A short survey of such a vast subject matter cannot be complete. It remains a reasoned but arbitrary collection of ideas, data, facts and figures, biased by the personal experience of the author and his access to sources, inevitably leaving gaps.
The main part of this paper deals with describing legal patterns of co-operative societies from different perspectives: (a) by origin, (b) by type of co-operative and (c) by continent. A special chapter is dedicated to innovations, e. g. appropriate legal technology, trends to develop supra-national co-operative law and in new fields: multi-stakeholder co-operatives and social co-operatives as part of Social Economy. Conclusions are drawn regarding international guidelines for good co-operative legislation around a common core – the Statement of Co-operative Identity of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) – as contained in the UN Guidelines of 2001 aimed at creating a supportive environment for the development of co-operatives and the International labour Organization (ILO) Recommendation 193 of 2002 for the promotion of co-operatives.Download .PDF