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One of the key issues and aims of the Charities Act 2006 ("the Act") was to simplify the processes and practicalities that charities have to follow. There was wide spread criticism that charities were forced to follow strict rules in relation to the way in which they were run.
The entire focus of the Act was to streamline the way in which charities are regulated and to ensure that the operations of the Charity Commission, the body responsible for charity regulations are as smooth and as efficient as they can possibly be. On the whole this is a positive step forward for charities and their trustees.
In Section 2 of the Act the charitable purposes are defined and whilst they largely follow the previously accepted charitable purposes the definitions are much clearer. Therefore provided the charity falls within one of these purposes and is for a public benefit it is, prima facie deemed to be a charity.
A clear shift in regulation can be seen by the fact that the Charity Commission was reformed to be a body corporate known as The Charity Commission of England and Wales. Due to its corporate nature it is now able to be much more flexible and adaptable in its decision making approach. It will critically be a non ministerial government body ensuring independence. There is an appeal structure in place and the Charity Commission as it is now structured feeds into the attorney general ultimately. The Charity appeal tribunal can ultimately be appealed to the high court. Areas that can be subject to review can be found in the 1993 Act and include issues such as those relating to property. ...
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