South Pacific Civil Society Library :
a collection of documents and resources promoting an enabling environment
for civil society and public participation in the South Pacific
A joint project of the
of the South Pacific Emalus Campus Library and the
for Not-for profit Law
'Civil society' is defined
as the set of intermediate associations which are
neither the state (government) nor the (extended)
family; civil society
therefore includes voluntary associations (such as
non-government organisations) and firms and other corporate bodies.
( from the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics)
"Civil society is that collection of diverse interest groups and social organizations that is strong enough to provide some autonomy and protection to individuals from the authoritarian and hegemonic tendencies of states." (from Oxford Companion to the Politics of the World).
Table of Contents
1. Civil Society in the South Pacific
Law and civil society in the South Pacific: Challenges and opportunities:
International best practices; and global developments.
1.2 The rule of law , custom and civil society in the South Pacific: an overview
1.3 Technical assistance for civil society participation in budget formulation in the Pacific.
1.4 Review of legislative and regulations framework governing the establishment and legal status of the civil society sector in the Pacific member states of the ACP.
1.5 Developments in the South Pacific - civil society legal frameworks under review
1.6 Law, governance and civil society: revolution or evolution in the modernising Pacific?
1.7 Third mesolevel dialogue between Pacific civil society, EU NGDOs, European Commission and other actors (2001)
1.8 Civil society statement on EPA between ACP states and EU.
1.9 Civil society and the Pacific Plan
1.10 Commonwealth Regional Consultation document on maximising civil society's contribution to democracy and development.
1.11 Law and civil society in the South Pacific in the twenty-first century: challenges and opportunities
2. Country documents
2.1.1 Laws affecting the civil society organisations (CSO's) in Fiji
2.2.1 Civil society law in Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu: a review of the legislative framework
2.3.1 Civil society law in Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu: a review of the legislative framework
2.4 Papua New Guinea
2.4.1 Law and civil society organisations in Papua New Guinea: a review of the legislative framework
2.5.1 Law and the role of non-state actors: a review of the legislative framework governing civil society organisations in Samoa
2.6 Solomon Islands
2.6.1 Civil society, community organisations and the law [pamphlet]
2.6.2 Law and civil society in the South Pacific: non-government organisations in the Solomon Islands
2.7.1 Law and civil society in Tonga: a review of the enabling legislative framework
2.8.1 Civil society organisations in Tuvalu: a legal perspective of business practice for the non government sector in Tuvalu
2.8.2 Custom, law and practice in Tuvalu: the relationship between law and custom in Tuvalu
2.8.3 Consultations toward legal reform in Tuvalu
2.8.4 Civil society law in Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu: a review of the legislative framework
2.9.1 Civil society, community organisations and the law [pamphlet]
2.9.2 Report on laws affecting civil society in Vanuatu 2004
3 Further Reading
THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK OF NGO ENHANCEMENT
4. Related Websites
Centre for Not-For-Profit Law [ICNL]
4.2 University of the South Pacific Community Legal Centre
4.3 PIANGO (Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations)
4.4 Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI)
4.5 Pacific Concerns Resource Centre
4.6 Dev-Zone - The Development Resource Centre
4.7 Civicus: World Alliance for Civil Participation
4.8 International Centre for Civil Society Law (see also International Journal of the Center for Civil Society Law (IJCSL) and Newsletter)
4.9 ACP Civil Society Forum
4.10 Pacific Civil Societies (NGO's) - a directory maintained by the USP Library
5. Books on civil society held in the Emalus Campus Library
6. Articles on civil society identified on the Pacific Law Journal Index
ICNL has initiated a three-year project in Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Samoa under the funding of NZAID, and in cooperation with the University of the South Pacific, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (PIANGO) and other regional and national civil society organizations (CSOs). Detailed information, as well as country reports and publications, can be found on ICNLís website here and on the Emalus Campus Library's South Pacific civil society library .
South Pacific: ICNL has initiated a three-year project, funded by NZAID: Law and Civil Society in the South Pacific, in partnership with the University of the South Pacific, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (PIANGO), and other regional and national civil society organizations (CSOs). This unique project targets reform of the legal and regulatory structures affecting CSOs in Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Samoa. In addition it embraces civic education, local legal capacity building, and investigating ways to explicitly relate universal human rights principles to traditional and customary values and practices. ICNL has been working in the region via short term projects for five years, and the current project is expected to enable those groundbreaking efforts to bear fruit.
Components of the project include: 1) plain language public education to build awareness of the value and purpose of CSOs, and the need for public involvement in policy decision-making affecting national development; 2) law courses, continuing education, and clinics for building local capacity to deal with legal and regulatory matters affecting CSOs; and 3) technical assistance to governments, lawmakers, CSOs, and others engaged in the law reform process.
ICNL is advising the Fiji Law Reform Commission in its current undertaking to comprehensively review the legal framework for CSOs and to update the inherited body of laws in light of current societal needs. Similarly, in Vanuatu civil society and government have entered into a compact, and ICNL is participating in follow-on discussions intended to lead to a reform process. As a new government is formed in the Solomon Islands, CSO law reform is likely to be a priority; a contribution to the efforts to restore a more peaceful and collaborative society and move forward on economic and social development. In Samoa as well, voices are speaking out for a review of the existing legal framework.
For background information, please see country reports on Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands in the ICNL library and ICNL and USP publications Law and Civil Society in the South Pacific and The Rule of Law, Custom, and Civil Society in the South Pacific.
This workshop provided a forum for the discussion of the legal framework governing community organisations in Vanuatu. In particular, attention was paid to the contribution that non-government organisations make to civil society. The workshop allowed for the exchange of ideas between government officers and those involved in a variety of community organisations. The workshop also discussed ways of promoting the reform of laws relating to NGO's including the possible establishment of a Law Reform Commission in Vanuatu.
Peter Murgatroyd, USP.
Last updated 25 July 2006