Monday, February 12, 2024

Murray, Umbers & Wesson: Regulating Political Advocacy by Charities Liberally

Download (27) Download (29) Download (28)Ian Murray, Lachlan Umbers, and Murray Wesson (all University of Western Australia) have published Regulating Political Advocacy by Charities Liberally, 53 Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly  236 (2024). Here is the abstract:

In countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, whether certain classes of civil society groups are eligible to receive state support (by way of tax and other concessions) is primarily based on the entity’s intended purpose. Yet governments often view the advocacy, electioneering, or lobbying activities that are the means adopted by some civil society organizations to achieve their purposes, as unjustified attempts to intervene in the political process. Attempts to restrict these activities are, thus, not uncommon but raise challenges to fundamental tenets of liberal democracies. This article uses recent Australian experience as a case study to analyze such attempts through rule of law and freedom of expression lenses. It focuses on advocacy and electioneering via peaceful protest/civil disobedience activities and argues that charities have a valuable role to play as political actors and that any restrictions should meet the requirements of certainty and proportionality.

Lloyd Mayer

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