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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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The Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2022: what it means for the Commission, the charity sector and the public

A new piece of legislation, The Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2022, has now come into effect, having received Royal Assent on 30 March 2022.

The new law will effectively reinstate the full register of charities and give certainty to charities, the public, funders and others as to which organisations are registered charities in Northern Ireland. The Act will also increase the public transparency of the charity sector by re-instating annual reporting by charities, supporting the public and others in undertaking checks on the charities they support.

In addition, the Act will make lawful just over 7,200 decisions which had been made in good faith by Commission staff.  This includes a range of consents given by the Commission to charities, such as agreement to changes to governing documents, or permission to carry out certain transactions. Certainty will now be brought to all those decisions and reassurance to charities that they can rely upon them and any transactions which have been carried out on foot of the decisions. Not all decisions will be reinstated, and you can find out which ones will be unaffected here.  

The Act, as a new piece of legislation, will no doubt create some questions for charities, from what their annual reporting requirements will be to how they can appeal a previous decision of the Commission.

The Commission has developed a series of FAQs to guide and advise charities and the public on what the Act will mean for charity regulation, and how it will impact on charities and their legal duties.

Please click on the links below to be brought to that section of the FAQs. If your query is not answered or you want further information, please contact the Commission.

You can also find out more about the new Act and any potential impact on your charity via the Commission’s online information session, which is available to watch on YouTube at: Information session on the new Charities Act (NI) 2022 - YouTube.