Charity Law Today: A Conversation
Charity law – the principal body of law regulating the not-for-profit sector – is a fascinating blend of old and new, public and private, and statute and judge-made law. It overlaps with the law of trusts, tax law and regulatory law in a range of interesting and challenging ways. It has always been an important element of the legal system in the common law world, but has become more so in recent years thanks to the outsourcing of government functions to the charity sector, the advent of social enterprise, and changing understandings of the value of the charity sector, for example in relation to religious organisations and political advocacy. In this seminar, Mary Synge and Matthew Harding will discuss some of the complex and difficult challenges for charity law today, drawing on the English and Australian experience.
Dr Jenny Beard, Melbourne Law School
Dr Jenny Beard
Melbourne Law School
Dr Jennifer Beard is currently involved in research on the public aspects of charity law and the role of the notforprofit sector in law and development. In her research, Jennifer focuses on the relationship between public and private power, law and society and law and development. She is particularly interested in theories of the State, political authority, and the role of law in the exercise of political power. Jennifer's fiveyear appointment to the Refugee and Migration Review Tribunals has also strengthened her interest in due processes, accountability and justice in public and private governance across all levels of society. Her publications include, a textbook coedited with Professor Andrew Mitchell, International Law: In Principle (Thomson, 2009) and The Political Economy of Desire: International Law, Development and the Nation State (CavendishRoutledge, 2007). Jennifer has been a visiting fellow at the University of British Columbia Law School where she taught a PhD Seminar on Legal Theory and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Law; a teacher of International Law, Trade and Development in the LLM Programme in the Department of International Law and Human Rights at the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica; and a visiting fellow at the University of Lund Law School. Jennifer was a member of the Migration Review Tribunal and the Refugee Review Tribunal from 2009 to 2014.
Professor Matthew Harding, Melbourne Law School
Professor Matthew Harding
Melbourne Law School
Matthew Harding joined the Law School as a lecturer in 2005. Matthew graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1998 with first class honours degrees in law and in arts. He also holds a Bachelor of Civil Law degree (with distinction) and a D.Phil from the University of Oxford. During his time as a postgraduate student in Oxford, Matthew held Chevening and Clarendon Fund Scholarships and, during 2002–3, a research fellowship funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. His D.Phil thesis was on the moral foundations of fiduciary law. Prior to undertaking postgraduate study, Matthew also worked as a solicitor for Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks (now Allens) in Melbourne. Matthew has published widely on issues in moral and political philosophy, the theory and doctrines of equity, property law, judicial practice and precedent, and the law of charity. He is the author of Charity Law and the Liberal State (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and the coeditor (with Professor Elise Bant) of Exploring Private Law (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and (with Professors Ann O'Connell and Miranda Stewart) of NotforProfit Law: Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2014). He is also the CoConvener (with Professor Elise Bant) of the Melbourne Law School's Obligations Group, an editor of the Journal of Equity, and a director of the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand. Matthew has been a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto, Queen's University Belfast, the University of Otago, and the University of the Western Cape. Matthew has taught a number of subjects in legal theory and private law at the Melbourne Law School, in the LLB, JD and RHD programs. He has also taught at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Matthew currently supervises a number of PhD students working on a range of private law topics. In November 2016, Matthew and Jennifer Batrouney QC of the Victorian Bar will be teaching an LLM course, 'Charity Law for the 21st Century'.
Associate Professor Mary Synge, University of Exeter
Associate Professor Mary Synge
University of Exeter
Mary's principal research area is charity law and her publications include articles in the Cambridge Law Journal, Modern Law Review and Law Quarterly Review. Her book, The 'New' Public Benefit Requirement: Making Sense of Charity Law? (Hart, 2015), examines the requirements for charitable status in law following the Charities Act 2006 and challenges the legal interpretations of the Charity Commission and Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery) in relation to feecharging charities in particular. It also offers a comparative study with the position in Scotland. Mary was invited to address an international conference in Montreal (2015) and has also presented papers on her research at Edingburgh (SLS) and Cardiff (Law and Religion). As a graduate of Exeter University (LLB, first class honours) and former Bracton Law Society president (198485), Mary was especially pleased to join the Law School staff in April 2016. She leads the Law of Trusts module, a role she has previously undertaken at both Bristol University (where she completed a PhD in 2012) and Cardiff University. She has also taught Land Law, Introduction to Law and Advanced Commercial Property (LPC) and was a Visiting Lecturer at Konstanz University, where she taught on the Law of Trusts and the Draft Common Frame of Reference (Book X). Before pursuing an academic career, Mary practised as a commercial property solicitor for several years at Linklaters, London, and also worked as a freelance legal author, writing on several subjects including Land Law and Conveyancing, Civil Litigation and Company Law. She has been an Examiner and Consultant in Law for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales since 2009 and is a member of the Society of Legal Scholars and Charity Law Association. Mary welcomes research students in land law, trusts and (in particular) charity law.