7 Int'l J. Civ. Soc'y L. iii (2009)

handle is hein.journals/ijcsl7 and id is 1 raw text is: January 2009

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Dear Readers,
With best wishes to all of you for a peaceful 2009 and Year of the Ox, we at ICCSL send
our greetings. This issue of IJCSL, which is the first in Volume 7, brings to your attention two
articles about issues related to civil society law that are of great importance to modern
conceptions of the regulation of civil society. We also feature a book review of a recently
published volume that should provide readers with much food for thought.
The first article is Patterns and Structures of NGO Self-Regulation in Africa by Mary
Kay Gugerty, Assistant Professor at the Evans School of Public Affairs, University of
Washington. Prof. Gugerty has written several articles published in other journals about self-
regulation of NGOs in Africa, an issue of prominence with regard to legal and regulatory
frameworks. As she points out in her article, early initiatives to develop self-regulatory
mechanisms were typically sponsored by NGO membership associations as standard-setting
devices aimed at pre-empting government regulation. However, their effectiveness was
hampered by the low capacity and resource base of many sponsoring associations, the need to
develop standards broad enough to apply to all NGOs, and the reluctance of many NGO
associations to police their members.
More recent attempts to develop voluntary self-regulation programs in Africa often focus
on developing independently-sponsored certification initiatives, which Prof. Gugerty calls
voluntary 'clubs.' Unlike the national programs, the certification requirement tends to create a
barrier to entry that limits participation, meaning that these programs have a narrower regulatory
scope but may be able to develop stronger standards and engage in more effective monitoring.
In her article Prof. Gugerty draws on her own research and that of other scholars to demonstrate
the ways in which each of the regimes develops and the extent to which they are effective.
The second article was written by Giovanni Tamburrini, a lawyer based in Rome, and is
titled The Agency Problem in Non-profit Corporations. He deals with several of the most
important issues of the day regarding NPOs. These include the right of beneficiaries to sue when
there are director derelictions of duty, developing better internal controls for NPOs, expanding
the concept of fiduciary duties, etc. He asserts that such an approach is needed because
beneficiaries of non-profit corporation will possess a very weak protection when faced with the
opportunistic behavior of self-motivated directors. This is basically due to the fact that the non-
profit sector has for long been overlooked by legal doctrines. The development of Mr.
Tamburrini's thesis is quite strong, as he delved not only into recent scandals in the sector but
also into the underlying legitimacy of legal theory as it applies to NPOs, which are logically
different from for-profit corporations.
Our book review was written by Debra Morris, Assistant Director of Legal Studies at
the Cayman Islands Law School. A known legal scholar with respect to law relating to charities
and not-for-profit organizations, Ms Morris has reviewed the book CHARITY LAW & SOCIAL
POLICY. NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE FUNCTIONS OF THE LAW
RELATING TO CHARITIES, by Kerry O'Halloran, Myles McGregor-Lowndes and Karla W.
Simon, published by Springer in 2008, ISBN- 9781402084133. In her review Ms Morris
emphasizes the breadth of the undertaking, and its scholarly importance. She looks, for example,
at the development of the law of charities in Singapore, where the response of the law to social

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