Charity Tribunal off to a slow start

The Charity Tribunal is to begin work at the end of this month despite uncertainty over how many members will be in place to hear cases.

The tribunal, which will hear low-cost appeals against Charity Commission decisions, will open on 27 February after the relevant section of the 2006 Charities Act was approved by Parliament last Wednesday. It will consist of a president, five legally qualified members and seven lay members.

The Ministry of Justice was unable to give a date for any appointments. "Due process is taking place and when it is finalised we will make an announcement," a spokeswoman said.

A spokeswoman for the Tribunals Service, which will administer the tribunal, said a president would be in place by 27 February and stressed that the law allowed for the president to hear cases alone. "That was factored into the decision, so it is not a case of a delay," she said.

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