Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
  • Publication
    Charity Law and the Legal Syllabus: Breaking Free from the Equity Straitjacket
    For most undergraduate law students, the study of charity law is pigeonholed somewhere after extensive discussion of express trusts and resulting trusts and often between lectures on constructive trusts and trustees’ duties and liabilities. Charities are discussed in the context of charitable trusts and their difference from the private trust concept studied almost exclusively up until that point. In the 1980s and 1990s, a trust law lecturer would aim, in the few hours at his/her disposal to teach charity law, to cover the Pemsel heads of charity with a seam of case law for each, unpack the anomalies in the treatment of public benefit, recounting the tales of poor and worn out clerks and poor relations and, if lucky, elaborate on the doctrine of cy près and the different treatments of initial and subsequent impossibility. A bountiful year might yield an extra hour somewhere to devote to private purpose trusts, allowing students to contemplate the mysteries of pet animal trusts, statues to commemorate oneself and the difficulties caused by well-meaning people who set out to promote the ‘maintenance . . . of good understanding . . . between nations’ and ‘the preservation of the independence and integrity of newspapers.
  • Publication
    Independent Review of Charity Regulation in Northern Ireland
    (Department for Communities, Northern Ireland, 2022-01-20) ; ;
    The Department for Communities has published the Report on the Independent Review of Charity Regulation, commissioned by the Minister for Communities in January 2021. The Independent Review Panel was chaired by Dr Oonagh Breen, Professor of Law at the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin, whose research focuses on comparative charity law regulation and governance. Dr Breen was supported by Noel Lavery, former Permanent Secretary of a number of NICS Departments and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, and the Reverend Dr Lesley Carroll, the NI Prisoner Ombudsman and former Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission. In fulfilling its Terms of Reference, the Panel’s comprehensive review report contains findings and recommendations in relation to the regulatory framework, the Commission’s performance, the Department’s leadership and oversight of the regulatory framework and best practice in relation to all of these, taking lessons from across the UK, Ireland and elsewhere. Through its inclusive engagement process, it heard from 306 community engagement webinar attendees, and attendees at 20 other meetings with other regulators and their responsible government bodies, the Department for Communities, the Charity Commission and other interested stakeholders. It received 145 written submissions. The report finds that the Charity Commission NI was constrained from its earliest days as a result of flawed legislation made by the former Department, and as a result, the sequencing and focusing of its work was disproportionately focused on compliance, at the cost of completion of the charity register, with a need for a reset of the Commission’s communications and engagement approach to recalibrate its culture and relationship with the charity sector. The Report makes 93 recommendations, all of which the Panel see as important and includes, as a matter of priority, the completion of the charity register. In addition, it recommends changes to accounting and reporting requirements, and the commencement of the provisions for Charitable Incorporated Organisations in NI. The full Independent Review of Charity Regulation report is available at the Department for Communities website.
  • Publication
    The Charities (Amendment) Bill 2022 – A Commentary on the General Scheme of Bill
    (Carmichael Ireland, 2022-06-21) ;
    This Commentary on Charities Amendment Bill 2022, by Professor Oonagh Breen of UCD and Philip Smith of Arthur Cox Solicitors was published by the Carmichael Centre as part of its governance and compliance series in June 2022.
  • Publication
    EU Regulation of Charitable Organizations: The Politics of Legally Enabling Civil Society
    (International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law, 2008)
    This article takes issue with those who view the introduction of a European regulation as the most effective way to facilitate nonprofit activity in the EU. It argues that the judicial route and not the legislative route may prove more fruitful if the aim is to achieve greater legal enablement of civil society organizations within the European Union.
  • Publication
    Neighbouring perspectives: legal and practical implications of charity regulatory reform in Ireland and Northern Ireland
    (Queen's University Belfast, 2008)
    A close study of the charity law reform proposals for Ireland and Northern Ireland reveals common concerns relating to charity governance and regulation that are shared with Scotland, England and Wales. Ireland and Northern Ireland share similar policy objectives in terms of charity regulation: to strengthen the charity sector and prevent fraud. Provision of a charity register, greater transparency regarding the decisionmaking process for charitable status, a visible regulator for a sector that engages so often with the public through fundraising appeals and the reputation and continued success of which is based on trust and public confidence, these are all positive steps.
  • Publication
    Charitable Organisations and Charity Policy in Ireland
    (Das Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement, 2019-12-03)
    Ireland has a long history of charity and charitable giving rooted in a strong religious tradition. In the late 1700s, Protestant philanthropy helped to alleviate the physical and medical needs of the impoverished working classes. Beginning in 1770, the incremental waning of the Penal laws enabled the growth of Catholic charities. Following Catholic emancipation in 1829, greater Catholic clergy involvement in charitable activity emerged with religious involvement in philanthropy becoming more formalized in Irish society. In the late 19th century, religious charities provided many essential services in the fields of health care, education and social welfare. In the 20th century, many of these voluntary organizations partnered with the state to provide these services on its behalf while receiving its funded support. Research studies describe the Irish as a generous nation. Over the past ten years, the World Giving Index (CAF, 2019), drawn primarily from Gallup’s World View World Poll data, has ranked Ireland consistently in the top five in the global league of donors in terms of the percentage of people who donate money, volunteer time or help strangers.
  • Publication
    New philanthropy Country Profiles shine a bright light on an important area
    Written to coincide with the launch of the 5th edition of the Legal and Fiscal Country Profiles for Philanthropy in Europe, which were published on December 10, 2020 by Philanthropy Advocacy.
  • Publication
    Redefining the Measure of Success: A Historical and Comparative Look at Charity Regulation
    (Edward Elgar, 2018-12-28)
    This chapter focuses on three questions in its quest to better understand the historical and comparative perspectives of charity regulation. Accepting the traditional rationales for such regulation, it first explores the question of ‘how we regulate’ followed by the interrelated question of the associated cost of such regulation. Finally, the chapter examines the important issues concerning how we currently (or could better) measure the success of charity regulatory efforts. The paper draws upon the experiences of charity regulators in a range of common law countries across the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
      636Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Waiting for the Big Wave: A Fifty Year Retrospective on the Ebb and Flow of Irish Charity Regulation
    (Cambridge University Press, 2017-01)
    In common with many nations, Ireland has been subject to a perennial cycle of statutory and non-statutory regulation of the non-profit sector. One can identify with ease the major waves of statutory regulation that occurred in 1844, 1961 and 2009 respectively with the gap between regulatory bouts shortening in each successive wave. The stated purpose of these statutes remains remarkably consistent and aligned, implying either the continuation of a clear policy objective or a marked failure to attain the goal on the previous occasion such that the task must be tackled de novo.
      588Scopus© Citations 10
  • Publication
    Regulatory Reviews: Revolutionary Re-imagining of Charity Law or Simply Restatements of Convenience?
    (Springer, 2024-04-08)
    This article examines a decade of charity law review processes in six jurisdictions—Australia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales and Ireland. Using a life-cycle basis viewed through a functional comparative lens, it examines review terms of reference, stakeholder involvement in public consultations, report recommendations and governmental responses. The article compares post-review recommendation implementation across government-owned and independent review processes. In identifying areas most open to and most difficult to reform (including charity definition and advocacy) and probing the hidden state/non-profit sector tensions that underlie such reform attempts, this article provides new insights for future review processes.