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Law Commission opens consultation on technical issues in charity law

23 March 2015

Law Commission opens consultation on technical issues in charity law - read more

The Law Commission has opened a consultation on technical issues in charity law.

The consultation is a review of the procedures by which charities governed by Royal Charter and by Act of Parliament amend their governing documents.

The review is part of a project originated from the Law Commission’s Eleventh Programme of Law Reform and comprises certain issues arising out of the review of the Charities Act 2006 conducted by Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts.

The issues that arose include: the procedures by which charities change their purposes and the administrative provisions of their governing documents; the application of property cy-près, including the application cy-près of the proceeds of fundraising appeals; the regulation of the acquisition, disposal and mortgage of land by charities; the remuneration of a trustee of a charity for the supply of goods to the charity; the power to award an equitable allowance to a trustee who has obtained an unauthorised profit; the power for trustees to make ex gratia payments out of the funds of the charity; the transfer of assets and liabilities on incorporation and merger, and gifts made by will to charities that have merged; the availability of property held on charitable trust in the insolvency of a trustee; the power of the Charity Commission to require a charity to change its name, and to refuse to register a charity unless it changes its name; the power for the Charity Commission to determine the identity of the trustees of a charity; and certain powers of the Charity Tribunal.

The Charity Commission has welcomed this consultation, commenting that the focus on making things simpler for charities ‘is an important step towards ensuring that the burden on charities is the right level and consistent with effective regulation’.

The Charity Commission added: ‘We have worked with the Law Commission on the consultation document and will respond formally. In doing so we will look to help shape the best proposals for change in the light of our experience of how the current regime has operated.’

The consultation deadline is 3 July 2015.

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