Public Benefit in Charity Law

Public Benefit in Charity Law

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Public Benefit in Charity Law examines the legal principles and practical applications of the public benefit test in charity law in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland. In order to obtain charitable status, an organization must not only have exclusively charitable purpose but also demonstrate that it provides a benefit to the public.

There is a considerable body of shared case law on public benefit in these jurisdictions and yet to date there has been no comprehensive study of the topic. It is highly topical, given the many statutory reforms to public benefit in Australia, England, and Scotland, as well as the legislative reforms in Northern Ireland. In England, for instance, the Charities Act 2006 removed the presumption that some charitable purposes automatically provide a public benefit, and for the first time all
charities are required to demonstrate that they satisfy the common law public benefit requirements. The impact of the reforms on independent schools and health care charities, which risk losing their charitable status if they are seen as only benefiting private individuals, attracted considerable
political and media attention.

The book sets out a critical analysis of the general principles of public benefit that have developed since the emergence of the doctrine in England in the nineteenth century, and its export to the other jurisdictions. These principles are evaluated in the light of the traditional justifications for the public benefit requirement. The book also considers the practical implications of these principles in relation to specific areas of charitable activity in each jurisdictions. The analysis
includes issues affecting education, health care provision, religious charities, human rights charities, political campaigning, and environmental action. Reference to other jurisdictions including the Republic of Ireland and the USA is made where such comparison is helpful.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 274 pages
  • 162 x 234 x 23mm | 558g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199550263
  • 9780199550265
  • 1,137,790

Table of contents

1. The Emergence of Public Benefit in Charity Law ; 2. The Elements of Public Benefit ; 3. Conceptual Public Benefit ; 4. Demonstrable Public Benefit ; 5. Cross-Sectional Public Benefit ; 6. Incidental Private Benefit ; 7. Religious Purposes ; 8. Political Purposes ; 9. Conclusion
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Review quote

As a thorough and systematic explanation of the public benefit requirement in contemporary charity law, Public Benefit in Charity Law is a very significant book and confirms its author's reputation as a leading expert in the field. * Matthew Harding, Law Quarterly Review * Public Benefit in Charity Law is cogently argued and likely to have a lasting impact in the field. In a complex and uncertain area of law, it clarifies much confusion. * J. Picton, The Conveyancer and Property Lawyer * Description and analysis is where the real strength of the book lies. Quite simply, Dr Garton takes a confused area of law and explains how it works. His explanation is clear, well-researched and authoritative. Having read the book, I will now teach charity law differently. I am confident that anyone who practises or teaches in the area will find the book similarly valuable. * Jamie Glister, Journal of Equity *
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About Jonathan Garton

Dr Jonathan Garton, LLB, PhD, is Reader in Law at the University of Warwick and a research specialist in voluntary sector law and policy. He has written articles on charity law and is the author of The Regulation of Organised Civil Society.
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