V1.299 Charity

Definition prior to 1 April 2012

For the purposes of the law in England and Wales, “charity” means an institution which1

  1.  

    (a)     is established for charitable purposes only, and

  2.  

    (b)     falls to be subject to the control of the High Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction with respect to charities.

In Scotland, a charity is a body entered in the Scottish Charity Register2. A body will only be entered in the Register if it meets the “charity test3”, ie if4

  1.  

    (a)     its purposes consists only of one or more of the charitable purposes, and

  2.  

    (b)     it provides (or, in the case of an applicant, provides or intends to provide) public benefit in Scotland or elsewhere.

In Northern Ireland a charity is an institution which5

  1.  

    (a)     is established for charitable purposes only, and

  2.  

    (b)     falls to be subject to the control of the Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction with respect to charities.

In each case, it is fundamental that the body has to be established for charitable purposes. These are defined similarly in the various pieces of legislation6, and broadly comprise—

  1.  

    —     the prevention or relief of poverty;

  2.  

    —     the advancement of education;

  3.  

    —     the advancement of religion;

  4.  

    —     the advancement of health or the saving of lives;

  5.  

    —     the advancement of citizenship or community development;

  6.  

    —     the advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science;

  7.  

    —     the advancement of amateur sport;

  8.  

    —     the advancement of human rights, conflict resolution or reconciliation or the promotion of religious or

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