Animal charity allowed to withdraw its charity tribunal appeal against CCNI inquiry

The USPCA appealed to the Charity Tribunal for Northern Ireland against the regulator's investigation into its administration and governance; the charity's subsequent move to halt this appeal was initially rejected


The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been successful in its bid to withdraw its charity tribunal appeal against the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland’s statutory inquiry into the charity’s administration and governance.

The CCNI opened a statutory inquiry into the County Down-based USPCA, which is separate from the England and Wales charity the RSPCA, in December.

In May, the USPCA appealed at the Charity Tribunal for Northern Ireland against the opening of the inquiry.

In August, the charity appealed for the legal proceedings to be paused in order for it to settle the case with the commission outside the courtroom.

Although the CCNI accepted this application, the tribunal rejected it on the grounds that since August 2013 "there have been ongoing discussions between the parties to seek to resolve the matters at issue leading to these proceedings, to no avail", a tribunal document said.

A new document, published this week by the tribunal, says that the charity’s solicitors had since asked the tribunal to allow the original appeal to be withdrawn, and that the CCNI had agreed to this.

A spokeswoman for the CCNI said: "The commission is continuing to work with the USPCA and consented to the USPCA’s application to withdraw its application for a decision review."

A spokesman for the charity said it was pleased with the result and would continue to work with the commission to bring the inquiry to a close. "That would take a few months, I’d think," he said.

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