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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Decision review

In the course of its work, the Commission can take a wide range of decisions. We can decide:

  • whether or not to register an organisation as a charity
  • whether or not to make schemes relating to charity property
  • whether to issue a direction or an order to compel a charity to comply with some aspect of charity law
  • if we need to take any action after carrying out an enquiry into a concern received about a charity.

We make every effort to ensure we come to the right decision on every occasion, and that the decision made is in the best interests of the organisation involved. Inevitably, however, there will be times when charities or people affected by our decisions may think we have not taken the correct decision.

If an organisation is dissatisfied with a decision we have made, they may have a right to challenge our decision through the Charity Tribunal. Some decisions may also be challenged by a person or other body whose legal rights are, or have the potential to be, affected by the decision we have made.

The Commission has an internal decision review process that organisations may use to challenge a decision (see guidance below). This review procedure offers an opportunity for decisions made by the Commission to be reviewed internally. It is a straightforward, quick and cost-effective way of challenging a decision and/or allows us to process any new information which may have come to light in the period after the original decision was made.

It is important to note that all decisions are made by the Board of Commissioners or a committee with delegated authority which includes at least one Commissioner. As far as possible we will try to bring the decision review to a Committee which was not involved in making the original decision.

You are not required to use the Commission’s internal review procedure. You may choose to appeal the decision to the Charity Tribunal. There is a time limit for appealing a decision of the Commission to the Charity Tribunal which runs regardless of the fact that you have applied for a decision review by the Commission. 

Decision review is not a statutory right, however, we will consider an application for a review if the decision is also one which the organisation can take to the Charity Tribunal. The types of decisions which can be appealed to the Charity Tribunal are listed in Schedule 3 to the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 (external link). Currently we do not review any matters which cannot be appealed to the Charity Tribunal. The Commission will however be reviewing this policy to broaden the scope of decisions where a decision review can be requested.

Download CCNI EG017 Challenging a decision of the Commission. PDF (762.2 KB)

Download 20220307 Decision review FAQs PDF (134.7 KB)

Download Application form for decision review DOCX (430.1 KB)