Today the Government has published its response to the recommendations made by the Law Commission in its report ‘Technical Issues in Charity Law’ published in September 2017. The report addresses a number of technical issues in charity law which were first raised by Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts in his 2012 review of the Charities Act.
I thank the Law Commission for their hard work on this topic and welcome their well-considered and detailed report. The Government has carefully considered the recommendations and is accepting the vast majority. The Law Commission’s report is, at first sight, highly technical; however the recommendations which the Government is accepting will make it simpler for charities to achieve their charitable purposes in an effective, sustainable and impactful way. The recommendations also maintain important safeguards to ensure the best use of charities’ resources.
The recommendations will include measures to improve:
Simplifying the processes by which charities can amend their governing documents
Reducing the costs and simplifying the rules governing disposals of land by charities
Enabling charities to use their permanent endowment for social investments
Helping charity incorporations and mergers
Providing trustees with certainty about costs before the Charity Tribunal
I am pleased that the Law Commission’s recommendations also have support within the sector, and from the Charity Commission, the independent registrar and regulator for charities in England and Wales.
The Government will look to bring forward legislation to implement these recommendations when Parliamentary time allows.
The Government’s response has been published on gov.uk [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-law-commission-report-on-technical-issues-in-charity-law] and a copy of the response will also be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.