The need to know about and understand cooperative law, coupled with the absence of an academic international journal of cooperative law, gave birth to the idea of creating the:
“International Journal of Cooperative Law (IJCL)”
In the current context, the study of cooperative law seems most pressing for a multitude of reasons. Specifically, the cooperative sector is expanding worldwide; the interest in it re-enters public debates; and law is considered to be a significant factor for the growth of cooperatives. For the first time in decades, there is a renewed and sustained interest in cooperative law. International instruments, like the 2002 ILO Recommendation No. 193 concerning the promotion of cooperatives and the 2001 UN Guidelines aimed at creating a supportive environment for the development of cooperatives emphasize the importance of adequate laws for the development of cooperatives; regional instruments do likewise. The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) has defined in its Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade cooperative law as one out of five areas it would like its members to work on specifically during the international decade of cooperatives 2011-2020. Despite that, studies on cooperative law are scarce, whereas prestigious academic journals seem to overlook the topic of cooperatives.
Having neglected the subject for several decades, the legal community is short of answers to many of the questions which arise in connection with the development of cooperatives, some of the most pressing ones seems to be the trend of isomorphism between cooperative and company law, the cooperative’s contribution to sustainable development, the cooperatives’ treatment under tax/ competition/ labour law, cooperative principles and their transformation into legal rules. Given the role that cooperative law could play to safeguard the cooperative identity and features or further diminish them, enable their development or prevent their autonomous growth, the IJCL is to contribute to filling the knowledge and research gap, while constituting the venue to establish cooperative legal theory in the discipline of law.
The focus of the IJCL is cooperative law, broadly defined all those legal rules – laws, administrative acts, court decisions, jurisprudence, cooperative bylaws/statutes or any other source of law – which regulate the structure and/or the operations of cooperatives as enterprises in the economic sense and as institutions in the legal sense, including provisions from other areas of law, applied to cooperatives (such as tax law, labor law, competition law).
IJCL will publish articles, reviews, case studies, case-law commentaries, empirical research pieces or book reviews of great significance for a wider audience on topics related to national, regional or international cooperative law, including global and comparative perspectives. The IJCL has no geographical limitation or one by legal traditions; quite the contrary, it seeks to cover cooperative law worldwide. Contributions through the lens of law per se will be complemented with other approaches, such as the approaches of law and economics, political and social sciences. The IJCL will be mainly addressed to legal scholars and academics, without excluding practitioners and professionals with an interest in the field however.
In addition, the IJCL will offer – through its online platform – up-to-date information on recent legislation, case-law and other news of interest such as activities and conferences.
Mode of publication/Open access policy
In line with its character as a venue for the study and research in the field of cooperative law by supporting the exchange of ideas, the IJCL will publish its issues in print and online. Furthermore, the use of modern technology and social media platforms is to improve its outreach and dissemination. Due to the fact that open access journals seem to be more effective in reaching their audience, being read and cited, compared to journals with subscription, the IJCL will be an open access journal.
At the beginning the IJCL will be published twice a year. The intention is to publish it as a quarterly, depending on the reception by its readers.