Amendments to NGO legislation open for discussion

Moscow, 26.08.2015

The Russian Ministry of Justice has unveiled the text of draft legislation amending the law ‘On Non-Profit Organisations’ pursuant to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. Public discussion of the draft law and an independent anticorruption expert examination will last until 8 September.

The draft of the federal law ‘On the introduction of amendments to the federal law On Non-Profit Organisations (regarding conformity with the new edition of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation)’ has been published on the federal site for draft laws and regulations.

“The draft law proposes retaining in federal law only those provisions determining the particularities of state registration and monitoring of NGOs, principally relating to their legal status, activities and liquidation, as well as possible forms of state and local authority support”, states the Ministry of Justice.

The concept was developed by a Ministry of Justice and Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights working group in January 2015. The proposal to transform the law on NGOs into the law on state registration, monitoring and support of NGOs was made at a meeting of the working group at the end of July.

The concept consists of three parts: transformation of the law on NGOs into the law on the specifics of state registration, monitoring and support of non-profit organisations, transformation of the law on public associations into the law on associations of citizens in the Russian Federation, and the introduction of amendments to the laws on certain types of NGOs; if necessary, the development of new special legislation.

In the draft’s explanatory memorandum the Ministry of Justice emphasises that the amendments proposed for discussion today do not cover civic organisations and social movements, given the existence of the law ‘On public associations’. “Work on the introduction of appropriate amendments to this is planned for the next phase of harmonising legislation on non-profit organisations”, states the memorandum.

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