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Nicola Laver

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Charity law reform ahead

Charity law reform ahead


Most of the Law Commission's 43 recommendations for charity law reform have been accepted by government

The “vast majority” of the Law Commission’s 43 recommendations on charity law reform have been accepted by government.

This includes a recommendation for a periodical review all financial thresholds in the Charities Act 2011 with a view to increasing them in line with inflation.

However, government will not accept six recommendations, including around charities’ rights of appeal; and allowing charities to ask the court for authorisation to pursue charity proceedings under the Charities Act 2011 if asking the Charity Commission for authorisation involves a conflict issue.

The recommendations were set out in the Commission’s report from 2017 on technical issues in charity law. 

The Law Society of England and Wales welcomed the news that government is to accept most of the recommendations. 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said: “We are pleased the government will implement the vast majority of the 43 recommendations… which will maximise the efficient use of charitable funds and ensure the public has appropriate safeguards.”

She noted how tough it has been for charities during the covid-19 pandemic, “especially for small and unincorporated ones, which have had to continue operating despite a very challenging economic environment”.

“We welcome the government’s plans to move ahead with these reforms to charity law, which will save time, costs and provide clarity around the more complex areas of the law”, added Boyce.

“The changes will provide a more user-friendly environment for all charities, whatever their legal structure. However, what is still needed is greater clarity on issues relating to non-charities.” 

It is not known when the recommendations will be implemented.