Powers relating to appointment of trustees

Issues can arise in charities where it is not clear whether the procedure to appoint or elect a trustee has been followed correctly, and as such a trustee may not be able to discharge functions legally. Clause 29 will allow the Charity Commission to determine that a person can act as a trustee, without a need to consider whether there is a potential defect in their appointment or election.

This is a welcome power that will help to ensure that there is clarity over whether trustees can carry out their functions, and reflects the existing powers that the Commission has to determine a charity’s members. However, it is not apparent that the Charity Commission has used this power in relation to members as regularly as it could have done, and so for the new power to be effective the Commission must be prepared to use it.