The Charity Appeals Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) is a statutory body established to hear and adjudicate on appeals against certain decisions of the Charities Regulatory Authority (the “Authority”) pursuant to section 45 of the Charities Act, 2009 (the “Act”).
1. Appeals to the Tribunal
The Charity Appeals Tribunal Rules (S.I. 209 of 2018) commenced on 4 July 2018. These Rules set out the manner in which an appeal is made to the Charity Appeals Tribunal.
Decisions of the Authority which may be appealed include:
- A refusal of an application for registration under section 39 of the Act;
- A decision of the Authority not to consent to a change in the name of a charitable organisation pursuant to section 42(3) of the Act;
- A decision to remove a charitable organisation from the register pursuant to section 43;
- A determination that a charitable organisation is no longer deemed to be registered pursuant to section 44 of the Act; and
- Section 45(4) of the Act also provides that the Minister may bring an appeal in relation to a decision of the Authority to register a charitable organisation under section 39 of the Act.
2. Procedure at hearing
The Rules provide that appeals before the Tribunal shall be conducted in public. However, where it considers it appropriate, the Tribunal may make an order directing that the identities of all, or one, or more, of the parties to an appeal shall not be disclosed.
During the hearing, the parties to the appeal will have the opportunity to call their own evidence and to cross examine witnesses. In this regard, and at the discretion of the Tribunal, witnesses at a hearing before the Tribunal may give sworn evidence, make an affirmation or otherwise.
3. Determination of the Tribunal
The determination of the Tribunal setting out the Tribunal’s decision and reasons for it will be provided to the parties as soon as practicable following the conclusion of the hearing. The determination will be in writing and the existence of dissenting the views of the will not be disclosed to other persons.
4. Appeal to High Court
Section 80 of the Act provides that the parties to an appeal may appeal a decision of the Tribunal to the High Court on a point of law, with the permission of the Tribunal. If the Tribunal refuses permission, the applicant may apply for permission from the High Court under section 80(2)(b) of the Act.