Expert Council on NGO Law: Country study on NGO legislation in Azerbaijan

In 2011 the Conference of INGOs became aware that the legislation governing NGOs in Azerbaijan had been subject to amendments that seemed to pose problems of conformity with international standards, notably the European Convention on Human Rights and the Council of Europe’s Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)14 on the legal status of NGOs in Europe. Moreover, the implementation of the revised Azerbaijani legislation also seemed to be in contradiction with a number of these standards.

The Standing Committee of the INGO Conference therefore asked the Expert Council in April 2011 to review all these matters and prepare an Opinion on the amendments in 2009 to the NGO Law in Azerbaijan and their application, with the intention of informing the Conference of INGOs and affording an opportunity for the Azerbaijani authorities to respond to the conclusions of the Opinion and take any appropriate action.

The Expert Council on NGO Law presented its opinion on 8 September 2011 to the authorities of Azerbaijan. The Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan responded with its remarks concerning the opinion in a letter of 30 March 2012. The Expert Council replied to this letter on 12 April 2012.

The aforementioned Expert Council's opinion was presented at a seminar in Baku in April 2012, together with the opinion of the European Commission for Democracy through Law of the Council of Europe (Venice Commission).

In 2014, the Expert Council on NGO Law prepared an opinion on the NGO law of the republic of Azerbaijan in the light of amendments made in 2009 and 2013 and their application.

The Expert Council on NGO Law presented it opinion on 26 September 2014 to the authorities of Azerbaijan but has not yet received a response.

The Venice Commission also prepared an opinion on the NGO legislation of Azerbaijan: