27 September 2011

Draft recommendation on

The opinion of the Expert Council on NGO Law on the amendments in 2009 to the NGO Law in Azerbaijan and their application

CONF/PLE(2011) REC4 (draft)

For adoption by the Standing Committee on behalf of the Conference of INGOs on 3 October 2011

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe,

Welcomes the opinion of the Expert Council on NGO Law on the amendments in 2009 to the NGO Law in Azerbaijan and their application;

Takes note that the authorities of Azerbaijan were invited to transmit any factual corrections they might deem necessary and that until now no such comments were received;

Welcomes the preparation by the Venice Commission of an opinion on “The Compatibility of the Legislation on Non-governmental Organisations in Azerbaijan with Human Rights Standards” which will be adopted at the October 2011 session of the Commission;
Takes note of a number of problems identified by the Expert Council on NGO Law in the amendments in 2009 to the NGO Law in Azerbaijan and their application;
Shares the conclusions of the opinion of the Expert Council on NGO Law on the amendments in 2009 to the NGO Law in Azerbaijan and their application and in particular paragraphs 137-141:

Recommends, in consequence, that the national authorities of Azerbaijan take appropriate steps to amend the relevant legislation or practice [This paragraph may need to be modified according to the feedback received from the Azerbaijani authorities prior to the meeting];
Asks the Expert Council on NGO Law to follow developments in Azerbaijan and, be available, to provide advice on the review of NGO legislation and administrative and judicial practices in the implementation of this legislation;

Invites the Expert Council on NGO Law to present the findings of the opinion on the amendments in 2009 to the NGO Law in Azerbaijan also to civil society in the country with a view to supporting civil society’s quest for an enabling environment for civil society in Azerbaijan;

Requests the Expert Council on NGO Law to co-operate closely with the Venice Commission in the follow-up to their respective opinions.