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Guidelines for cooperative laws

Since the 1800s, cooperative movements have developed and refined principles for guiding cooperative enterprise.  Although rooted in this heritage, the CLARITY Principles are unique because they’re specifically designed for analyzing legal and regulatory environments.

The CLARITY Principles address the need for laws that:

  • Protect and promote democratic, member control of cooperatives; 
  • Foster equitable relations between cooperatives and investor-owned businesses in the economy; and
  • Promote effective institutional structures and efficient operation of the regulatory framework.

Two rubrics for analyzing laws and regulations

The CLARITY Initiative has collected and reviewed a large number of cooperative laws and conducted research on cooperative regulatory practices in developing countries.   From this research, CLARITY created two rubrics:

  • Rubric #1 (pdf, 152 kb): focuses on common elements of cooperative-specific laws and practices;
  • Rubric #2 (pdf, 92 kb): focuses on common provisions in sector-specific regulations that impact cooperative participation.

The rubrics are not model laws with sample language and provisions that can be adopted in any country.  Instead, they are designed to show how the CLARITY Principles can be used to analyze specific regulatory environments and debate needed regulatory changes.