Non-Governmental Organisations

Expert Council on NGO Law


The Expert Council carries out thematic and country studies on specific aspects of NGO legislation and its implementation that seem to pose problems of conformity with international standards, notably the European Convention on Human Rights and the above-mentioned Recommendation (2007)14. Its work covers the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe and Belarus.

It was created in January 2008 by the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe with the aim of creating an enabling environment for NGOs through examining national NGO legislation and its implementation and provides advice on how to bring national law and practice into line with Council of Europe standards and European good practice.

The Expert Council provides follow-up to a Recommendation adopted in 2007 by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers which sets a framework for the legal status of NGOs in Europe (CM/Rec(2007)14) and to the Council of Europe's commitment to the role of civil society in the promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It co-operates closely with other Council of Europe bodies, in particular the Venice Commission and the Commissioner for Human Rights

Key documents

  • Terms of reference
  • Recommendation (2007)14 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe
  • European Convention on Human Rights
  • Current members of the Expert Council

  • Biographies of the members
  • Contact for further information Mr Cyril Ritchie
    President of the Expert Council