Trustees discretion upheld by Charity Commission statement

The recent judicial review on whether the Charity Commission acted beyond its powers, when it demanded that the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JCRT) would not provide any more funds to the advocacy group Cage, has been dropped. This follows all three parties (Cage, JCRT and the Commission) agreeing a statement that the Charity Commission “has no power to require trustees to fetter the future exercise of their fiduciary duties under its general power to give advice and guidance”.

Both sides have claimed this as a good result for their original position. See Civil Society News article, with more from the agreed statement. Also worth a read is The Guardian’s article , written by New Philanthropy Capital, ‘The Cage judicial review leaves the Charity Commission’s powers no clearer.’

Charity chief executives body ACEVO’s news release welcomed the result, and its chief executive said:

“This case was critical for the protection of the rights of charities to exercise their proper judgement now and in the future. It means charities may continue to operate without fearfully looking over their shoulder to see if they are crossing a line arbitrarily drawn by the Commission.”