Charity Law, selected issues

Charities are a force for good and millions regularly donate to help them help others.  But there are issues with the law within which charities operate.

This project examines selected issues relating to the legal framework within which charities operate, in order to recommend reforms with a positive impact on charity law in practice.

It is split into two reports:

Our recommendations for reform in the Social Investment by Charities report are included in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016. This received Royal Assent on 16 March 2016.

We are awaiting a government response on our Technical Issues in Charity Law report.


This project originated from our Eleventh Programme of Law Reform, published in July 2011, and the independent review of the Charities Act 2006 led by Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts.

In September 2013, Government confirmed its support for the project in its responses to Lord Hodgson’s review and the report of the Public Administration Select Committee in its post-legislative scrutiny inquiry into the Charities Act 2006.

The project is not a full review of charity law.

The terms of reference relate to selected technical issues. Those issues do not include matters such as the law of public benefit and the charitable status of independent schools.

The regulation of fundraising activities does not form part of our terms of reference.

Fundraising was an issue addressed by a cross-party review in 2015, measures were included in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016, and the new Fundraising Regulator is already operational.

Project details

Area of law

Property, family and trust law


Professor Nicholas Hopkins