Charity membership may bring more than you bargained for?

Headlines like “Charity Donors could face unexpected legal bills warns ACEVO”

& Martin Harper’s blog featured a guest blog by Carol Day In for a Penny … Under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 charity membership may mean more than you bargained for

might understandably have conservation campaigners a ‘tad’ concerned?

The Government have recently undertaken a consultation:  Reform of Judicial Review. Proposals for the provision and use of financial information.

The Ministerial Foreword in the aforementioned document makes fascinating reading, particularly if you ponder on the people in power who abused that power and continued to and what was done about it when it was made public?  So, we might be forgiven for wondering about ‘protection’?  Spectating from the sidelines of politics I struggle to think of many reviews resulting in revised ‘protection’ which have delivered Public Benefit, the hedgerow regulations were preceeeded by miles of hedgerows being grubbed out, change in rules for agri-welfare subsidies saw ancient grasslands ploughed up.  Some ROMPPs to safeguard Natura 2000 sites are still to be completed here in the Humberhead Levels, Nero & Rome?

The Rt Honorable Michael Gove in his capacity as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice explained that he would defend, above all else, the rule of law. Gove explains that without the rule of law power can be abused.  He continues that JR is an essential foundation of the rule of law.

Anyone who has been involved in compiling and submitting documents to the JR process will know how hard it is never mind inordinately expensive.  Charities in the main, or at least those I have either been involved with or observed from the sidelines who have applied for JR because all else had failed and significantly with great reluctance (not least on cost grounds) it had been undertaken in the Public Interest and not for pecuniary or private benefit or interest.

28 organisations are named as having been sent copies, but para. 8 on page 5 assures the reader that the list is not exhaustive or exclusive ….

So, the consultation has now closed.  Respondents to the Minister’s sixteen questions set in four sections are asked to provide reasons for a positive or negative response, so thereby encouraged to provide evidence to support any submission.  Thirty three pages of carefully crafted narrative, we await deliberations ….

In the interim, the next post will feature an equally worrying update on this same issue ….

Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori?




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