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Consultation on new Charities Law is launched

08 July 2013

Islanders are being asked whether they think a new Charities Law should be introduced. A public consultation is asking for views on how a charity should be defined, whether a public list of charities should be available and if charities should be regulated in future.
The consultation is being launched today (8 July 2013) by the Chief Minister’s Department and runs until 30 August 2013.
At present, an organisation can register as a charity for tax purposes under the 1961 Income Tax Law. However, the definition of a charity under this law, originally drawn from a 1601 law, excludes organisations that many people would view as charities, such as sporting organisations, and does not expressly require a charity to deliver public benefit.
Legislation introduced in other jurisdictions – for instance in Scotland in 2005 and in the UK in 2006 - provides more clarity about what is meant by charity and which organisations are defined as charities, providing potential donors with reassurance and confidence.

Legal framework

Assistant Chief Minister, Senator Paul Routier, said “Charities play a unique and important role in our community, undertaking vital work that is supported through the generosity and compassion of Islanders. They are part of what makes Jersey a very special place to live.
“They are, however, operating in a legal framework which can arguably be considered as outdated. Our aim in developing this law is to create a clear, modern framework which supports and sustains the diversity and independence of the sector, whilst also protecting and enhancing public trust through appropriate oversight.”

Shaping the future

The Chair of the Jersey Voluntary and Community Partnership, Jim Hopley, welcomes the development of a Charities Law in Jersey. He said “The proposals being developed by the States of Jersey will benefit local charities, helping the sector to flourish and grow. I urge all not-for-profit organisations to participate as fully as they can in the consultation in order to help shape the future of our sector.”
As part of the consultation, the Chief Minister’s Department and the Jersey Voluntary and Community Partnership will be running a series of meetings to discuss the proposals in more detail with representatives from voluntary organisations, financial services organisations and members of the public. The meetings are being held from 15 - 25 July and anyone wanting to attend should email or call 440402.
The deadline for responses to the consultation is 30 August 2013.
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