Welcome to the ICA's Cooperative Law Committee

The ICA Cooperative Law Committee (CLC) is a thematic committee with the objective of giving independent advice to the ICA on cooperative law, broadly defined to include all legal rules that shape the cooperative institution and regulate its operations.

Like all enterprises, cooperatives operate within existing legal frameworks and it is important for their growth that these frameworks recognize their unique nature. The Cooperative Law Committee IS composed of legal experts from different regions and backgrounds.

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Why cooperative law?

Cooperatives of all types around the world have been guided by a set of identity-shaping principles ever since the foundation of the ICA in 1895. Today, these are laid out in the 1995 ICA Statement on the Cooperative Identity. The fact that such a set of principles exists sets cooperatives apart from other types of enterprises.

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Main areas of activity

  • Working with the ICA Principles Committee, develop proposals for contemporary legal interpretation of the definition of cooperatives and of the cooperative values and principles and the translation of these into legal principles.
  • Develop proposals to translate the legal principles into cooperative law, securing the cooperative identity.
  • Elaborate, where warranted, suggestions for the harmonisation of cooperative laws.
  • Assess, advise on, propose and monitor changes in cooperative policy at national regional, international and global level as they affect cooperative law.
  • Participate in the establishment of implementation mechanisms, such as cooperative registration, monitoring and auditing.
  • Promote the elaboration of such resources as law commentaries, glossaries,  handbooks on drafting bylaws and model bylaws, proposals for government regulation and research on and teaching of cooperative law.
  • Liaise and coordinate with the other thematic committees, sectoral organisations, regional organisations and any organs of the ICA as appropriate.
  • Consider specific legal issues that are referred to it from other thematic committees, sectoral organisations, regional organisations and any organs of the ICA through its Global Board
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Membership and rules

The Cooperative Law Committee is composed of a Chairperson, four representatives of the ICA regions, four independent experts and a Board liaison member.

Staff support: Santosh P. Kumar (Kumar@ica.coop)

View the CLC rules.




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