Writing an international guide to non-profit law is not an easy task. Not for anyone. Each country’s legal and fiscal framework in this area reflects a myriad of values and traditions, inevitably leading to laws embodying political compromises. To describe these culturally and historically diverse frameworks in a uniform and clear manner therefore demands a competent group of contributors.
Indeed a remarkable group of academics and scholars, including a dash of practitioners, have contributed chapters on their respective national frameworks. With the resources of the John Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project behind him, Dr Lester Salamon has overseen the project of editing the commissioned works and contributed two introductory chapters of his own.
Dr Salamon successfully presents the material in a clearly written and uniform format. Users of this guide will thus easily find information on similar items in the various country chapters. Each chapter concludes with a section entitled ‘Key Outstanding Issues’, which provides excellent insights on issues needing to be, or in the process of being, resolved in each country.
The geographical scope of this international guide is unfortunately limited, as it includes only 22 countries. Hopefully, additional countries will be covered in future editions.
This reader would have preferred a looseleaf, instead of a bound, version of this guide. The bound form somehow detracts from the inherent practical utility of this type of guide. It also complicates updating the country chapters, which is imperative if the guide is to be relied on by practitioners. In this first edition, for instance, at least three country chapters were already out of date at the time of publication.
Dr Salamon’s guide whets my appetite for future editions to come. May the format and the geographical scope be improved to match the excellence of the scholarly research contained in these pages!
Bradley Gallop is an Associate Attorney-at-Law at the leading Brussels law firm Loeff Claeys Verbeke and a European Commission Expert on Social Economy Law.
The International Guide to Nonprofit Law
by Lester Salamon
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