Restoring Public Trust in Charities – Reforming Governance and Enforcement
The charitable sector is an essential part of the social fabric and economy in Australia. Public trust in the sector has been damaged by governance failures, exacerbated by the sector’s complex and incoherent governance system. As yet, there has been limited academic consideration or empirical analysis of the effectiveness of the governance and regulatory framework of the sector or concrete reform proposals. This project aims to undertake comparative analysis and empirical research of these aspects and to develop proposals for effective law and policy reform. This is expected to strengthen and maximize the sector’s capacity to contribute to the social and economic life in Australia.
The project has the following specific aims:
- To undertake comprehensive investigation of the reasons for the incoherence evident in the current duties of those who govern charitable entities, such as directors, trustees and members of management committees.
- To critically analyse wider incoherence in the law relating to directors’ duties in Australia and to recommend solutions for reform.
- To examine how charities are governed in other jurisdictions (specifically the United Kingdom and Germany) and to utilize these insights in critical analysis of governance of charities in Australia.
- To develop effective options for legislative and policy reform to solve the incoherence evident in the way that office bearers of charitable organisations are governed.
- To undertake empirical work to ascertain how charities deal with conflicts in a practical sense and to ascertain how those who govern charities understand their obligations.
- To critically evaluate the enforcement powers, enforcement approach and enforcement activity of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC).
- To develop options for legislative and policy reforms to improve the effectiveness of regulation and enforcement by the ACNC.
- Webster, Miranda and Langford Rosemary Teele, 'An Analysis of the ACNC's Approach to Compliance and Enforcement'
- Webster, Miranda and Langford Rosemary Teele, 'Comparison of Enforcement Powers of the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the ACNC'
- Langford, Rosemary Teele and Anderson, Malcolm, Restoring Public Trust in Charities: Empirical Findings and Recommendations (2023) 46(2) University of New South Wales Law Journal (forthcoming)
- Langford, Rosemary Teele and Anderson, Malcolm, Charity Trustees: Governance Duties and Conflicts of Interest (2022) Trusts and Trustees
- Rosemary Teele Langford ‘Purpose and Public Benefit’ in Matthew Harding and Dan Halliday (eds), Charity Law – Exploring the Public of Public Benefit (Routledge, 2022)
- Langford, Rosemary Teele and Webster, Miranda, 'Misuse of Power in the Australian Charities Sector' (2022) 45 University of New South Wales Law Journal 70
- Murray, Ian and Langford, Rosemary Teele, 'The Best Interests Duty and Corporate Charities - The Pursuit of Purpose' (2021) 15 Journal of Equity 92
- Langford, Rosemary Teele, 'Statutory Duties and Ratification: Untangling the Maze' (2021) 15 Journal of Equity 126
- Langford, Rosemary Teele, 'Charitable Companies and Related Party Transactions' (2020) 38 Company and Securities Law Journal 91
- Langford, Rosemary Teele, Use of the Corporate Form for Public Benefit: Revitalisation of Australian Corporations Law
- Langford, Rosemary Teele, Purpose-Based Governance: A New Paradigm
- Langford, Rosemary Teele, Conflicts and Coherence in the Charities Sphere: Would a Conflict By Any Other Name Proscribe the Same?
- Langford, Rosemary Teele, 'Insolvent Trading, Charitable Companies and COVID-19'
- McGregor-Lowndes, Myles & Hannah, Frances (2020) ACPNS Legal Case Notes Series: 2020-94 Lehtimäki and others v Cooper. [Working Paper]
Professor Rosemary Teele Langford
Miranda Webster, Research Fellow
Type of Grant
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award