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Charity Commission respond to our concerns about governing documents

We recently met with the Charity Commission, where we discussed a number of areas of concern as part of work to enable people with unspent convictions to become trustees of charities.

In particular, we discussed an issue that we raised in our report of February this year relating to a charities’ governing documents, and how the way that the Commission were interpreting these were causing problems for charities like Unlock to recruit people with convictions.

We’re pleased to report that the Commission have, following our meeting, provided us with the response below.

Turning to one of the specific issues we discussed, I referred the governing document point to one of our lawyers I can confirm that we seem to have been mistaken in 2011. The Articles as they were then did not mean a waiver would have been ineffective. If one had been granted it would have meant, as we thought at the meeting, that the individual was no longer disqualified and so could have been appointed as a trustee.

Charity Commission representative

We’re pleased that the Commission has taken a more common-sense approach to this. It removes what was otherwise a cumbersome bureaucratic hurdle that many charities would have had to go through (amending their governing documents) and now makes it somewhat easier for a charity to recruit somebody with unspent convictions.

You can find out more about our work on enabling people with convictions to become trustees of charities here.


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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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