Welcome to the January 2017 edition of our Faith
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Welcome to the first edition of the Faith Bulletin in 2017. In this edition, Michael King considers the recommendations of the Casey Report and what it tells us about the current state of our society and how this report, whilst making similar recommendations to those that have gone before it, may make a real difference. We look at the Charity Commission’s decision not to register The Temple of the Jedi Order as a charity - a significant decision because the Commission had to consider the definition of religion in charity law. There have been recent developments in case law confirming the status of almshouse occupants and we also cover data protection compliance in relation to fundraising, following the recent fines levied on two high profile charities – the RSPCA and the British Heart Foundation, and look more broadly at compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulation coming soon. There is a round-up of recent employment developments. Robert Meakin recently had a guest post published on Law & Religion UK in which he revisited one of the leading cases on public benefit and the advancement of religion – Gilmour v Coats. “It is a timely moment to revisit the case because there is doubt about the requirement of public benefit for charities with purposes to advance religion. The case deals with the issue of private religious practice and the extent to which a religious organisation needs to engage with the public. These are live issues which need resolving and therefore it is a good moment to challenge the assumptions made in Gilmour v Coats”. A consultation has opened on a significant new version of the charity sector governance code. The code, a tool to help charities strengthen and develop their governance, was originally created in 2005. This major overhaul, launched at the start of Trustees Week 2016, sees new and more detailed guidance included in the code, with an enhanced focus on delivering organisational purpose and direction. Those with an interest in charity governance are being asked to feed back their views on the code. The consultation runs until Friday 3 February. Tim Rutherford Partner
The Casey Review The review, which was published in December, raises some difficult issues, says Michael King, and whilst the recommendations are not necessarily new, Dame Louise shines a bright light on problems within society that many would prefer to ignore. Read more
The Commission strikes back… Sarah Clune looks at the Charity Commission’s decision to reject an application for registration from The Temple of the Jedi Order and why it is a significant decision. Read more
Licensee or tenant? The status of almshouse occupants An issue that has long plagued providers of almshouse accommodation is the status of a resident’s occupation and whether they have security of tenure. The recent Court of Appeal case of Watts v Stewart & Ors  EWCA Civ 1247 may have finally provided some clarity. Read more
Data Protection compliance Following the fines levied on the RSPCA and BHF by the Information Commissioner in early December, many clients are concerned about data protection compliance in relation to fundraising, but also more generally – and with good reason. Read more
Employment law round-up Amy Berry provides a round-up of recent employment law developments for faith charities. Read more
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If you have any queries or for further information on Faith issues, please contact Tim Rutherford on TimRutherford@stoneking.co.uk
ÂŠ Stone King LLP 2017
This publication is for guidance only. The law and practice referred to has
been paraphrased or prĂŠcised and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.