First meeting of the 'Expert Council on NGO Law' in its new composition (2018-2021)

Strasbourg 1 October 2018
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First meeting of the 'Expert Council on NGO Law' in its new composition (2018-2021)

The first meeting of the Expert Council on NGO Law in its newly constituted membership presided by Jeremy Mcbride, was held In Strasbourg on 20-21 September. The vast majority of members were new to the Expert Council (12 out of 16 members, counting its honorary President, Cyril Ritchie) and - for some even - the working methods of the Council of Europe. The meeting thus began with an introduction to both the tasks undertaken by the Expert Council and the organisation of the Council of Europe. It then settled down to the agenda and agreed a set of procedures designed to maintain the quality of its opinions and studies, the most recent of which is a Compendium of Council of Europe practice relating to the right to freedom of association and the position of non-governmental organisations. The bulk of the meeting was concerned with considering: the potential afforded by the proposed Freedom of Association Project to tackle unjustified restrictions on the operation of NGOs and the role that would be played in it by the Expert Council; the implications of the draft Committee of Ministers Recommendation on the promotion and protection of civil society space; the steps that might be taken to promote Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14; the situations in various countries that might require the adoption of opinions regarding legislative measures that would have an adverse effect on NGOs; the countries that might most usefully be the subject of fact-finfing visits by the Conference of INGOs (in which the Expert Council participates); and the way in which the Expert Council could work more effectively with other Council of Europe bodies whose work is also relevant for NGOs (notably GRECO, MONEYVAL and the Venice Commission).

Biographies of the members of the Expert Council on NGO Law

Expert Council on NGO Law webpage