The Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005: a stakeholder assessment

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    Abstract

    This article offers a provisional assessment of the charities supervision and fundraising provisions of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. It outlines those provisions, setting them in their policy and legislative context, then identifies the groups which may be considered the "stakeholders" in the new systems of supervision set up by the Act. It considers the interests of each stakeholder group in turn, including the taxpayer as ultimate funder of the systems, and arrives at a provisional assessment of the Act against its policy objectives. The assessment exposes two main areas of potential difficulty: first, the Act's supervisory focus on a restrictively defined range of "charities" to the exclusion of "charity-analogous" voluntary organisations which likewise confer benefit on the public and may raise funds from the public; and, secondly, its overzealous regulatory provisions for charities, geared towards a professionalised charitable sector, which may discourage the involvement of the ordinary citizen in the management of charities. These provisions may lead, ultimately, it is suggested, to small and medium-sized voluntary organisations engaged in public benefit activity opting to forego charitable status in Scotland, leaving the new charity regulator set up by the Act (OSCR) to preside over a numerically diminished but highly professionalised charitable sector. The article concludes by pointing out how these areas of difficulty might be addressed as implementation of the Act proceeds, and highlights in particular the potential of the new Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) as the legal form par excellence for citizen involvement in public benefit activity in Scotland.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)179-219
    Number of pages41
    JournalJuridical Review: the Law Journal of the Scottish Universities
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Keywords

    • Charity law
    • Scotland
    • Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005

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