Charities not exempt from providing financial information at judicial reviews, say MoJ

The Government has turned down a request to exempt charities from the requirement to provide financial information when submitting applications for judicial review.

By implication, charities making applications will now have to provide full details of how a review will be funded.

A judicial review is the means by which public bodies can challenge the lawfulness of public authorities’ decisions, actions and omissions.

“This Government is, and has always been, absolutely clear that reforms to
judicial review will not undermine that”, said a statement from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

The MoJ said the implementation of these reforms was essential to prevent claimants from avoiding liability for their costs and passing these on to the taxpayer.

“There is, nonetheless, a need to make sure that those who bring and control judicial reviews face a proper measure of the costs liability arising from their actions”, the statement read.

The legal profession has warned that the decision could have a “chilling effect” on charities’ capacity to bring judicial review cases.

Charities may now have to provide information on donors that have made a contribution of over £3,000, such as their names and addresses – which will implicate donors who had previously wished to remain anonymous.

Last year, charity umbrella bodies had requested for voluntary sector organisations, such as charities, to be exempt from the rules.

Charity chief executives body Acevo had described the rules as a “fundamental breach of justice” if charities were discouraged from challenging government decisions.

The MoJ has also discussed whether the information provided by charities on donors should be kept solely within the Courts, or shared with relevant third parties.

Posted in Charities.