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Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008

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  1. Introductory Text

  2. PART 1 INTRODUCTORY

    1. 1.Meaning of “charity”

    2. 2.Meaning of “charitable purpose”

    3. 3.The “public benefit” test

    4. 4.Guidance as to operation of public benefit requirement

    5. 5.Special provisions about recreational charities, sports clubs, etc.

  3. PART 2 THE CHARITY COMMISSION FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

    1. Establishment of the Commission

      1. 6.The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland

    2. The Commission's objectives, general functions, etc.

      1. 7.The Commission's objectives

      2. 8.The Commission's general functions

      3. 9.The Commission's general duties

      4. 10.The Commission's incidental powers

    3. The official custodian for charities in Northern Ireland

      1. 11.The official custodian for charities in Northern Ireland

  4. PART 3 THE CHARITY TRIBUNAL FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

    1. 12.The Charity Tribunal for Northern Ireland

    2. 13.Practice and procedure

    3. 14.Appeal from Tribunal

    4. 15.Intervention by Attorney General

  5. PART 4 REGISTRATION OF CHARITIES AND CHARITABLE NAMES

    1. The register of charities

      1. 16.Register of charities

      2. 17.Duties of trustees in connection with registration

      3. 18.Effect of, and claims and objections to, registration

      4. 19.Status of registered charity to appear on official publications, etc.

    2. Charity names

      1. 20.Power of Commission to require charity's name to be changed

      2. 21.Effect of direction under section 20 where charity is a company

  6. PART 5 INFORMATION POWERS

    1. 22.General power to institute inquiries

    2. 23.Power to call for documents and search records

    3. 24.Disclosure of information by and to the Commission

    4. 25.Supply of false or misleading information to Commission, etc.

  7. PART 6 APPLICATION OF PROPERTY CY-PRÈS AND ASSISTANCE AND SUPERVISION OF CHARITIES BY COURT AND COMMISSION

    1. Extended powers of Court and variation of charters

      1. 26.Occasions for applying property cy-près

      2. 27.Application cy-près of gifts of donors unknown or disclaiming

      3. 28.Application cy-près of gifts made in response to certain solicitations

      4. 29.Cy-près schemes

      5. 30.Charities governed by charter

    2. Powers of Commission to make schemes and act for protection of charities, etc.

      1. 31.Concurrent jurisdiction with High Court for certain purposes

      2. 32.Further powers to make schemes or alter application of charitable property

      3. 33.Power to act for protection of charities

      4. 34.Power to suspend or remove trustees, etc. from membership of charity

      5. 35.Supplementary provisions relating to interim manager appointed for a charity

      6. 36.Power to give specific directions for protection of charity

      7. 37.Power to direct application of charity property

      8. 38.Copy of order under section 33, 34, 36 or 37, and Commission's reasons, to be sent to charity

      9. 39.Publicity relating to schemes

      10. 40.Publicity for orders relating to trustees or other individuals

    3. Property vested in official custodian

      1. 41.Entrusting charity property to official custodian, and termination of trust

      2. 42.Supplementary provisions as to property vested in official custodian

    4. Establishment of common investment or deposit funds

      1. 43.Schemes to establish common investment funds

      2. 44.Schemes to establish common deposit funds

      3. 45.Meaning of “Scottish recognised body” and “England and Wales charity” in sections 43 and 44

    5. Additional powers of Commission

      1. 46.Power to authorise dealings with charity property, etc.

      2. 47.Power to authorise ex gratia payments, etc.

      3. 48.Power to give directions about dormant bank accounts of charities

      4. 49.Power to give advice and guidance

      5. 50.Power to determine membership of charity

      6. 51.Powers for preservation of charity documents

      7. 52.Power to enter premises

    6. Legal proceedings relating to charities

      1. 53.Proceedings by Commission

      2. 54.Proceedings by other persons

      3. 55.Report of section 22 inquiry to be evidence in certain proceedings

    7. Property held on behalf of English, Welsh and Scottish charities

      1. 56.Powers in relation to certain English, Welsh and Scottish charities

  8. PART 7 CHARITY LAND

    1. 57.Restriction on dispositions

    2. 58.Supplementary provisions relating to dispositions

    3. 59.Release of charity rentcharges

    4. 60.Restrictions on mortgaging

    5. 61.Supplementary provisions relating to mortgaging

    6. 62.Interpretation of Part 7

  9. PART 8 CHARITY ACCOUNTS, REPORTS AND RETURNS

    1. 63.Duty to keep accounting records

    2. 64.Annual statements of accounts

    3. 65.Annual audit or examination of charity accounts

    4. 66.Supplementary provisions relating to audits, etc.

    5. 67.Duty of auditors, etc. to report matters to Commission

    6. 68.Annual reports

    7. 69.Public inspection of annual reports, etc.

    8. 70.Annual returns by charities

    9. 71.Offences

    10. 72.Group accounts

  10. PART 9 CHARITY TRUSTEES

    1. CHAPTER 1 INCORPORATION OF CHARITY TRUSTEES

      1. 73.Incorporation of trustees of a charity

      2. 74.Estate to vest in body corporate

      3. 75.Applications for incorporation

      4. 76.Nomination of trustees, and filling up vacancies

      5. 77.Liability of trustees and others, notwithstanding incorporation

      6. 78.Certificate to be evidence of compliance with requirements for incorporation

      7. 79.Power of Commission to amend certificate of incorporation

      8. 80.Records of applications and certificates

      9. 81.Enforcement of orders and directions

      10. 82.Gifts to charity before incorporation to have same effect afterwards

      11. 83.Execution of documents by incorporated body

      12. 84.Power of Commission to dissolve incorporated body

      13. 85.Interpretation of Chapter 1

    2. CHAPTER 2 OTHER PROVISIONS RELATING TO CHARITY TRUSTEES

      1. 86.Persons disqualified for being trustees of a charity

      2. 87.Person acting as charity trustee while disqualified

      3. 88.Remuneration of trustees, etc. providing services to charity

      4. 89.Supplementary provisions for purposes of section 88

      5. 90.Disqualification of trustee receiving remuneration under section 88

      6. 91.Power to relieve trustees, auditors, etc. from liability for breach of trust or duty

      7. 92.Court's power to grant relief to apply to all auditors, etc. of charities which are not companies

      8. 93.Trustees' indemnity insurance

      9. 94.Trustees

  11. PART 10 CHARITABLE COMPANIES

    1. 95.Winding up

    2. 96.Alteration of objects clause

    3. 97.Invalidity of certain transactions

    4. 98.Consent of Commission required for approval etc by members of charitable companies

    5. 99.Consent of Commission required for certain acts of charitable company

    6. 100.Requirement to disclose charitable status

    7. 101.Civil consequences of failure to make required disclosure

    8. 102.Criminal consequences of failure to make required disclosure

    9. 103.Duty of charity's auditors, etc. to report matters to Commission

    10. 104.Investigation of accounts

  12. PART 11 CHARITABLE INCORPORATED ORGANISATIONS

    1. Nature and constitution

      1. 105.Nature and constitution

      2. 106.Constitution

      3. 107.Name and status

      4. 108.Civil consequences of failure to disclose name and status

      5. 109.Offences connected with name and status

    2. Registration

      1. 110.Application for registration

      2. 111.Effect of registration

    3. Conversion, amalgamation and transfer

      1. 112.Conversion of charitable company or registered industrial and provident society

      2. 113.Conversion: consideration of application

      3. 114.Conversion: supplementary

      4. 115.Conversion of community interest company

      5. 116.Amalgamation of CIOs

      6. 117.Amalgamation: supplementary

      7. 118.Transfer of CIO's undertaking

    4. Winding up, insolvency and dissolution

      1. 119.Regulations about winding up, insolvency and dissolution

    5. Miscellaneous

      1. 120.Power to transfer all property of unincorporated charity to one or more CIOs

      2. 121.Further provision about CIOs

      3. 122.Regulations

  13. PART 12 POWERS OF UNINCORPORATED CHARITIES

    1. Transfer of property

      1. 123.Power to transfer all property of unincorporated charity

      2. 124.Resolution not to take effect or to take effect at later date

      3. 125.Transfer where charity has permanent endowment

    2. Modification of purposes, powers or procedure

      1. 126.Power to replace purposes of unincorporated charity

      2. 127.Power to modify powers or procedures of unincorporated charity

    3. Spending of capital

      1. 128.Power of unincorporated charities to spend capital: general

      2. 129.Power of larger unincorporated charities to spend capital given for particular purpose

      3. 130.Power to spend capital subject to special trusts

  14. PART 13 FUNDING OF CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS

    1. CHAPTER 1 PUBLIC CHARITABLE COLLECTIONS

      1. Preliminary

        1. 131.Regulation of public charitable collections

        2. 132.Charitable appeals that are not public charitable collections

        3. 133.Other definitions for purposes of this Chapter

      2. Restrictions on conducting collections

        1. 134.Restrictions on conducting collections in a public place

        2. 135.Restrictions on conducting door to door collections

        3. 136.Exemption for local, short-term collections

      3. Public collections certificates

        1. 137.Applications for certificates

        2. 138.Determination of applications and issue of certificates

        3. 139.Grounds for refusing to issue a certificate

        4. 140.Power to call for information and documents

        5. 141.Transfer of certificate between trustees of unincorporated charity

        6. 142.Withdrawal or variation, etc. of certificates

      4. Permits

        1. 143.Applications for permits to conduct public charitable collections

        2. 144.Determination of applications and issue of permits

        3. 145.Refusal of permits

        4. 146.Withdrawal or variation, etc. of permits

        5. 147.Appeals against decisions of Commission

      5. Supplementary

        1. 148.Regulations

        2. 149.Offences

    2. CHAPTER 2 CONTROL OF FUND-RAISING FOR CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS

      1. Control of fund-raising

        1. 150.Prohibition on professional fund-raiser, etc. raising funds for charitable institution without an agreement in prescribed form

        2. 151.Professional fund-raisers, etc. required to indicate institutions benefiting and arrangements for remuneration

        3. 152.Other persons making appeals required to indicate institutions benefiting and arrangements for remuneration

        4. 153.Exclusion of lower-paid collectors from provisions of section 152

        5. 154.Cancellation of payments and agreements made in response to appeals

        6. 155.Right of charitable institution to prevent unauthorised fund-raising

        7. 156.False statements relating to institutions which are not registered charities

      2. Supplementary

        1. 157.Regulations about fund-raising

        2. 158.Reserve power to control fund-raising by charitable institutions

      3. Interpretation

        1. 159.Interpretation of Chapter 2

    3. CHAPTER 3 INTERPRETATION OF PART 13

      1. 160.Interpretation of Part 13

  15. PART 14 MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTARY

    1. Merger of charities

      1. 161.Register of charity mergers

      2. 162.Register of charity mergers: supplementary

      3. 163.Pre-merger vesting declarations

      4. 164.Effect of registering charity merger on gifts to transferor

    2. Religious charities

      1. 165.Application of Act in relation to designated religious charities

      2. 166.Designation, etc. of religious charities

    3. Institutions which are not charities under the law of Northern Ireland

      1. 167.Institutions which are not charities under the law of Northern Ireland

    4. Other matters

      1. 168.Manner of giving notice of charity meetings, etc.

      2. 169.Manner of executing instruments

      3. 170.Transfer and evidence of title to property vested in trustees

      4. 171.Supply by Commission of copies of documents open to public inspection

      5. 172.Fees and other amounts payable to Commission

      6. 173.Enforcement of requirements by order of Commission

      7. 174.Enforcement of orders of Commission

      8. 175.Other provisions as to orders of Commission

      9. 176.Directions of the Commission

      10. 177.Miscellaneous provisions as to evidence

      11. 178.Restriction on institution of proceedings for certain offences

    5. Supplementary

      1. 179.Orders and regulations

      2. 180.General interpretation

      3. 181.Amendments reflecting changes in company law

      4. 182.Further provision

      5. 183.Minor and consequential amendments

      6. 184.Repeals

      7. 185.Commencement

      8. 186.Short title

  16. SCHEDULES

    1. SCHEDULE 1

      THE CHARITY COMMISSION FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

      1. Terms of appointment

        1. 1.The members of the Commission shall hold and vacate office...

        2. 2.(1) An appointment of a person to hold office as...

      2. Remuneration, etc.

        1. 3.The Department may, with the approval of the Department of...

      3. Staff

        1. 4.(1) The Commission may with the approval of the Department...

        2. 5.(1) The Commission may make arrangements with the Department for...

      4. Annual report

        1. 6.(1) The Commission shall, as soon as reasonably practicable after...

      5. Money

        1. 7.(1) Expenditure incurred by the Commission may be defrayed as...

        2. 8.(1) The Commission shall keep accounts and financial records in...

      6. Procedure

        1. 9.(1) In determining its own procedure the Commission may, in...

      7. Power to transfer property

        1. 10.(1) This paragraph applies where the Department—

      8. Status

        1. 11.The Commission shall not be regarded as the servant or...

      9. The Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 25)

        1. 12.In Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland...

      10. The Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (NI 7)

        1. 13.In Schedule 2 to the Commissioner for Complaints (Northern Ireland)...

      11. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (c. 36)

        1. 14.In Part 7 of Schedule 1 to the Freedom of...

    2. SCHEDULE 2

      THE CHARITY TRIBUNAL

      1. Membership

        1. 1.(1) The Tribunal shall consist of the President and its...

        2. 2.The Lord Chief Justice may designate a legal member of...

      2. Terms of appointment

        1. 3.(1) The members of the Tribunal shall hold and vacate...

        2. 4.(1) A person shall not hold office as a member...

      3. Remuneration, etc.

        1. 5.The Department of Justice may pay to the members of...

      4. Staff and facilities

        1. 6.The Department of Justice may make staff and facilities available...

      5. Panels

        1. 7.(1) The functions of the Tribunal shall be exercised by...

        2. 8.(1) The President shall make arrangements for determining which of...

      6. Practice and procedure

        1. 9.(1) Decisions of the Tribunal may be taken by majority...

        2. 10.The President may, subject to rules under section 13, give...

      7. Transitory provision

        1. 11.Until the commencement of section 5(1) of the Justice (Northern...

      8. The Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 25)

        1. 12.In Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland...

    3. SCHEDULE 3

      APPEALS AND APPLICATIONS TO TRIBUNAL

      1. Appeals: general

        1. 1.(1) Except in the case of a reviewable matter (see...

      2. Appeals: orders under section 23

        1. 2.(1) Paragraph 1(4)(a) does not apply in relation to an...

      3. Reviewable matters

        1. 3.(1) In this Schedule references to “reviewable matters” are to—...

      4. Reviews

        1. 4.(1) An application may be made to the Tribunal for...

      5. Interpretation: remission of matters to Commission

        1. 5.References in column 3 of the Table to the power...

      6. Power to amend Table, etc.

        1. 6.(1) The Department may by order— (a) amend or otherwise...

    4. SCHEDULE 4

      REFERENCES TO THE TRIBUNAL

      1. References by the Commission

        1. 1.(1) A question which— (a) has arisen in connection with...

      2. References by Attorney General

        1. 2.(1) A question which involves either— (a) the operation of...

      3. Powers of Commission in relation to matters referred to Tribunal

        1. 3.(1) This paragraph applies where a question which involves the...

      4. Suspension of time limits while reference in progress

        1. 4.(1) Sub-paragraph (2) applies if— (a) paragraph 3(2) prevents the...

      5. Agreement for Commission to act while reference in progress

        1. 5.(1) Paragraph 3(2) does not apply in relation to any...

      6. Appeals and applications in respect of matters determined on references

        1. 6.(1) No appeal or application may be made to the...

      7. Interpretation

        1. 7.In this Schedule “charity law” means— (a) any statutory provision...

    5. SCHEDULE 5

      MEANING OF “CONNECTED PERSONS” FOR PURPOSES OF SECTION 57(2)

      1. 1.(1) In section 57(2) “connected person”, in relation to a...

      2. 2.(1) In paragraph 1(2)(c) “child” includes a stepchild.

      3. 3.For the purposes of paragraph 1(2)(g) a person controls an...

      4. 4.(1) For the purposes of paragraph 1(2)(h) any such connected...

    6. SCHEDULE 6

      GROUP ACCOUNTS

      1. Interpretation

        1. 1.(1) This paragraph applies for the purposes of this Schedule....

      2. Accounting records

        1. 2.(1) The charity trustees— (a) of a parent charity, or...

      3. Preparation of group accounts

        1. 3.(1) This paragraph applies in relation to a financial year...

      4. Exceptions relating to requirement to prepare group accounts

        1. 4.(1) The requirement in paragraph 3(2) does not apply to...

      5. Preservation of group accounts

        1. 5.(1) The charity trustees of a charity shall preserve any...

      6. Audit accounts of larger groups

        1. 6.(1) This paragraph applies where group accounts are prepared for...

      7. Examination of accounts of smaller groups

        1. 7.(1) This paragraph applies where— (a) group accounts are prepared...

      8. Supplementary provisions relating to audits, etc.

        1. 8.(1) Section 66(1) shall apply in relation to audits and...

      9. Duty of auditors, etc. to report matters to Commission

        1. 9.(1) Section 67(2) to (5) and (7) shall apply in...

      10. Annual reports

        1. 10.(1) This paragraph applies where group accounts are prepared for...

      11. Public inspection of annual reports, etc.

        1. 11.In section 69(3), the reference to a charity's most recent...

      12. Offences

        1. 12.(1) Section 71(1) applies in relation to a requirement within...

      13. Aggregate gross income

        1. 13.The Department may by regulations make provision for determining for...

    7. SCHEDULE 7

      FURTHER PROVISION ABOUT CHARITABLE INCORPORATED ORGANISATIONS

      1. Powers

        1. 1.(1) Subject to anything in its constitution, a CIO has...

      2. Constitutional requirements

        1. 2.A CIO shall use and apply its property in furtherance...

        2. 3.If the CIO is one whose members are liable to...

        3. 4.Money payable by a member to the CIO under the...

      3. Third parties

        1. 5.(1) Sub-paragraphs (2) and (3) are subject to sub-paragraph (4)....

        2. 6.(1) Nothing in paragraph 5 prevents a person from bringing...

        3. 7.Nothing in paragraph 5(3) affects any liability incurred by the...

        4. 8.Nothing in paragraph 5 absolves the CIO's charity trustees from...

      4. Duties

        1. 9.It is the duty of— (a) each member of a...

        2. 10.(1) Subject to any provision of a CIO's constitution permitted...

      5. Personal benefit and payments

        1. 11.(1) A charity trustee of a CIO may not benefit...

        2. 12.A charity trustee of a CIO— (a) is entitled to...

      6. Procedure

        1. 13.(1) The Department may by regulations make provision about the...

      7. Amendment of constitution

        1. 14.(1) A CIO may by resolution of its members amend...

      8. Registration and coming into effect of amendments

        1. 15.(1) A CIO shall send to the Commission a copy...

    8. SCHEDULE 8

      MINOR AND CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

      1. The Police, Factories, &c. (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916 (c. 31)

        1. 1.(1) Section 5 of the Police, Factories, &c. (Miscellaneous Provisions)...

      2. The Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 (c. 24)

        1. 2.In section 38A(6) (power of registered societies to disapply section...

      3. The Administration of Estates (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (NI 14)

        1. 3.In Article 9 (grant of representation to trust corporation) in...

      4. The Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 (NI 3)

        1. 4.In Article 90(7) (teachers' residences provided, etc. by statutory loan...

      5. The Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 (NI 6)

        1. 5.In Article 217(10)(a) (interests to be disregarded), after “under” insert...

        2. 6.In Schedule 13 (provisions supplementing and interpreting Articles 332 to...

      6. The Street Trading Act (Northern Ireland) 2001 (c. 8)

        1. 7.(1) Section 2(1) (activities which are not street trading) is...

      7. The Trustee Act (Northern Ireland) 2001 (c. 14)

        1. 8.In section 43(1) (interpretation), in the definition of “charitable trust”,...

      8. The Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (c. 16)

        1. 9.In Schedule 1 (powers of seizure to which section 50...

      9. The Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 (NI 2)

        1. 10.In Article 119(6) (religious denominations, charities, &c.) for “the Charities...

      10. The Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 (c. 27)

        1. 11.In section 63(1) (interpretation), for the definition of “Northern Ireland...

      11. The Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (NI 1)

        1. 12.In Schedule 3 (disclosure for facilitating discharge of functions by...

      12. The Companies Act 2006 (c. 46)

        1. 13.(1) In section 21(2)(b) for “Article 9 of the Charities...

    9. SCHEDULE 9

      REPEALS

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