The Law Commission is the statutory independent body created by the Law Commissions Act 1965 to keep the law under review and to recommend reform where it is needed. The aim of the Commission is to ensure that the law is:
The 370,000 charities in England and Wales are facing unnecessary administrative and financial burdens because of inefficient and unduly complex law.
Lord Hodgson’s 2012 review of the Charities Act 2006 concluded that technical problems in various areas of charity law are causing difficulties for charities and diverting resources away from their charitable activities. Following the existing rules can be costly in terms of both money and time, and can prevent trustees from making the best use of charity funds.
Our consultation, Technical Issues in Charity Law, is exploring a range of possible reforms to areas of charity law, including the use of permanent endowment, protection of gifts to merged charities and sale of charity land.
Professor Elizabeth Cooke, Law Commissioner for property, family and trust law, said: “Charities make a special and valuable contribution to society. Registered charities alone rely on a force of almost 950,000 trustees. The law must help charities make best use of their trustees’ energy and time, which is given voluntarily, and of charitable donations.
“The existing law can divert charities’ resources – both financial and human – from what should be their principal concern of achieving their charitable objectives. Our aim is to provide clear and sensible rules that remove unnecessary regulation while safeguarding the public interest in ensuring that charities are properly run and free to do their work.”
The consultation is open until 3 July 2015.
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