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The 'New' Public Benefit Requirement

Making Sense of Charity Law?

By: Mary Synge
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Published: 27-08-2015
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 288
ISBN: 9781509901531
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £30.59
Online price : £24.47
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About The 'New' Public Benefit Requirement

This book examines the 'public benefit requirement', which provides that a charity's purposes must be for the public benefit. This requirement was given statutory force by the Charities Act 2006, which also provided that 'public benefit' is to be construed in accordance with existing case law and not presumed. The author examines guidance published by the Charity Commission in 2008 and 2013 and measures its accuracy against principles extrapolated from case law, with a focus on fee-charging charities, and independent schools in particular. She also considers the implementation of the Charity Commission's public benefit assessments of independent schools during 2008–10. The book offers a comparative study of the law relating to public benefit in Scotland and presents an analysis of the decision of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery) in proceedings brought by the Independent Schools Council and Attorney General in 2011. It also considers subsequent reviews of the 2006 Act by Lord Hodgson and the Public Administration Select Committee and the Government's response to those reviews in September 2013.

The fact that the law automatically bestows certain privileges on charities, including tax exemptions, means that the charitable status of fee-paying schools has proved particularly contentious and was described by Lord Campbell-Savours as making 'an absolute nonsense' of charity law. Here, the author asks whether the public benefit requirement, as enacted and interpreted, has succeeded in bringing any sense to our law of charity in recent years.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Charitable Status and Public Benefit: The Law
3. Charitable Status and Public Benefit: The Commission
4. Poverty and the Charging of Fees: The Law
5. Poverty and the Charging of Fees: The Commission
6. The Commission's Implementation of the Public Benefit Requirement
7. Charitable Status in Scotland
8. The Guidance is Challenged: The Upper Tribunal
9. More Recent Developments
10. Conclusions


“[Synge's] treatment of the precedents dealing with fee-charging charities must now stand as just about the most comprehensive and sophisticated in the academic literature...The 'New' Public Benefit Requirement is an important book.” –  Matthew Harding, The Modern Law Review, 2015

“ would be a mistake to overlook this contains one of the most comprehensive analyses of the concept of public benefit available.” –  Matthew P Harrington, Estates, Trusts and Pensions Journal

“Synge presents both a pertinent legal critique and a valuable resource for scholars and practitioners alike. The book is carefully researched, providing a detailed overview of a legal saga...a valuable contribution to the field which is likely to have a lasting scholarly impact.” –  John Picton, The Charity Law & Practice Review

“...this book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in charity law generally, as well as those with a focus on key public benefit matters...the analysis is rigorous, with great attention to detail. It is highly recommended!” –  Juliet Chevalier-Watts, New Zealand Law Journal

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