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The limits of “Good Law”: civil society regulation in South Africa and Ethiopia

The limits of “Good Law”: civil society regulation in South Africa and Ethiopia
The limits of “Good Law”: civil society regulation in South Africa and Ethiopia

At the end of apartheid, the South African government adopted laws regulating civil society that are widely seen as "good"laws: laws designed to encourage and facilitate a thriving civil society sector. In 2019 the Ethiopian government repealed the repressive, decade-old Charities and Societies Proclamation and replaced it with a much more open and permissive regulatory system, also aimed at facilitating a thriving civil society sector. This article compares South Africa's post-Apartheid civil society organization (CSO) laws with Ethiopia's 2019 law, to examine the different and overlapping ways in which these regimes attempt to advance the interests of CSOs against an historical background of state oppression. In doing so, it examines what "good"regulation of CSOs constitutes in practice and finds that there are significant limits to the effectiveness of regulatory change in addressing the many, complex problems CSOs face, especially in the wake of political and legal oppression.

Civil society, Ethiopia, South Africa, regulation
0021-8553
Lupin, Dina
526ee2bc-7f3d-4a01-9d21-358a8999e364
Lupin, Dina
526ee2bc-7f3d-4a01-9d21-358a8999e364

Lupin, Dina (2022) The limits of “Good Law”: civil society regulation in South Africa and Ethiopia. Journal of African Law. (doi:10.1017/S002185532100053X).

Record type: Article

Abstract

At the end of apartheid, the South African government adopted laws regulating civil society that are widely seen as "good"laws: laws designed to encourage and facilitate a thriving civil society sector. In 2019 the Ethiopian government repealed the repressive, decade-old Charities and Societies Proclamation and replaced it with a much more open and permissive regulatory system, also aimed at facilitating a thriving civil society sector. This article compares South Africa's post-Apartheid civil society organization (CSO) laws with Ethiopia's 2019 law, to examine the different and overlapping ways in which these regimes attempt to advance the interests of CSOs against an historical background of state oppression. In doing so, it examines what "good"regulation of CSOs constitutes in practice and finds that there are significant limits to the effectiveness of regulatory change in addressing the many, complex problems CSOs face, especially in the wake of political and legal oppression.

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Accepted/In Press date: 12 January 2022
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 January 2022
Additional Information: Funding Information: Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna. The author thanks Jonathan Verschuuren, Desta Gidey, Nicky Broeckhoven and Kelemework Tafere, as well as the anonymous reviewers, for feedback on this article. This research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO/WOTRO) under its Science for Global Development Programme: Supporting the Political Role of Civil Society Organisations for Inclusive Development (grant no W08.311.102).
Keywords: Civil society, Ethiopia, South Africa, regulation

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 455691
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/455691
ISSN: 0021-8553
PURE UUID: 08610caa-9965-483e-8a56-30f137c899f1
ORCID for Dina Lupin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6531-8066

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Date deposited: 30 Mar 2022 16:55
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 02:34

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Author: Dina Lupin ORCID iD

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