15 October 2015

Latin American researchers create research network on the legal environment of Civil Society Organizations

Called ?InvestigAcción?, the meeting was the result of mapping of research initiatives related to the enhancement of qualifying legal frameworks for civil society in the region.

On October 1-2, FGV?s Center for Applied Legal Research (CPJA) at the São Paulo Law School (Direito SP) brought together several researchers to discuss the creation of a network for research, knowledge production and information exchange on the legal environment of civil society organizations in Latin America. Called ?InvestigAcción?, the meeting was the result of mapping conducted by CPJA of research initiatives related to the enhancement of qualifying legal frameworks for civil society in the region.At the meeting, about forty researchers from universities, research centers and civil society organizations, which have the production of studies on the subject in common, were present.  Institutions such as Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico), Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), Universidad San Pedro Sula (Honduras) and organizations such as Acción (Chile), DeJusticia (Colombia), Fundación Construir (Bolivia), ANC (Peru), Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo (Uruguay) and International Center for Non-Profit-Law (global operations) attended the event. Among the Brazilians, the network of researchers included, in addition to representatives of CPJA and FGV Projects, researchers from USP, PUC-SP, PUC-DF, Universidade Federal do ABC, Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia, organizations such as Abong - Brazilian Association of Non-governmental Organizations, Gife - Group of Institutes, Foundations and Companies, Conectas Human Rights and Pro Bono Institute. The event also included representatives from the Special Committee to the Regulatory Framework of Civil Society Organizations, from the General Office of the Presidency, and from the project ?Pensando o Direito? (Thinking Law), of the Secretary of Legislative Affairs of the Ministry of Justice.At the meeting Professor Luciana Gross Cunha, current coordinator of CPJA, discussed the challenges and potential for think tanks by presenting case studies of collaborative research carried out in Latin America on issues such as freedom of association, transparency and economic sustainability of civil society organizations. According to Professor Oscar Vilhena Vieira, dean of São Paulo Law School, an independent and pluralistic civil society is essential for the stability of democracy and it reflects the mission of the School, which is to contribute to the economic, social and political development of Brazil. ?When we created CPJA, we searched for what was most essential to fulfill these objectives, and the relationship between civil society and the Rule of Law is one of these crucial research tracks?, he said.