Tribunal 'has no powers to rule on complaint'

Alison McKenna says grievance about Charity Commission cannot be dealt with by appeals body

The charity tribunal has struck out an appeal by a professor against a decision by the Charity Commission because it says it does not have the jurisdiction to deal with the case.

Professor Leon Poller appealed to the tribunal against the way the commission dealt with his complaints about Manchester and District Home for Lost Dogs.

Poller, a former trustee, vice-chairman and honorary chairman of the charity, first complained to the commission about the governance of the charity and the conduct of its trustees in 2008.

He made further complaints about an AGM in 2009.

When he did not get a positive response from the commission, he asked the tribunal to review the regulator's decision. But last week the tribunal ruled that it did not have the jurisdiction to do so because the commission did not exercise "any relevant statutory power" in attempting to resolve the complaints.

The ruling by Alison McKenna, principal judge of the tribunal, noted that Poller was "understandably unhappy" that his appeal could not be determined.

It included comments from Poller that there should be "adequate opportunity for genuine appeals against Charity Commission decisions to be considered by the tribunals judiciary other than on the narrow grounds listed in the official documentation".

McKenna says in the ruling: "I have concluded that the tribunal does not have jurisdiction to determine the appellant's application in this matter and that the application should therefore be struck out."



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