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Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

The register of charities

Register of charities

16.—(1) The Commission shall keep a register of charities.

(2) Every institution which is a charity under the law of Northern Ireland must be registered in the register of charities.

(3) The register shall be kept by the Commission in such manner as it thinks fit.

(4) The register shall contain—

(a)the name of the charity,

(b)if the charity is a designated religious charity within the meaning of section 165, a statement to that effect, and

(c)such other particulars of, and such other information relating to, the charity as the Commission thinks fit.

(5) The Commission shall remove from the register—

(a)any institution which it no longer considers to be a charity, and

(b)any charity which has ceased to exist or does not operate.

(6) If the removal of an institution under subsection (5)(a) is due to any change in its trusts, the removal shall take effect from the date of that change.

(7) The register (including the entries cancelled when institutions are removed from the register) shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times.

(8) Where any information contained in the register is not in documentary form, subsection (7) shall be construed as requiring the information to be available for public inspection in legible form at all reasonable times.

(9) If the Commission so determines, subsection (7) shall not apply to any particular information contained in the register that is specified in the determination.

(10) Copies (or particulars) of the trusts of any registered charity as supplied to the Commission under section 17 shall, so long as the charity remains on the register—

(a)be kept by the Commission, and

(b)be open to public inspection at all reasonable times.

Duties of trustees in connection with registration

17.—(1) Where a charity required to be registered by virtue of section 16(2) is not registered, it is the duty of the charity trustees—

(a)to apply to the Commission for the charity to be registered, and

(b)to supply the Commission with the required documents and information.

(2) The “required documents and information” are—

(a)copies of the charity’s trusts or (if they are not set out in any extant document) particulars of them,

(b)such other documents or information as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Department, and

(c)such other documents or information as the Commission may require for the purposes of the application.

(3) Where an institution is for the time being registered, it is the duty of the charity trustees (or the last charity trustees)—

(a)to notify the Commission if the institution ceases to exist, or if there is any change in its trusts or in the particulars of it entered in the register, and

(b)(so far as appropriate), to supply the Commission with particulars of any such change and copies of any new trusts or alterations of the trusts.

(4) Nothing in subsection (3) requires a person—

(a)to supply the Commission with copies of schemes for the administration of a charity made otherwise than by the Court,

(b)to notify the Commission of any change made with respect to a registered charity by such a scheme, or

(c)if the person refers the Commission to a document or copy already in the possession of the Commission, to supply a further copy of the document.

(5) Where a copy of a document relating to a registered charity—

(a)is not required to be supplied to the Commission as the result of subsection (4), but

(b)is in the possession of the Commission,

a copy of the document shall be open to inspection under section 16(10) as if supplied to the Commission under this section.

Effect of, and claims and objections to, registration

18.—(1) An institution shall for all purposes other than rectification of the register be conclusively presumed to be or to have been a charity at any time when it is or was on the register of charities.

(2) Any person who is or may be affected by the registration of an institution as a charity may, on the ground that it is not a charity, object to its being entered by the Commission in the register, or apply to the Commission for it to be removed from the register; and the Department may by regulations make provision as to the manner in which any such objection or application is to be made, prosecuted or dealt with.

(3) If there is an appeal to the Tribunal against any decision of the Commission to enter an institution in the register, or not to remove an institution from the register, then until the Commission is satisfied whether the decision of the Commission is or is not to stand, the entry in the register shall be maintained, but shall be in suspense and marked to indicate that it is in suspense.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1) an institution shall be deemed not to be on the register during any period when the entry relating to it is in suspense under subsection (3).

(5) Any question affecting the registration or removal from the register of an institution may, notwithstanding that it has been determined by a decision on appeal under Schedule 3, be considered afresh by the Commission and shall not be concluded by that decision, if it appears to the Commission that there has been a change of circumstances or that the decision is inconsistent with a later judicial decision.

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

19.—(1) The fact that a charity is registered shall be stated in legible characters—

(a)in all notices, advertisements and other documents issued by or on behalf of the charity and soliciting money or other property for the benefit of the charity;

(b)in all bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders for money or goods purporting to be signed on behalf of the charity; and

(c)in all bills rendered by it and in all its invoices, receipts and letters of credit.

(2) Subsection (1)(a) has effect whether the solicitation is express or implied, and whether the money or other property is to be given for any consideration or not.

(3) Any person who issues or authorises the issue of any document falling within paragraph (a) or (c) of subsection (1) which does not contain the statement required by that subsection, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(4) Any person who signs any document falling within paragraph (b) of subsection (1) which does not contain the statement required by that subsection, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

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