The Charities Bill: major changes ahead?
On the 4 March 2011 the Government published the Charities Bill and the Charities (Pre-consolidation Amendments) Order 2011.
The Charities Bill is not intended to comprehensively overhaul or amend existing charity law, but is intended to consolidate charity law by way of a new Act of Parliament. The three main statutes governing charity law are the Recreational Charities Act 1958, the Charities Act 1993 and the Charities Act 2006, all of which have since been amended by other legislation. Consolidation will bring together the three main statutes into a single Act. The Order procedure is to tidy up the existing law in advance of consolidation.
It is surprising that the Government is bringing forward the Charities Bill to consolidate charity law before the five-year review of the operation of the Charities Act 2006. The review is due to take place this year and more detailed changes may be required as a result of the review. However, the Government is apparently keen to go ahead with consolidation now because if further changes or amendments are required as a result of the review these will require consultation before the draft amending legislation can be prepared and then reviewed. Therefore it may be another two to three years down the line before any substantive changes come into effect. In the meantime the Government is apparently keen to make it easier to refer to existing charity law by consolidating it by way of a new Act of Parliament.
The current Charities Bill is not proposing any major changes, but please do not hesitate to contact Gerry Morrison on firstname.lastname@example.org if you do have any queries.
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.