Charitable trusts and political purposes: Law on the edge of change in Australasia
Chevalier-Watts, J. (2013). Charitable trusts and political purposes: Law on the edge of change in Australasia. Presented at the Law on the Edge, Vancouver, Canada.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9545
Historically a trust will be denied charitable status if its purposes are political, although this principle is fraught with difficulties because of the complex relationship between politics and charities. New Zealand has traditionally followed the jurisprudence of England and Wales, which determines that political trusts should be interpreted relatively widely so catching a broad section of trusts, thus excluding them from achieving charitable status. Australian jurisprudence however has displayed more reticence in its full acceptance of the political trust doctrine. Instead it has adopted a more narrow interpretation, so trusts that may fall foul of the doctrine in England and Wales and New Zealand, might successfully obtain charitable status in Australia. Then with the decision of the Australian High Court decision of Aid/Watch v Commissioner of Taxation, Australia finally departed from the jurisprudence of New Zealand and England and Wales. This article explores the Antipodean jurisdictions and critically considers Australia's significant jurisprudential shift regarding charitable trusts and political activity and whether New Zealand is on the edge of an equal change to charitable trust law.
© 2013 the author
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