The law Quarterly Review

The issue to be discussed here is whether a reform of the legal definition of charity will be sufficient so as to separate these fiscal and trusts law privileges? It should be noted that any attempt to redefine the law of charity is seen as contradicting the primary object that a charity should remain flexible i. e. judge made, however it would be prudent to take account of the facts and reasons for recent rash reviews and consider introducing a new but limited modern approach.

The Strategy Unit Report published on the 25th of September 2002 titled Private Action, Public Benefit held that the existing charitable purposes under the Pemsel case will be replaced by ten new purposes; Prevention and relief of poverty, the advancement of education, the advancement of religion, the advancement of health, Social community advancement, the advancement of culture, arts and heritage, the advancement of amateur sport, the promotion of human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation, the advancement of environmental protection and improvement and other purposes beneficial to the community.

The report aims to limit all charities claiming automatic tax exemption and states that charities will have to prove their existence is of demonstrable public benefit, charities cannot be wholly exonerated from the public benefit requirement on presumption. This reform would also mean fee-charging public schools; religious organisations and private hospitals will have to demonstrate their usefulness to the wider community if they are to retain the tax breaks that accompany charitable status.

The new categories of charitable purposes proposed, is aimed at narrowing the gap between popular perceptions and legal definitions of charity e.g the fiscal policy underlying privileged treatment for charity is proposed with more sophistication and significantly fragments the concept of charity spreading benefits among the community, a balance of altruism and redistribution of social resources reflecting people's expectation in so far as it can show at least a modicum of public benefit. Nevertheless, one cannot but admit this reform though not confining charitable trusts and public purpose trusts under different laws is to an extent reflecting the expressed views of some critics to "separate fiscal and trust law privileges".

It is therefore flexible and adaptable to a wide range of circumstances; equally the undefined nature of Charity injects an undesirable uncertainty into Charity Law, however we hope that the proposed reforms be adopted so as to curb its vagueness. Law is fundamentally an instrument for the achievement of social and economic purposes, its growth largely dependent on Change which is much about achieving these purposes by simplifying it to make law more accessible to ordinary people.

1 Webster , n. (1853), A dictionary of the English language . London: Ingram, Cooke and co at 164 2 IRC V City of Glasgow Police Athletic Association[1953] AC 380, 402,Lord Reid 3 An Act to redress the mis-employment of lands, good and stocks of money heretofore given to certain charitable uses, 39Eliz. I c. 4 4 [1891] A. C. 531. Pemsel, as a Treasurer of the Morovian Church, was attempting to claim income tax refund of i?? 73. 8s. 3d. from the Commissioners. 5 (1805) 0 Ves. 522,531 6 The courts seem to be struggling with the concept of what quantum of value to the community is necessary in order to validate a trust i. e. Re Shaw[1938] 1 All ER 408 7 [1923] 1 Ch.237 8 [1948] A. C. 31 9 [1917]

A. C 406 at 442 Se National Anti Vivisection Society v I. R. C, supra, especially Lord Wright at 50, 224-225 per Lord Simmonds at 62, 232. Lord parker dissenting , thought that political objects here should be restricted to those whose only means of attainment is a change of law. Elsewhere in their speeches both Lord Wright and Simmonds frankly recognised that in changing conditions the same purpose may be at one time beneficial, and at another injurious, to the public. See p269, infra 10 Thyssen on Charitable Bequests 11 [1949] ac 426

12 [1945] Ch 123 13 [1946] Ch 85 and 194 14 [1951] AC 297 15 [1947] A. C 337,457 Per Lord Simmonds 16 Keeton, Social Change in the Law of Trusts 17 [1918] A. C 337; Williams Trustees v I R C[1947] AC 447; Att-Gen v National Provincial Bank[1939]; Chichester Diocesan Fund v Simpson[1944] A. C 341. 18 Moore's was of the opinion that the statute of Elizabeth of 1601 aloso provided for uses such as relief of taxes from being within the equity of the Act (43 Eliz. I C. 4)

Bruynate ,J 919450 The Legal definition of charity The law Quarterly Review, wih reference to Russel L.J in the animal cases 20 Warburton. J. (2000) 'Charity'- One definition for all tax purposes in the new millennium? British Tax Review, 3 at 153 21 [1972] A C 601 AT 621 22 Final Report of the Radcliffe Commission on the Taxation of Profits and Income, (1955) Cmd. 9474. 23 IRC v Baddeley[1955] AC. 572 24 Charity Law Reform Committee"Charity law -Only a New Start Will Do(Qs 1526-1544 25 Chesterman at 4 . See also Jordan, W. K(1959) Philanthropy in England 1480-1660 26 Foundations of Charity Law in the New Welfare State