African Aids Action gets leave to appeal to Upper Tribunal

Judge says appeal should clarify meaning of a 'decision, order or direction' by the Charity Commission

African Aids Action can appeal to the Upper Tribunal against the charity tribunal's dismissal of its case, a judge has decided.

AAA complained to the charity tribunal last year about the Charity Commission's refusal to lift a freezing order on the charity's bank account and the terms of an action plan the regulator drew up after an inquiry.

The tribunal dismissed the appeal because the commission had subsequently lifted the freezing order and because the action plan did not constitute a "decision, order or direction" that could be appealed.

But tribunal Judge Peter Hinchliffe said last week he sympathised with the charity's confusion over a commission letter that said the plan "must be implemented as soon as possible". He gave leave for an appeal to the Upper Tribunal to clarify what counts as a decision, order or direction.

Eyob Ghebre-Sellassie, chair of AAA, said he was not sure yet whether the charity would appeal because it was unclear what it would gain. He said he was also preparing a High Court challenge to the commission's conduct during the inquiry, seeking compensation for alleged gross negligence and racial discrimination. The commission declined to comment.

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