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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T V W Y

The Charity Tribunal

The Charity Tribunal

On 1 September 2009, the Charity Tribunal was abolished and its entire jurisdiction was transferred to the First-tier Tribunal (Charity) and the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber).

Cases involving charities are usually heard in the First-tier Tribunal (Charity) but many in the sector still refer to this as the “Charity Tribunal”.

The Charity Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear three types of case. Firstly, the Tribunal can review a decision made by the Charity Commission. During a Review, the Charity Tribunal will consider whether or not on the facts available to the Commission at the time, it acted outside of its jurisdiction, took account of improper matters or failed to consider matters that it should have, acted unreasonably or was wrong in law.

Secondly, the Charity Tribunal hears Appeals. In determining an appeal, the Tribunal will examine the decision, direction or order appealed against. The main difference in an Appeal is that the Tribunal may take into account evidence that was not available to the Commission and reconsider the Charity Commission’s findings on facts.

The Charities Act 2011 sets out what decisions of the Charity Commission can be either reviewed or appealed.

In addition to Reviews and Appeals, the Charity Tribunal can hear and determine matters referred to it by either the Charity Commission or the Attorney General. For example, following the implementation of the Charities Act 2006, the Attorney General made two very high profile references to the Charity Tribunal. Our Charity Law solicitors were instructed by the Professional Footballers’ Association in relation to the second of these references, which concerned poor relations charities, company employee charities and membership charities and the extent to which they satisfy the public benefit test.

The Charity Tribunal comprises a principal judge, five judges and seven other members. Stephen Claus, the Head of the Charities and Social Enterprise Department at Brabners LLP was one of the original five judges appointed to the Charity Tribunal in 2009 and sat as a judge part time for two years in Charity Law matters.

Charities Newsletter

Our team of Charity solicitors publish a quarterly newsletter covering the latest legal news and developments in the world of Charities and Social Enterprises. To find out more please visit the CSE News page in the Publications section.

Charity Blog

Our Charity Law Solicitors regularly write blogs on issues affecting the sector, click here to read our Charity Law blog.

Useful downloads

Charities and Social Enterprises leaflet

Charities - Services for the Non-Domiciled Philanthropist

 

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Follow us for news from the sector and details of upcoming events - @BrabnersCharity