Public Foundation from Kazakhstan needs help in analyzing the legislation of a number of countries on accreditation procedures for national election observers
NGO: Public Foundation “Erkindik Qanaty”
Project: Analysis of legislation on the accreditation procedure for national election observers
Jurisdiction: Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan
Legal topics: Principles of international election observation, regulation of the status of election observers
Deadline: September 20, 2022, NEW
Language: English, Russian
Criteria: Knowledge of legislation in the field of international election observation, knowledge of law enforcement practice in the field of election observation
Public Foundation “Erkindik Qanaty” was established on March 6, 2015. The Foundation is a human rights organization of an open type, which has accumulated the experience and values acquired in the process of forming an active civic position of the organizers and volunteers of the Foundation. The main areas of the foundation’s work are public protection and promotion of rights and freedoms, educational programs, research, including through monitoring, as well as participation in legislative activities.
In July 2022, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan published a draft law “On amendments and additions to some Constitutional laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the implementation of the message of the Head of State dated March 16, 2022”.
The presented draft law, in particular, involves the introduction of amendments to the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan”.
One of the key additions to the current legislation is the expansion of the powers of the Central Electoral Commission and the relevant territorial election commissions and the restriction of the activities of Kazakhstani non-governmental organizations working in the field of monitoring the electoral processes in the country.
The Fund believes that the amendments to the legislation violate international principles established in the field of electoral law and the activities of independent observers. The Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan refers to the fact that the new changes are consistent with the practice of other countries and with the UN principles in the area of internationally recognized status of election observers.
Currently, the Fund requires the assistance of pro bono lawyers, expressed in the analysis of the current legislation in a number of countries – the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Georgia, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Canada, the USA, Germany, as well as international documents ratified by Kazakhstan, in order to determine compliance legislative initiatives of the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan to current international standards.
Russian charity foundation from Moscow needs legal advice on copyrights law
NGO: Foundation “Safety House”
Project: Legal assistance with copyrights protection on the Internet
Jurisdiction: Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan
Legal topics: Intellectual property law, Internet copyrights
Deadline: September 30, 2022, NEW
Criteria: Knowledge of legislation in the field of copyright protection on the Internet
Foundation “Safety House” – is a NGO, which activity is to prevent human trafficking. The mission of Foundation is (1) to support socially vulnerable groups of people, (2) to create conditions for providing comprehensive assistance to people who got into a situation of human trafficking or faced with various types of violence.
Recently, the Foundation has faced copyright infringement on the Internet, where other organizations, without the consent of the Foundation, reprint and use the Foundation’s materials, passing them off as their own publications. There are also no links to the original source of information – the Foundation’s website. The Foundation is currently seeking the assistance of pro bono lawyers to understand how the Foundation can recover its rights in such cases, as well as how to protect its rights in the future.
Russian environmental project needs assistance in translating the research on the best practices for invasive species control
Project: Translation of the research on the best practices for invasive species control from English into Russian
Legal topics: Legal translation, environmental law
Deadline: August, 2022
Language: English, Russian
Criteria: Experience in legal translation
Biological invasions are a major force of change, affecting many dimensions of life on Earth. Invasions result when species colonize new geographic regions, which are disjunct (isolated) from existing populations. Humans have dramatically altered invasion dynamics, especially with the global expansion of trade in modern times. Sometimes such invasions can cause significant economic damage and pose a threat to human health. The urgency of controlling invasive species is only growing. In particular, currently at the legislative level, there is also a fight against cow parsnip. In many subjects the lack of measures to eliminate it leads to fines.
BorscheVictory is a group of enthusiastic people united together to fight against alien species around Russia. The movement started in 2018, is led by a woman scientist who works in the Botanic Garden in Moscow, and unites approximately one hundred volunteers around Russia who are concerned about climate change and biological invasions. At this stage the movement focuses on stopping the spread of Sosnovsky’s hogweed in Russia through the coordination of the actions of the population, scientists and government agencies. The movement has three main directions: (1) environmental education (lectures, board games, tours etc); (2) scientific research; and (3) field work (when volunteers go and clean up territory from alien species).
The project now needs assistance in translating materials on best practices for controlling invasive species in various countries from English into Russian.
International organizations seek legal assistance developing guidelines for non-profits on setting up and operating a bank account
NGO: PILnet, European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL)
Project: Legal research for banking manual for non-profit organizations on setting up and operating organizational bank accounts
Jurisdictions: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan
Legal topic: Banking
Deadline: August, 2022, Ongoing
Language: English, Russian
Criteria: Familiarity with a bank account opening procedure
PILnet together with partners is working on practical guidelines for civil society organizations (CSOs) that clarify banking procedures in a number of countries, including Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. The guidelines will provide CSOs insight on bank account operation procedures including information on how to open a bank account and how to safely manage the organizational bank accounts in their respective jurisdictions.
These efforts are part of a larger project that PILnet and its partners will launch next year – a mobile app for NPOs on how to register nonprofits around the world.
So far PILnet has prepared a questionnaire for lawyers regarding banking issues and is currently looking for pro bono lawyers to conduct research in the context of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Ukrainian law.
International public interest law organization seeks pro bono legal assistance with research on cryptocurrency and NFTs
Project: Research on the legal regulation of fundraising with cryptocurrency and NFTs
Jurisdictions: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia
Legal topics: Banking and finance, company law, tax law
Deadline: August, 2022
Language: Russian, English
Criteria: Knowledges in legal regulation of cryptocurrency and NFT, IT
PILnet is an international non-governmental organization that creates opportunities for social change by unlocking law’s full potential. PILnet work has focused on mobilizing all lawyers to use their expertise and skills to benefit civil society organizations (“CSOs”) and the communities they serve, empowering them to recognize and use the full potential of law to address the needs of communities they work with, as well as to strengthen their resilience. PILnet also aims to nurture the next generation of public interest lawyers by empowering law students to use the law to address social justice needs.
There is an increasing number of charities across the world that have started accepting cryptocurrency as donations, including UNICEF and the Salvation Army. New platforms like The Giving Block and DoinGud are helping nonprofits to raise funds with cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”).
To help charities better understand the opportunities and risks involved in working in this new context, PILnet plans to develop several tools for non-profit organizations: (1) Guidebook and
(2) a webinar.
- To develop a guidebook PILnet seeks assistance of pro bono lawyers to complete research on cryptocurrency and NFTs in jurisdictions mentioned above, using a questionnaire that will be developed by PILnet and its partners.
- To develop a webinar for non-profit organizations PILnet seeks help of pro bono lawyers interested in cooperation to build a webinar that would explore the possibilities of using cryptocurrencies and NFTs for fundraising in the Eurasia region ( primarily focus on Russian, Belorussian and Kazakhstan jurisdictions).
The webinar should:
- Provide a brief overview of blockchain-based technology, cryptocurrency, and NFTs;
- Identify successful projects using cryptocurrency and NFTs to fundraise for good;
- Help CSOs understand the fundraising process and regulatory requirements;
- Recommend best practices for CSOs to comply with the regulatory requirements.
Partners can participate both in the preparation of the webinar and the guidebook, or volunteer for a part of the project.
International public interest law organization seeks assistance with research on legal ethics on SLAPPs
Project: Legal research on rules, regulations, laws, and mechanisms exist in jurisdictions across Europe to address the problem of SLAPPs
Jurisdictions: Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine
Legal Topics: Legal ethical standards, civil and criminal procedural rules
Deadline: September, 2022
Criteria: Legal expertise in ethical standards, civil and criminal procedural rules
PILnet is part of the CASE Coalition, which is a coalition of NGOs from across Europe united in recognition of the threat posed to public watchdogs by SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). These lawsuits, pursued by wealthy and powerful litigants, attempt to intimidate and silence public watchdogs through lengthy and expensive litigation that drains a target’s resources and chills critical voices.
As the European Commission negotiates its response to the growth of (SLAPPs) through, among other measures, a proposal of a Directive on protecting persons who engage in public participation from manifestly unfounded or abusive court proceedings, the debate has increasingly highlighted the role of lawyers. To what extent can lawyers be held to account for facilitating SLAPPs or pursuing tactics designed to intimidate or harass? To what extent should lawyers be held to account for such conduct? To help bring some clarity and substance to this debate, PILnet and its legal partners have prepared a structured questionnaire, aimed to identify what rules, regulations, laws, and mechanisms exist in jurisdictions across Europe to address the problem of SLAPPs. PILnet is looking for pro bono lawyers to work on this research.
The questionnaire has been transformed into an online survey, to facilitate dissemination. The link is available upon request of lawyers.