21 September 2009

Consolidation of Charity Law

The Office of the Third Sector has launched a consultation on a new draft Charities Bill.

The consultation seeks views on the draft Charities Bill which aims to consolidate existing legislation.

Charity lawyers currently have to grapple with a number of different pieces of legislation affecting charities in England and Wales:

  • the Recreational Charities Act 1958
  • the Charities Act 1992
  • the Charities Act 1993
  • the Charities Act 2006

The draft Bill brings together the majority of the provisions with a view to making legislation for charities more user friendly by restructuring and modernising existing text.

Although substantive amendments to charity law are not planned (at least until the review of the 2006 Act in 2011) the new Act is to be preceded by a pre-consolidation amendments order which aims to:

  • correct minor mistakes in the existing legislation
  • remove unnecessary inconsistencies
  • repeal any obsolete provisions

The consultation is seeking views on the following:

  • whether little-used provisions in the 1993 Act dealing with the administration of parochial charities are still required.
  • whether a section in the 1993 Act dealing with the admissibility (as evidence) of nineteenth and early twentieth century reports into charities is still required.
  • whether a vesting provision in the 1993 Act should be modified
    The consultation is also an opportunity to make any other comments on the draft bill. The consultation closes on 4th December.

Chris Priestley is chairing the Charity Law Association’s working party on the Bill.

We will provide regular updates on the consultation and the Bill.

Category: Article