Bench upheld the decision of the Ethiopian Charities & Societies Agency (ECSA) Board which blocked eight million Birr (approx.

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Arab League Suspends Syria from Foreign Ministers Council Middle East

The Arab League has reached a decision, by consensus with some reservations, to suspend Syria’s participation in the Arab Foreign Ministers Council pending an end to the use of violence by the Syrian regime against pro-democracy demonstrators.

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Civil Society Proposes New NGO Law Egypt

Thirty-nine human rights and development organizations have drafted a new law to regulate NGOs and sent a copy to Prime Minister Essam Sharaf.

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Charity Law Makes Progress China

China will make a law on philanthropy, which has been listed on the legislative agenda of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee and the legislative plan of 2011, according to a report adopted by the NPC Standing Committee at its recently ended bimonthly session.

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Netanyahu Freezes Bills to Limit Foreign Funds to CSOs Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has frozen the possible passage into law of two bills aimed at limiting foreign funding to civil society organizations, according to Ha'aretz.

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Guangdong Province Introduces Major Reforms in CSO Registration Process China

In a move widely covered in the press and on civil affairs websites throughout China, Guangdong Province's Bureau of Civil Affairs (BCA) has announced a major reform that will make it easier for eight classes of CSOs to register;

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Charity Commission to be Disestablished New Zealand

The Cabinet has confirmed a plan to disestablish the Charities Commission, and transfer its core functions to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).

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Draft Law on NGOs May Violate International Obligations Cambodia

A Cambodian draft law making registration of associations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) mandatory and banning unregistered groups, risks breaching an international treaty, a United Nations rights expert has warned, calling on the Government to review it.

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Proposed New Religion Law Evokes Criticism Russia

On 5 October 2011 a draft law was posted on the web site of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation titled "On introducing changes in the federal law 'On freedom of conscience and religions associations.

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Major Decision by Upper Tribunal Rejects Part of Charity Commission Approach to Fee-Charging Schools United Kingdom

ThirdSector reports that the United Kingdom’s Upper Tribunal has rejected in part an attempt by the Charity Commission for England and Wales to require schools seeking classification as a charity to admit students who are unable to pay the schools' fees.

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Tajikistan Town Hall Tajikistan

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held a Town Hall on civil society and youth with ICCSL partner AKDN in Dushanbe Tajikistan.

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Process for Developing New National Policy on the Voluntary Sector Advances India

VANI, the Volunteer Action Network India, has published an assessment of the successes and failures of the governmental Planning Commission’s efforts to create a new national policy for the voluntary sector.

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NGO Law Sent Back to Ministry of Interior for Reconsideration Cambodia

A contentious law aimed at regulating Cambodia’s non-governmental sector has been sent back to the Ministry of Interior, following international concern that the draft as it stood could damage the country’s development, according to reports by Voice of America’s Khmer service.

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Draft FOI Law Proposed by Human Rights Law Group Egypt

The Egyptian human rights law firm the United Group has released a draft of a proposed law on freedom of information for Egypt.

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Seminar on Civil Society Organizations in China United States of America

A public policy seminar, on Civil Society Organizations in China, was held on Monday, September 19, 2011 at Johns Hopkins University.

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Karla Simon begins new blog on philanthropy and civil society in China United States of America

The first post is available on the Latest from Alliance website at http://philanthropynews.alliancemagazine.org/what-impact-will-china’s-five-year-plan-have-on-philanthropy/.

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Draft Declaration on Access to Information Posted Africa

The African Platform on Access to Information Working Group is proud to announce that the second draft of its declaration is now available for public viewing online, at www.windhoek.org.

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Ongoing Discussions about Amending NGO Act; NGO Views Solicited Uganda

The NGO Forum and Hurinet Uganda have solicited views of NGOs regarding possible amendments to the NGO Act, which are being considered by the NGO Coordination Board.

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Breakthrough Judicial Interpretation of Freedom of Information Regulations China

A new interpretation of the law by the courts may make it easier for citizens frustrated in their efforts in seeking information from the government to sue the department in question.

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Third Version of Draft NGO Law Made Available to Working Group; Local NGO Suspended Cambodia

The Royal Government of Cambodia released the third version of the draft "Law on NGOs and Associations" on July 29, 2011.

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ICNL Global Forum on Civil Society Law Stockholm, Sweden

ICNL’s founders and first two presidents, Dr. Leon Irish and Prof. Karla Simon, congratulate ICNL and its partners on the successful Global Forum held in Stockholm on August 21-23.

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Court of Human Rights Holds Failure to Grant Provision for Alternative to Military Service Violates Freedom of Religion Europe

The European Court of Human Rights has published a Grand Chamber judgment finding that Armenia violated Vahan Bayatyan’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

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Complicated New Rules for Charitable Donations Adopted by Diet Japan

The Diet (Parliament) of Japan has adopted legislation creating a new tax regime for donations to civil society organizations in the country.

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Assessment of National Human Rights Plan 2009-2010 Discusses NPO Issues China

According to the Assessment Report on the National Human Rights Plan 2009-2010 published in China Daily on July 14, 2011,"the construction and management of social organizations have been strengthened to enhance their function in serving society.

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Dr. Shawn Shieh and Prof. Karla Simon Brief Congressional Staff on Human Rights and Social Change in China United States of America

As part of the "China 101" series co-sponsored by the bipartisan Congressional US-China Working Group and the US-Asia Institute, Dr. Shieh and Prof. Simon addressed issues affecting human rights, social change, and civil society to assist in the development of US foreign policy vis à vis China.

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Recognition of ICNL's Work for Civil Society United States of America

Dr. Leon E. Irish and Prof. Karla W. Simon are pleased to report recent high-level attention to the work of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), an organization they founded almost 20 years ago.

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Resolution on Freedom of Association Adopted by OAS Americas

ICCSL welcomes the decision taken by members of the Organization of American States (OAS) to adopt a resolution on freedom of association, which recognizes the importance of respecting this fundamental right and its role in the promotion of democracy.

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New Draft of NGO Law Receives Criticism Somaliland

Some provisions of new legislation governing the activities of NGOs in Somaliland could undermine international humanitarian activity in the self-declared independent territory, according to aid workers and donors.

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Civil Society Organizations Adopt "Siem Reap Consensus," an International Framework to Protect Civil Society Global

Two hundred Civil Society Platforms and membership Organizations, representing over 10,000 national, international and Global CSOs have endorsed an International Framework that includes five Standards to respect, empower and protect Civil Society around against negative government and Donor actions.

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Important Meeting to Encourage Philanthropy Held in Mumbai India

Leading institutional, individual and corporate donors met at a conference in Mumbai to take the first steps towards forming a network by donors for donors.

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Hate Speech Trial Focuses on Song "Shoot the Boer" South Africa

Race remains a fraught issue in South Africa, riveting the country in recent weeks as the hate-speech trial of Julius Malema, the leader of the party’s youth wing, was broadcast live on television.

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Law Banning Full-face Veils Passes Lower House of Parliament Belgium

Lawmakers in Belgium have voted overwhelmingly in support of a ban on wearing the Islamic full-face veil in public, setting the stage for the first clampdown of its kind in Europe, according to RFE/RL.

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Discussion Held about Changes in Legislative Framework Uganda

Uganda NGO Forum reports that a recent informal meeting with a new top official of the NGO Board led to assurances of reforms that respond directly to the concerns and proposals the Forum called for.

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Reforms of Legal and Fiscal Rules Proposed in Budget Australia

The Australian Budget recently handed down by the Federal Treasurer includes three items of importance for Churches, Charities, other Not for Profits, according to a Newsletter published by Not-for-Profit Team of Neumann & Turnour, Lawyers:

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Lack of Civil Society Said to be a Problem for Emerging Democracies Aruba

In an opinion piece titled The Weak Foundations of Arab Democracy, Timur Kuran, professor of economics and political science at Duke University, suggests that the weakness of civil society in the region means that viable Arab democracies will not emerge any time soon.

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Companies Act and Regulations 2011 Are Effective South Africa

discusses the new Companies Act and Regulations, effective for section 21 nonprofit companies from May 1, 2011.

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Europe

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the EU’s official advisory body on social and economic matters, has given a clear and strong backing to the Statute by approving with a large majority of the votes the opinion drafted by EESC member Mall Hellam on 28 April 2010.

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South Africa

The new issue of "NPO Legal Issues," published by Ricardo Wyngaard Attorneys, is available at http://www.nonprofitlawyer.co.za/.

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Proposed NGOs Law Called Very Restrictive India

Amnesty International and the NGO Arseh Sevom have called on the Iranian Parliament to scrap a draft law which would effectively deregister all non-governmental organizations (NGOs) currently operating in Iran.

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Global

Fordham Law School and the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice hosted a conference on February 24, 2011, examining Chinese civil society in the field of public health.

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FOI Law Adopted El Salvador

Freedominfo reports that the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador on March 3, 2011 gave definitive approval to the Law on Access to Public Information.

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Model NPO Law Project Launched by QUT; ICCSL Joins as Expert Organization Australia

Australia is a federal jurisdiction, which means that various states have laws with regard to the not-for-profit (NPO) sector that are dissimilar in many ways.

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European Court of Human Rights Reverses "Crucifix" Decision Europe

In a March 18, 2011 decision by the Grand Chamber, the European Court of Human Rights reversed its 2009 decision on an appeal from Italy.

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Wealthy Encouraged to Be More Philanthropic India

India is behind only the United States and China in its number of billionaires.

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Foundation Regulations Expected this Year; to Eliminate Dual Management China

According to a news story from March 8, 2011 on finance.sina.com.cn, the Ministry of Civil Affair is considering amendments to the SO and min fei regulations along with the foundation regulations.

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China

12th Five Year Plan mentions social organizations and government support for them.

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China

ICCSL has posted a paper analyzing recent developments with regard to the regulation of charities in China.

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Movement on Freedom of Information Legislation Nigeria

The Nigerian House on February 10, 2011 voted to speed up action on freedom of information legislation that has been pending for 11 years.

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Global

CUA Law hosted a program on Civil Society In China at the National Press Club moderated by Professor Karla Simon; there is coverage of it here: http://www.law.edu/2011-Winter-Spring/february/Experts-Assess-the-Progress-of-Civil-Society-in-China.cfm. The video of the entire program is available at http://video.law.edu/civilsocietychina.cfm.

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Singapore

The Singapore Charity Council has issued a revised Code of Governance for Charities and Institutions of Public Concern available for download on the Charity Council website at https://www.charities.gov.sg/charity/index.do.

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Jet Li’s One Foundation Established in Shenzhen as Public-Fundraising Foundation China

A report published in the English language service of Caixin Online (http://english.caing.com/2011-01-21/100219784_3.html) reveals the details of the registration of the One Foundation in Shenzhen in mid-January 2011.

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China

Karla Simon has published a piece in Alliance magazine regarding fiscal impediments to charitable giving in China.

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Charity Law Update Published by Carters Canada

The Carters law firm in Toronto has published its November/December 2010 Charity Law Bulletin, which includes analysis of many interesting recent developments regarding charities and NPOs in Canada.

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High Court Overrules Revocation of Exemption Based on "Political" Activity Australia

In a major decision, Australia's highest court has ruled a nonprofit organization that sought to promote the effectiveness of international aid qualified as a tax-exempt "charitable institution" even given the "political" nature of its goals and activities.

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New Law Limiting Activities of "Political" NGOs Pending in Parliament Venezuela

A report published in El National says that a new law targeting "political" NGOs and those receiving foreign funding has been taken up by the parliament in Venezuela and has passed its first reading.

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OSCE Review of Religion Law Published Turkmenistan

A new OSCE ODIHR review outlines many provisions of the restrictive 2003 Religion Law in Turkmenistan that fail to accord with Turkmenistan’s international human rights commitments.

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Cambodia

The first draft of the proposed NGOs Law for Cambodia has been posted to the Document Center.

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Restrictive Legislation Adopted by National Assembly Venezuela

The National Assembly, which is dominated by supporters of President Hugo Chávez, has passed a bill banning foreign financing for nongovernmental organizations and political parties, adding to a series of measures that critics say are intended to stifle dissent.

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Self-regulation for Charities to be Implemented in Beijing China

In an important development for charity in China, the first management process for the operation of charitable and public-service organizations is expected to be published by the Capital Philanthropy Federation (CPF) in the name of the charitable industry in 2011.

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Charity Law’s Adoption Delayed China

China’s top legislature has decided to postpone the review of the draft charity law until next year, due to the lack of practical experience of charity work and difficulties in balancing the interests of different groups, a leading legislator said in November, 2010.

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Guidance for giving to Pakistan relief efforts published in IJCSL. Pakistan

Through a partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation and the Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy, ICCSL staff and consultants have prepared a paper to assist individuals and grant-making foundations in their efforts to provide assistance to Pakistan.

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High Net Worth Donors Reduced Giving Dramatically in 2009 United States of America

Merrill Lynch and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University have released the 2010 Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy.

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Greater Tax Benefits for Wealthy Donors Seen as Crucial United Kingdom

As reported in the Financial Times(registration required for access), Nicholas Ferguson, chairman of the Institute for Philanthropy, is urging adoption by government of greater tax benefits for the wealthy in the United Kingdom in order to raise charitable donations to levels in the United States.

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Charity Navigator Looking for Ways to Better Evaluate Charities United States of America

Charity Navigator, perhaps the largest online source for evaluating nonprofit groups, recently embarked on an overhaul to offer a wider, more nuanced array of information to donors who are deciding which organizations they might help.

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Party Elders Call for Freedoms to be Enforced China

The China Media Project has reported that on October 11, 2010, 23 Chinese Communist Party elders known for their pro-reform positions, including Mao Zedong’s former secretary Li Rui and former People’s Daily editor-in-chief Hu Jiwei, submitted an open letter to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, formally China’s highest state body, calling for an end to restrictions on expression in China.

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EU Probing Property Tax Exemptions in Italy Europe

The EU has opened a probe into property tax exemptions provided by Italy to the Catholic Church and some other nonprofit organizations. According to another report, the issue involves an Italian law that shields these organizations from property taxes even on property used for some commercial purposes, like hostels and athletic clubs.

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Constitutional Court Adjourns Case without Action Uganda

The constitutional court has adjourned the hearing of the petition by NGOs in Uganda challenging the constitutionality of the NGO Act, according to an email from HURINET-U.

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Move to Reduce Support for Islamist Groups Syria

Syria, which had sought to show solidarity with Islamist groups and allow religious figures a greater role in public life, has recently reversed course, moving forcefully to curb the influence of Muslim conservatives in its mosques, public universities and charities, according to a report published in the New York Times.

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India

Analysis of FCRA Bill by Noshir Dadrawala posted to ICCSL site.

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United Nations

Recent moves in China seem designed to ease regulation for local civil society organizations.

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New Human Rights White Paper Issued; References the Internet as Protecting Speech and Access to Information China

The Information Office of the State Council, China's cabinet, issued a white paper on Progress in China’s Human Rights in 2009 on September 26, 2010.

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UN Human Rights Council Passes Resolution on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association United Nations

On September 30, 2010, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed a Resolution on “The Rights of Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association.”

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United States of America

Prof. Ishwara Bhat and Prof. Karla Simon team-teaching NPO Law at Catholic University.

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China

ICCSL posts new Update on Civil Society, Charity and Giving in China on its website

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Delivery of Foreign Aid:Lessons for Disaster Relief in Pakistan Pakistan

A FREE, ABA non-CLE teleconference (with an optional onsite component)
presented by the
Asia-Pacific Committee
September 1, 2010
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. EDT/ 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. BST/6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. CET



The devastating floods in Pakistan have displaced more than 14 million people and killed at least 1,600. In a memorandum the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, warned that its capacity and that of other UN and international agencies to respond to the crisis created by the flooding was being "tested to the limits." The situation in Pakistan highlights a critical issue in the international development sector: how can the U.S. and other members of the international community distribute disaster relief effectively and efficiently and still ensure accountability?

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Efforts Underway to Clamp Down on NGOs Bolivia

According to a report published by the Americas Program, there is conflict brewing between indigenous rights groups and the governments in Bolivia and Ecuador.

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New Version of FCRA Passes Parliament India

The Hindu reported that Parliament has given its stamp of approval to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Bill, 2010.

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Arrival of Professor P. Ishwara Bhat United States of America

Professor P. Ishwara Bhat has arrived to teach as a Fulbright Visiting Professor and Scholar at Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. He is one IJCSL’s Contributing Editors and has recently published an article in the Journal. ICCSL programming this autumn will feature foreign NPO scholars, including Prof. Bhat.

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United States of America

CUA law student Anqi Yang and Chinese activist Wan Yanhai at an interview/meeting to discuss difficulties facing civil society organizations in China for the book being written by Prof. Karla Simon.

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West Bank Settlements Supported by Tax Exempt Funds from the U.S. United States/Israel

West Bank Settlements Supported by Tax Exempt Funds from the U.S.

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Global

Prof. Karla W. Simon has posted her article in the International Lawyer to her SSRN webpage.

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China Foundation Center Launched China

The Wall Street Journal’s Realtime China Blog reported that some of China’s most recognized philanthropic leaders have gathered in Beijing for the launch of the China Foundation Center, a new organization that aims to help increase the transparency of Chinese charitable groups, which have sometimes struggled with public suspicion of mismanagement and even corruption.

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New Association Regulations Effective July 1, 2010 Vietnam

The revised Decree 45 (2010) on the Organization, Activities, and Management of Associations, was promulgated on April 21, 2010, and took effect on July 1, 2010.

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Karla Simon Quoted in WSJ China Blog United States of America

The new U.K. Government has appointed Nick Hurd as the Minister for Civil Society and Nat Wei as Government advisor on the Big Society in the House of Lords, according to an announcement from the Cabinet Office.

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New Government Appointments Focus on Civil Society United Kingdom

The new U.K. Government has appointed Nick Hurd as the Minister for Civil Society and Nat Wei as Government advisor on the Big Society in the House of Lords, according to an announcement from the Cabinet Office.

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New Regulations Analyzed China

Prof. Karla Simon has published a short, non-academic paper on the recent developments (SAFE regulations on foreign grants and Yunnan regulations on INGOs) regarding CSOs in China, which is now available on the ICCSL website.

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ACLU Report Details Undermining of Muslim Charities Since September 11 Attacks United States of America

The fight against terrorism has dealt a harsh blow to Muslim charities and interfered with their donors’ religious freedom, a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union concludes.

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New Article Provides Interesting Comparisons with China Vietnam

Mark Sidel has published an interesting article on the development of the laws and regulations affecting civil society organizations in Vietnam, a country that ICCSL has been following for several years.

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New Revisions to Direct Tax Code Proposed India

Under the latest proposal from the Finance Ministry, a Revised Discussion Paper suggests the following changes affecting charities and NPOs will be made in the Direct Tax Code (DTC).

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United States of America

Prof. Karla Simon recently made a presentation at the European China Law Studies (ECLS) conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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NGO "Clamp-down" story on NPR China

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126821399
This story from NPR’s Morning Edition on May 14, 2010 (by Anthony Kuhn) is the best analysis we have read or heard about the "clamp-down" on NGOs.

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Israel

The ICCSL analysis of second draft NGOs Law has been posted to the web.

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New Law Proposed in Knesset Israel

On April 28, 2010, 19 Knesset members from both the coalition and opposition proposed a law that would forbid the registration of organizations "if there is a reasonable basis to conclude that the organization is providing information to foreign bodies or is involved in lawsuits abroad against senior officials in the government in Israel and/or officers in the Israeli army regarding war crimes.

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United States of America

Religious Freedom in the Former USSR Conference was held at CUA's Columbus School of Law April 12, 2010, 1-5 PM.

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Report on Support for Charities in China Released by MCA China

China received more than 33 billion yuan ($ 4.83 billion U.S.) in donations in 2009, according to a government charity report released April 8, 2010.

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Ministry Has Prepared New NGO Law Said to be Very Repressive Egypt

The Ministry of Social Solidarity has completed a draft for a new NGO law.

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NGOs Permitted to Assist with Yushu Earthquake Relief and Recovery Efforts China

On April 14th 2010 several earthquakes struck the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, the largest of which had a magnitude of 7.

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Egypt

Foreign Policy has a story detailing the facts about a potential new law governing NGOs have sent a shudder through Egypt's civil society.

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Yushu Earthquake-Related Developments Tibet

Times Online reports that the leading Tibetan intellectual, a writer, publisher and philosopher long seen as close to China’s ruling Communist Party, has been arrested after organizing private donations for this month’s earthquake in Yushu.

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States and Localities Revoking Charity Tax Exemptions to Gain Revenues United States of America

A report in the New York Times says that faced with steep declines in tax revenue, an increasing number of states and localities are considering eliminating various tax exemptions for nonprofit groups.

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Critical Comments Made on Proposed Amendments to Press and Journalism Act Uganda

The members of the Article 29 Coalition, a voluntary network of media organisations and associations with a mandate to promote media freedom and professionalism in journalism, and our allies have strongly objected to the spirit and content of the proposed amendments to the Press and Journalist Act Cap 105 of 2000 and have expressed their comments, including the following:

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Corporate Governance Code Applicable to CSOs Now in Effect South Africa

The King III Code of Corporate Governance has become effective in South Africa.

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Draft Legislation Introduced in Knesset to Reclassify Charities Receiving Funding from Political Entities Israel

Members of the Knesset introduced legislation to reclassify charities (Amutot) as non-public institutions for tax law purposes.

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New Regulation of Foreign Donations Now Effective China

The Notice (No. 63 [2009]) of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on "Issues concerning the Administration of Foreign Exchange Donated to or by Domestic Institutions" became effective March 1, 2010.

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Leading Developments in Chinese Law Conference United States of America

Professor Karla Simon spoke on a Civil Society Panel at the "Leading Developments in Chinese Law Conference ," held at UCLA School of Law on March 5, 2010. The conference podcast is available online. Pictures from the conference can be found in our photo gallery.

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Master in International Studies in Philanthropy United States of America

Dr. Leon Irish and Prof. Karla Simon taught the first Module of the Fifth Cycle of the Master in International Studies in Philanthropy program at the University of Bologna, Italy.

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Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Important Freedom of Association and Expression Case United States of America

The Humanitarian Law Project and its president, Ralph Fertig, a retired United States administrative law judge, want to provide training in peaceful dispute resolution to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has waged a separatist guerrilla campaign against the Turkish government, and to advise the group on how to petition the United Nations and other international organizations for relief.

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Changes in Fiscal Environment in Proposed Budget India

According to an email received from Noshir Dadrawala (noshir101@gmail.com), "The amendments proposed in the new Budget under the Income Tax Act concerning charitable organizations are soft and at places even encouraging." Here are the Highlights:

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Two Steps Forward One Step Back - Developments in the Regulation of Civil Society Organizations in China United States of America

Professor Karla Simon's paper, "Two Steps Forward One Step Back - Developments in the Regulation of Civil Society Organizations in China", was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for Asian Law.

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Half a Century of Asian Law - Speaking Engagement United States of America

Prof. Karla Simon was an invited speaker at "Half a Century of Asian Law: A Celebration of Prof. Jerome Cohen," on February 19, 2010, held at GWU Law School.

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Survey on Freedom of Association Published Euro-Mediterranean Region

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) has published its third survey on Freedom of Association in that region.

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New NGO Legislation Passes Parliament Iraq

ICNL announced the passage of a new Law on Non-Governmental Organizations for the Republic of Iraq.

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Karla Simon paper published United States of America

Karla Simon's article on the new legal framework for civil society organizations in Japan has been published as the lead article in the Journal of Japanese Law.

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Clarifications Issued on Tax Exempt Income for NPOs and Donor Deductibility of Charitable Gifts China

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) issued two circulars in November to clarify the tax treatment of CSOs/NPOs and to provide rules for donors to them.

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Philippines

A Legal Matrix for Civil Society in the Republic of the Philippines has been added to the Documentation Center.

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Ruling Against Crucifixes in Classrooms Generates Discussion and Dismay Europe

Italy has reacted furiously after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in Lautsi v. Italy that crucifixes should not be displayed in the country’s schools, reports the Telegraph.

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Greater Scrutiny of NPO Financial Activities Announced India

Non-profit organizations (NPOs), whether registered as charitable trusts, temples, churches or mosques, NGOs, educational institutions or societies, etc.

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Incentives for Charities Promised by Medvedev Russia

The New York Times reports that President Dmitri A. Medvedev has called for tax incentives and other measures to assist Russia’s beleaguered nonprofit groups, which have come under government pressure in recent years.

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Philippines Study Tour Completed in November Philippines

The third and final Study Tour conducted by ICCSL for the Aga Khan Development Network involved delegations of Pakistanis and Afghanis.

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Visit of Chinese Delegation to ICCSL United States of America

ICCSL hosted a Chinese delegation to the United States, comprised of government officials and CSO leaders. The aim of the delegation was to discuss the role of civil society in environmental protection. Our discussions also ranged over a number of civil society issues, including new developments with regard to the documentation system for a local entity to begin work for public benefit and the proposed charity law.

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United States of America

On October 28, 2009, a program on "Trends & Recent Developments in Regulating Non-Governmental Organizations" was held at the American Bar Association International Law Section Meeting.

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Restrictions on Registration for Religious Organizations not in Russia for Fifteen Years Struck Down by European Court of Human Rights Russia

In a case of great importance, the European Court of Human Rights ruled unanimously in favor of two Scientology religious groups in Russia (European Court of Human Rights: Case # 7683601 and 32782/03), finding that they have the right to be registered as religious organizations under Russian law.

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Australia

The Tax Laws Amendment (2009 Measures No 4) Bill 2009 has passed the Australian Senate and is now awaiting royal assent. 

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Charity Commission Decision Overturned by Tribunal England and Wales

Third Sector reports that the Charity Commission's decision to remove a trustee of a Tamil temple in south London has been overturned by the First-tier Tribunal (Charity).

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Scientology Convicted of Fraud by French Court France

A French court has convicted the French branch of the Church of Scientology of fraud and fined the organization almost $900,000.

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ICCSL to Assist ABA in Organizing "NGO Law" Task Force Zambia

In order to facilitate the development of comments on the new and proposed "NGO" laws in Zambia and Iraq by an American Bar Association Task Force, ICCSL is making documents received so far available on its website.

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Repressive NGO Bill Signed by President Zambia

AllAfrica.com reports that Zambian president Rupiah Banda has signed legislation regulating the operations of civil society, sending shock waves through the sector, which fears its independence will be severely compromised.

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CSOs Gear Up for Campaign Against Draft Law Iraq

The UN’s Programme on Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR) reports that Civil Society Organizations in Iraq are rejecting a draft law that regulates their work.

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CIO Consultation Report Published England and Wales

Publication of the joint Cabinet Office/Charity Commission response to the consultation on the Charitable Incorporated Organization (CIO), a new legal form for charities, was announced September 17, 2009.

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Study on Outsourcing Released on World Bank Website China

The World Bank has released the study conducted by ICCSL entitled "Outsourcing Social Services to CSOs: Lessons from Abroad.

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United States of America

Prof. Karla Simon has become a Contributing Editor of the Nonprofit Law Prof. Blog, blogging principally on international issues.

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New Direct Taxes Code 2009 to Affect Charities and Nonprofit Organizations India

First, in terms of the definition of charitable purposes, the Code replaces the term "charitable purpose" with the term "permitted welfare activities.

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Authorities Release Activists and Withdraw Tax Evasion Charges China

The New York Times reported on August 23, 2009 that Chinese authorities unexpectedly released three political activists from detention on Sunday, including one whose case had drawn worldwide attention.

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Zanzibar

Zanzibar's NGO Policy is now available online in the Documentation Center.

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England and Wales

The Charity Commission has published its "Emerging Findings" on Public Benefit Assessments, required under the 2006 Charities Act.

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Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s parliament adopted a new law on non-governmental organizations, but eliminated several controversial amendments that were widely opposed by IFEX members and other international human rights groups, the Institute for Reporters' Freedom and Safety (IRFS) and RFE/RL's Azerbaijan Service report.

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Restrictive NGO Legislation Introduced in Parliament Zambia

IRIN news service has reported that Zambia joined a growing list of countries seeking to restrict civil society through controversial legislation.

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Study Tour to South Africa Completed in July South Africa

ICCSL led a Study Tour on behalf of the Aga Kahn Foundation to learn about the enabling environment for civil society in South Africa and to assess needs and concerns about those legal and fiscal framework issues in East Africa.

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Study Tour to Poland Completed Poland

From July 27 to July 31, 2009 Dr. Leon Irish conducted the second of four study tours for the Aga Khan Foundation.

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ACLU Report Details Undermining of Muslim Charities Since September 11 Attacks United States of America

The fight against terrorism has dealt a harsh blow to Muslim charities and interfered with their donors’ religious freedom, a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union concludes.

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New Not-for-Profit Corporations Act Passed Canada

On 22 June 2009, the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce made its Third Report back to the Senate and recommended no amendments to Bill C-4, the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act.

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Duma Passes New NGO Law Russia

According to BarantsObserver.com, just a week after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev introduced the re-written law on Russian non-governmental organizations, the law passed the State Duma in the first reading.

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China Visit June 2009 China

Prof. Lester Salamon of the Center on Civil Society of Johns Hopkins University joined Prof. Karla Simon of the Columbus School of Law of the Catholic University of America and Dr. Leon Irish, President of ICCSL, in a visit to China in early June.

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World Bank Extends $540 Million Loan and Says Country Should Ease Regulations on NGOs Ethiopia

Nasdaq reports that the World Bank extended $540 million to develop basic services in Ethiopia and stated that the country should ease its regulations on NGOs.

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International NGOs Welcome New Law Allowing Local NGOs to Register and Operate as Independent Entities Lao PDR

International aid groups have welcomed a decision by the Lao government to allow local NGOs to register and operate as independent entities for the first time.

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EOHR Again Subjected to Harassment Egypt

On April 27, 2009, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) received a letter from the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity, Masr-El-Kadima district authority, in which it was warned that the organization risks to be subjected to closure and dissolution for violating Law of Association No.

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ECtHR Decision Guarantees Freedom of Information as Being Encompassed within Freedom of Expression Europe

In a landmark decision on 14 April 2009, the European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe found in favor of Tarsasag a Szabadsagjogokert, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, in its complaint against the Hungarian government over a submission to the Hungarian Constitutional Court filed by a member of parliament concerning drug policy.

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Productivity Commission to Study Contribution of Sector to Australian Society Australia

The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens, today announced that the Productivity Commission will examine the contribution of the not-for-profit sector to Australian society.

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United States of America

Prof. Karla W. Simon has published the lead article in the Stein Center/Leitner Center Colloquim papers published in the February 2009 issue of the Fordham International Law Journal. Her article, titled "Regulation of Civil Society in China: Necessary Changes after the Olympic Games and the Sichuan Earthquake" will also appear in the April issue of IJCSL.

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European Court of Justice Rules on Tax Deductions for Cross Border Gifts European Union

The European Court of Justice ("ECJ") ruled that a tax deduction for cross-border gifts is encompassed by the free movement of capital guaranteed by European Community law.

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Developments in the Charter 08 Movement China

In December 2008, on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, more than 300 Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists issued "Charter 08," a document calling for more democracy in China.

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Repressive CSO Law Adopted Cayman Islands

UNHCR and Amnesty International reported that the Ethiopian parliament adopted a potentially repressive new law which could criminalise the human rights activities of both foreign and domestic non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

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Cayman Islands

The Law Reform Commission has proposed new legislation that would establish a Charities Commission to regulate charities as well as implement Recommendation VIII of the Financial Action Task Force on Nonprofit Organizations.

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First Freedom Award Recognizes Friend of ICCSL United States of America

Brigham Young University law professor, W. Cole Durham, Jr., received the prestigious 2009 International First Freedom Award for extraordinary advocacy of religious freedom.

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Japan

The new legal framework for Japan’s civil society organizations went into effect On December 1.

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China

China's president Hu Jintao met honorees at the China National Charity Conference, held in Beijing in December 2008.

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Latin America - Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF) Publishes Report on Situation of Victims after Transitional Justice Processes in Guatemala and Chile Latin America

Even though criminal prosecutions and reparation programs have been implemented in a number of Latin American countries to address grave human rights violations, very little has been done to evaluate their effectiveness.

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United States of America

Professor Karla W. Simon and Dr. Leon Irish presented a paper on October 3, 2008 at Fordham Law School.

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Ethiopia

The Ethiopian government has submitted the controversial draft legislation for Civil Society Organizations (CSO law) to the parliament.

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Fact Sheets Provide Concise Explanations About How "War on Terror" is Affecting Charitable Activities United States of America

On 15 September 2008, the Global Nonprofit Information Network (GNIN) released seven fact sheets to provide information about how the policies of the "War on Terror" have affected charitable activities.

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Controversial Societies Act Published in Official Gazette; May Be Amended Jordan

The Jordan Times reports that civil society representatives and activists said they were still hopeful that the government will either draft a new NGOs law or amend the controversial 2008 Societies Law, recently endorsed by Parliament and a Royal Decree.

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New "Charity and Social Welfare Department" established at MoCA China

A new department to promote charity and social welfare was set up on 11 September 2008 under China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, reports the People’s Daily, quoting Xinhua.

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Turkey

Turkey’s Constitutional Court decided on 30 July 2008 not to ban the ruling Justice and Freedom Party AKP, which had been accused of undermining the country’s secular system.

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Charity Law and Social Policy Released by Springer Global

Springer has recently released Charity Law and Social Policy, by Kerry O’Halloran, Myles McGreogor-Lowndes, and Karla W. Simon, which appraises the factors to be taken into account in aligning charity law with social policy in six common law jurisdictions.

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United States of America

The Revised Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Associations Act was adopted by the Uniform Law Commission at its Annual Meeting in Big Sky, MT in July 2008. ICCSL principals Dr. Leon Irish and Prof. Karla Simon participated in the Drafting Team as representatives of the ABA Section of International Law.

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New Update June 27 Zimbabwe

The Standard reported on 22 June that war veterans and Zanu PF youth militia continue to block relief agencies and HIV and Aids service organizations from accessing areas in dire need of aid in rural and peri-urban areas.

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Clarification Issued on Suspension Order For NGOS/PVOS Zimbabwe

The Government of Zimbabwe wrote on 13 June 2008 to all NGOs/PVOs to give clarification on the order to suspend the field operations of all NGOs/PVOs.

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Headscarf Availability For Women Attending University Overturned Turkey

The Turkish military has been quick to endorse the 5 June 2008 ruling of the country’s Constitutional Court annulling the attempts by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to create a legal framework for lifting the ban that currently prevents women wearing headscarves from attending the university.

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China

Major corporate and individual donors who made significant contributions to the May 12, 2008 Sichuan Earthquake relief efforts were honored at the conference. Law makers are working with professionals, major not-for-profit organization leaders and volunteers to issue new laws in order to encourage charitable donations and to develop a healthy charitable system in China.

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New Model Nonprofit Corporations Act Exposure Draft United States of America

There is a June 1, 2008, deadline for comments on the ABA Business Law Section’s January 2008 Exposure Draft of the revised Model Nonprofit Corporations Act.

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England and Wales

The Charity Commission has published the 2008 Charity Commission Study into Public Trust and Confidence in Charities.

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New Open Government Regulations Become Effective China

In a move that Chinese officials claim is intended to combat corruption, increase public oversight and participation in government, and allow citizens access to government-held information, the State Council on April 5, 2007, issued the first national Regulations on Open Government Information (OGI Regulation), which took effect May 1, 2008.

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Vermont Legislation on L3C's Becomes Effective At End Of May United States of America

Vermont has recently become the first state in the nation to enact a statute permitting a new form of organization: the low-profit limited liability company ("L3C").

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April 14, 2008: Broken Trust author speaks at Catholic University United States of America

Prof. Randall Roth of the University of Hawai’i’s Richardson School of Law spoke at the Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law on April 14 at 2 PM. He discussed his book "Broken Trust," which was reviewed in the July 2007 issue of IJCSL. For more details, please contact Prof. Karla W. Simon.

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ICCSL renewed its partnership with the University of Bologna in April, 2008 North America

Dr. Leon Irish and Prof. Karla Simon taught the Comparative Civil Society Law for the Master in International Studies in Philanthropy (MISP) Program at the University of Bologna in April, 2008.

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BUDGET TO AMEND DEFINITION OF "CHARITABLE PURPOSE" India

In the amendments to the Income Tax Act proposed in the 2008-09 Budget by the Government of India, the Finance Minister seeks to amend the definition of charitable purpose to "exclude entities carrying on regular trade, commerce or business or providing services in relation to any trade, commerce or business and earning incomes from claiming that their purposes also fall under 'charitable purpose.'

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North America

On March 14 and 15, 2008, Dr. Leon Irish and Prof. Karla Simon attended the meetings of the Uniform Law Commission (formerly NCCUSL) on the Harmonization of the Unincorporated Nonprofit Associations (UNA) project.

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New Hampshire Supreme Court Upholds Charitable Status for Artist Colony in Face of Private Benefit Challenge North America

In an interesting state law opinion relating to the federal "public benefit" doctrine, the New Hampshire Supreme Court concluded in Peterborough v.

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Ethiopia

After a long two years and five months in prison, the two Ethiopian anti-poverty campaigners Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie were released from prison on 28 March 2008.

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England and Wales

A tribunal allowing charities to challenge decisions made by the sector regulator has opened.

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Arab Charter on Human Rights Enters into Force United Nations

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour issued the following statement on 24 January:

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England and Wales

The Charity Commission for England and Wales has published its new guidance on the meaning of public benefit under the Charities Act 2006.

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Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie Convicted and Sentenced; May Soon be Paroled Ethiopia

An ActionAid International Press Release for 26 December 2007, states that the anti-poverty campaigners Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie, detained in Ethiopia in 2005 and convicted on 24 December, after a two-year trial, were given prison sentences of two and a half years each.

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China

The implementation regulations for the Enterprise Income Tax were published on December 6, 2007 by the State Administration of Taxation.

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Ethiopia

Ethiopian anti-poverty activists Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie will remain in prison for at least two more weeks.

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Ethiopia

Anti-poverty activists Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie heard on 9 October 2007 that they must remain in prison for at least another six weeks, as judges in Ethiopia's Federal High Court delayed the verdict until 22 November 2007, bringing their total detention to over two years.

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Removing Obstacles for International Philanthropy United States of America

Prof. Karla Simon spoke at a conference on "Removing Obstacles for International Philanthropy" to be held at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) on November 12, 2007.

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Germany

The October Newsletter of the Maecenata Institut announced that on 21 September 2007 the German Bundesrat (Upper House of Parliament) concluded its consideration of the "Law for Further Strengthening of Civic Participation."

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United States of America

On 13 September 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted a landmark declaration outlining the rights of the world's estimated 370 million indigenous people and outlawing discrimination against them - a move that followed more than two decades of debate.

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IRS Investigation of Church "Electioneering" Concluded United States of America

On 10 September 2007, All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA learned that the IRS investigation of its tax exempt status was ended.

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Europe-China

ICCSL has joined the European China Law Studies Association (ECLS), and members of the Board attended the first Conference of ECLS, which was held at the Max Planck Institut for Private International Law in Hamburg, Germany on August 31 and September 1, 2007.

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Peru's Constitutional Court Rules Portions of "NGO Law" Unconstitutional Peru

In an opinion rendered on August 29, 2007 and published on the website of the Constitutional Court in September, the Constitutional Court of Peru has held unconstitutional in part the Law on NGOs or ONGs (Ley No. 28875, creating the Agencia Peruana de Cooperación Internacional (APCI) -- "On creation of a national system of centralized cooperation" ).

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Supreme Court Upholds Political Party Ban Russia

A report published in the New York Times for 8 August 2007 indicates that the Supreme Court of Russia upheld the Moscow City Court's ban of the National Bolshevik Party as an extremist organization.

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Further Detention of Activists Ethiopia

On 3 August 2007 ActionAid announced that Daniel Bekele policy manager of ActionAid Ethiopia, and Netsanet Demissie, general manager of the Organization for Social Justice in Ethiopia, will now spend two more months in prison awaiting the verdict, while the court takes its annual recess.

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China Development Brief Censored by Government China

Writing in the online Wall Street Journal for 11 July 2007, Nick Young has reported on the censorship of both the Chinese and English versions of China Development Brief.

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New information added to Document Center United States of America

Among the items recently added to the Document Center are the following:

Afghanistan
Media Law as passed by Wolesi Jirga

Arab World
Arab Declaration on Democracy

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China

The Unirule Economics Research Institute [Tiance Jingji Yanjiusuo], China's independent economics think tank, released its report on human economic rights in China on 11 June 2007.

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Trial of Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie Continues Ethiopia

Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demissie, charged in one of Africa's largest treason trials in recent years in Ethiopia, are still awaiting verdicts in their cases.

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Voluntary Sector Policy 2007 India

Government adopts new Policy on the Voluntary Sector, which includes important clauses on recognition of shares etc.

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American Bar Association's International Law Section Spring Meeting United States of America

At the Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association's International Law Section, the International NGOs and NPOs Committee presentation focused on Recent Developments in International NGO Activities: Building Credible Self-Accountability Principles in an Age of Increasing Government Regulation.

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Russia

Under a 10 April 2007 decree signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, a single, new form for religious organizations will permit them to comply with the information reporting requirements of the January 2006 NGO Law.

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New Listserve Established; Materials On Recent Legal Developments Made Available China

Through the resources of the Catholic University of America School of Law, a new listserve has been established.

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Discussion of developments on legal protections for civil society in China China

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Prof. Karla Simon and Dr. Leon Irish made a presentation at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) on March 26, 2007. Invited by Dr. Mike Lampton, Dean of the Faculty and Director of the China Program, Dr. Irish and Prof. Simon discussed developments with regard to legal protections for civil society in China.

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Corporate Income Tax Law revised to Increase Deductions for Donations to Public Welfare Organizations China

The National People's Congress, the highest legislative body of China, revised the corporate income tax law on 17 March 2007, making foreign companies and domestic companies essentially equal for tax purposes.

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Report on Harmonization Project for Unincorporated Nonprofit Associations Available United States of America

Leon Irish, the ABA Section of International Law's representative to the NCCUSL project on harmonization of the laws governing unincorporated nonprofit associations (UNAs) in North America), has made his report of the 23 and 24 February 2007 meeting in Portland available.

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OSI Guidelines United States of America

From March 2007, hard copies of the Open Society Institute's GUIDELINES FOR LAWS AFFECTING CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS (co-authored by Leon Irish, Robert Kushen, and Karla Simon) will no longer be available from OSI.

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China

An article published by china.org.cn on January 20, 2007 reports that corporations and individual donors will now be able to claim tax deductions for donations to any licensed non-profit public welfare organization.

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Book Review Published United States of America

Prof. Karla Simon's review of Marion Fremont-Smith's book GOVERNING NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: FEDERAL AND STATE LAW AND REGULATION was published in the March 2007 issue of the NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTARY SECTOR QUARTERLY.

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First provisions of the Charities Act 2006 being brought into Force England and Wales

The First Commencement Order, which brings the first provisions of the Charities Act 2006 into force, has been published by the Office of the Third Sector within the Cabinet Office.

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North America

The Drafting Committee for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) "Project to Create a Harmonized Legal Framework for Unincorporated Nonprofit Associations in North America" held a meeting in Portland, OR on February 23-24. Dr. Leon Irish attended on behalf of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association.

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Charity Commission Appointed Japan

Seven members of the new Charity Commission were appointed by Prime Minister Shinichiro Abe and authorized by the Diet on 21 February 2007.

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New Public Associations Law Adopted Tajikistan

On 14 February 2007, the lower house of parliament approved a new law on public associations.

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Media Law Under Discussion in the Wolesi Jirga Afghanistan

A report published in RFE/RL on 2 February 2007 indicates that the Mass Media Law is currently under discussion in the Religious and Cultural Affairs Commission of the Wolesi Jirga (People's Council).

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Developments in Tax and Charity Law China

An article published by china.org.cn on January 20, 2007 reports that corporations and individual donors will now be able to claim tax deductions for donations to any licensed non-profit public welfare organization.

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FCRA Bill Delayed by Committee Referral India

An AccountAid Capsule for 16 January 2007 reported that the new FCRA Bill, introduced in the Rajya Sabha in December 2006, has been referred to a Standing Committee. This is expected to delay the passage of the new FCRA. The Committee is inviting public representations, and is expected to give its final report by the end of March 2007.

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New Law on Non-governmental Organizations Promulgated Uzbekistan

President Islam Karimov signed into law the Law of Uzbekistan "On guaranties of activities of the non-state non-profit organizations" on 3 January 2007.

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China

Prof. Karla Simon presented a paper at the Law Faculty of the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics on the "Legal Framework for Civil Society in China."

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Hungary

Leon Irish once again taught the Comparative Not-for-Profit Law course at Central European University. The course, which has been extremely well-evaluated by USAID and the students alike, remains very popular and exposes students to important and interesting ideas that they do not have access to in other courses.

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China

Karla Simon finished her last weeks in China with a successful completion of the course she taught at Peking University Law School. She also visited with officials of the Ministry of Civil Affairs to discuss the proposed Charity Law and passed along to them ICCSL's comments on the September 15, 2006 draft law.

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Foreign Contribution Management and Control (FCMC) Bill 2006 India

Around early November 2006, the Union Cabinet approved the revised Foreign Contribution Management and Control (FCMC) Bill that seeks to regulate NGOs and other organizations which receive foreign funding.

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Tallinn, Estonia

One of the keynote addresses at the conference on "Nordic Civicness Revisited in the Age of Association, organized by the Centre for Civil Society Study and Development (KUAK) at Tallinn University in collaboration with the Network on European Voluntary Associations (EVA)" was presented by Prof.

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Charity Law Progress China

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has recently published a draft of the proposed Charity Law, which is circulating within the Ministry for discussion and review.

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Europe

A book launch was held for the book STEUERN, ZIVILGESELLSCHAFT UND STAAT (TAXES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE STATE) to which Prof.

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Americas

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has released its 19 September decision in the case Claude Reyes and others v. Chile, which upheld the right of access to government information.

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Proposed Amendments to NGO Law Released by Ministry of Economy Afghanistan

The Ministry of Economy released on 1 October 2006 draft changes to the current "NGO Law 2005," which it is proposing to introduce in the Parliament.

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International Grant-making China

At the invitation of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Leon Irish attended a seminar on grant-making in the Peoples' Republic of China.

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New Interest Group Formed at ISTR Bangkok Meeting Thailand

During the international conference held in Bangkok in July, the new "Legal Issues Interest Group" (LIIG) met for the first time.

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International Civil Society Forum for Democracy Global

Nasira Razvi, ICCSL and APCCSL Associate, has been selected to participate in the International Civil Society Forum for Democracy 2006 (ICSFD 2006), to be held in Doha, Qatar. October 29 -- November 2, 2006.

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China

The Course Reader for Prof. Karla Simon's autumn 2006 course in Comparative Civil Society Law at Peking University (Bei Da) is now available on the site.

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Global

The Spanish version of the OSI Guidelines (written by ICCSL founders Leon Irish and Karla Simon together with Robert Kushen of OSI) is now available in hard copy.

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Mongolia

The tax new law in Mongolia was adopted during the first week of July, just before the closing of the Parliament session. It imposes a flat tax and does not impose taxes on any NPOs, regardless of whether they are MBOs or PBOs.

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Zimbabwe

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting says that the NGO Bill is due to be presented in the Parliament of Zimbabwe when the legislative session resumes in August.

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Ghana

The Course Reader for Prof. Karla Simon's autumn 2006 course in Comparative Civil Society Law at Peking University (Bei Da) is now available on the site.

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PM's Wife Risks Kremlin Wrath to Meet Ngos United Kingdom

Cherie Blair yesterday risked the wrath of the Kremlin by meeting Russian civil society groups and apparently offering them legal advice in their fight against a law they say will restrict their activities.

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PM's Wife Risks Kremlin Wrath to Meet Ngos Kenya

Sessional Policy Paper No. 1 of 2006 on Non-Governmental Organizations passed the Kenyan Parliament on July 13th.

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Russia NGO Law Update Russia

A 29 June 2006 report by MosNews, an English language Russian news service, indicates that foreign non-governmental organizations are experiencing problems re-registering in Russia after a new law on NGOs came into force April 18.

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Uganda NGO Law Update Uganda

The leading Ugandan NGOs, including the national apex body the Uganda NGO Forum, have filed a petition with President Yoweri Museveni urging him not to sign the recently passed NGO Registration (Amendment) Act 2006, saying it would have a negative impact on the operation of civil society organizations and their role in the region as it heads toward forming a political federation by 2013.

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INDIA-DRAFT OF NEW GOVERNMENT POLICY ON NPOS DISCUSSED IN THE PRESS India

A news story published in the Hindustan Times on 23 June 2006 states that the Government of India is shortly expected to announce a national policy for NPOs.

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Developments in NPO Accounting in Japan (New Accounting Standards for Public Interest Corporations Adopted) (Review of accounting standards for public interest corporations and adoption of the new Standards) Ghana

GAPVOD launched a new NPO Directory for Ghana, which covers the years 2005 to 2008 and gives accurate information on the number of NGOs that are actively operating and their areas of operation among others.

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Translation: Measures on the Registration of Venues for Religious Activity China

The Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC) has prepared new English translations of five Ministry of Civil Affairs (MOCA) documents establishing controls on NPOs and citizen activities.

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Japan

The Japan Association of Charitable Organizations (JACO) reports that the Reform of the Public Benefit Corporation Law has made significant progress.

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Developments in NPO Accounting in Japan (New Accounting Standards for Public Interest Corporations Adopted) (Review of accounting standards for public interest corporations and adoption of the new Standards) Japan

Accounting standards for public interest corporations had not been changed for 19 years after the last amendment in the 1980's, despite changes in the circumstances surrounding the organizations to which they applied.

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Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association Updates Russia

Forum 18 Reports on Religious Freedom Issues

While the Salvation Army has had the registration documentation for its Russia-wide organization restored, the legal position of its Moscow branch remains unresolved.

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Nepal: Media crack-down lifted Nepal

A report on the University of Pittsburgh Law School's Jurist website says that Nepal's government annulled a media ordinance promulgated by King Gyanendra [official profile] during his 15-month absolute rule to muzzle press that criticized his seizure of power [JURIST report] in February 2005.

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Mixed Reactions to Human Rights Council Elections Global

On May 9, 2006, the elections for membership in the UN's new Human Rights Council were held and the reactions to the membership of the new body are mixed, with many human rights organizations expressing concern that so many of the countries elected have at best mixed records on human rights.

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Documents Issued by Democracy Movement Describe Developments Vietnam

On May 8, 2006 the second issue of Viet Tan Update was published by Viet Tan, the Viet Nam Reform Party.

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Translation: Measures on the Registration of Venues for Religious Activity China

Under Chinese law, no one may establish a place of worship without government approval.

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Vietnam

Various documents on Viet Nam have been added to the document center.

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India

The Foreign Contribution (Management and Control) Bill, 2005 has been posted to the document center.

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Russia - FOA case deemed admissible in ECHR; proposal for friendly settlement made on April 13. Russia

On 2 March 2006 the European Court of Human Rights delivered a judgment of admissibility on the case Sutyajnik v. Russia. "The complaint raises serious issues of fact and law under the Convention" - stated the Court and decided to examine the case on the merits separately.

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ICCSL President and ACCSL Associate Participate in ABA Program Zimbabwe

ICCSL President Dr. Leon E. Irish and ACCSL Associate Mr. Tamuka Muzondo, Director of Policy and Planning for NANGO, the National Association of Nongovernmental Organizations in Zimbabwe, spoke at the American Bar Association's Section of International Law Spring Meeting in New York on April 7, 2006.

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Conference on U.N. Reform United Nations

A conference on UN Reform was held in the Moot Court Room of Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law on April 3, 2006.

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Developments in Africa Uganda

After several years of discussions and objections from the international community, the Ugandan Parliament on 7 April 2006 passed the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Registration Amendment Bill 2001 which requires NGOs and evangelical churches to renew their registration permits annually.

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Developments in Africa Kenya

After coming back into official existence in September 2005, the National Council of NGOs in Kenya is facing a possible reform agenda set out by the Government of Kenya.

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Developments in Africa Ethiopia

In a letter to the members of CIVICUS, Kumi Naidoo, its Secretary General wrote about a visit to Daniel Bekele (a member of the Board of the African Centre for Civil Society Law) and Netsanet Demissie, who are being detained by the Ethiopian government on charges of treason.

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Transnistria

Following the examples set by Russia and Belarus, authorities in the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria have prohibited the funding of local non-commercial non-governmental organizations by foreign donors.

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Harmonization of NPO Law in North America North America

Dr. Leon Irish attended, as an Advisor and on behalf of the American Bar Association International Law Section's Committee in International NGOs and NPOs , a conference in Portland to discuss a project to harmonize North American law with regard to nonprofit associations.

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Asia Region

ICCSL announces the launch of the new Asian Pacific Centre for Civil Society Law (APCCSL) and its new website www.apccsl.org.

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Professional development workshop at the international meeting of ISTR Thailand

Prof. Leon Irish and Prof. Karla Simon will be giving a professional development workshop at the international meeting of ISTR, which is to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in mid-July.

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United Nations General Assembly created a new U.N. human rights body United Nations

The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday created a new U.N. human rights body by an overwhelming majority, ignoring objections from the United States.

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Tune in to Tax Talk Today on March 14, 2006, for information on Political Intervention: Do's and Don'ts for 501(c) (3) Organizations. United States of America

As the 2006 election season begins, section 501(c)(3) organizations, including charities and churches, are invited for a discussion on what they can and cannot do when an election campaign is under way.

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Zimbabwe

ICCSL Associate Tamuka Muzondo has been appointed to the post of Manager, Research and Policy, with NANGO, the national umbrella organization for NGOs in Zimbabwe. He will continue to work with ACCSL and ICCSL on projects in Africa, and this will assist the focus of his research for a PhD in law at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

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Japan

Japan’s Cabinet approved three draft bills that will reform the regulation of the charitable sector in Japan, as detailed below, and these bills were introduced immediately into the Diet.

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Final Public Benefit Test Guidelines Released Canada

New CRA Guidelines for "Registering a Charity: Meeting the Public Benefit Test" were released March 10, 2006.

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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Opening Remarks United States of America

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered opening remarks on the release of the State Department's 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

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Proposal by Finance Minister to disallow deduction for contributions to some charitable organizations. India

Indian Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram in his Budget Speech delivered on February 28, 2006 said, “The Standing Committee on Finance has expressed concern that many charitable institutions misuse the provisions of the Income Tax Act.

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UN Reform United Nations

Indian Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram in his Budget Speech delivered on February 28, 2006 said, “The Standing Committee on Finance has expressed concern that many charitable institutions misuse the provisions of the Income Tax Act.

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Recognition for ICNL's work in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Europe

The founders of ICCSL, Dr. Leon Irish and Prof. Karla Simon, also founded the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) in 1992.

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Procurement competition results announced/ICCSL partner included China

NPOs in China have been chosen by the government to participate with it in partnerships aimed at poverty alleviation.

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Freedom of expression challenges criticized by former high-level Chinese officials. China

According to a story published on the front page of the February 15, 2006 NEW YORK TIMES and available in its online edition at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/15/international/asia/15china.html?th&emc=th, a dozen former Communist Party officials and senior scholars, including a onetime secretary to Chairman Mao Zedong, a party propaganda chief and the retired heads of some of the country's most powerful newspapers, have denounced the recent closing of a prominent news journal and other acts of censorship.

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Tax Treatment of NPOs in the United States, A Comparative Perspective United States of America

On February 14, the Center for International Social Development, the Catholic University of America School of Law, and the International Center for Civil Society Law hosted a seminar on the "Tax Treatment of NPOs in the United States, A Comparative Perspective."

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Afghanistan

According to a news account published in Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty's online version for February 7, 2006, Afghanistan's Economics Minister Mohammad Amin Farhang said the government had taken away the operating licenses of some 1,600 NGOs that had been accused of economic fraud or corruption. In the past year, corruption among NGOs has been a major topic of discussion among Afghan politicians and policymakers.

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United States of America

On February 1, 2006, the Treasury Guidelines Working Group submitted comments in response to the invitation for public comments on the revised "Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices for U.S.-based Charities" issued on December 5, 2005, by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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Nonprofit Law and Philanthropy Global

Catholic University and Prof. Karla W. Simon joined 57 other law schools throughout the United States in petitioning the Association of American Law Schools to establish a section on Nonprofit Law and Philanthropy.

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ICCSL News Release Bangladesh

Leon E. Irish and Karla W. Simon have each had papers accepted for presentation at the 4th ISTR Asia-Pacific Region Meeting, to be held in Bangalore India in November 2005. Prof. Irish will present on legal framework developments for NPOs in Bangladesh; Prof. Simon will report on developments in Japan.

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News Release Mongolia

ICCSL has finished its comments on the Draft NPO Law for Mongolia and posted them to the web.

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News about ICCSL from the ABA-UNDP International Legal Resource Center Annual Report, 2004 United Nations

UNDP/Timor Leste contacted the ILRC with a request for a consultant to help develop a model NGO regulatory framework for the country.

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