This aim is clearly seen in the reforms made to the public benefit requirement.
: originally, charities for the relief of poverty and the advancement of education and religion benefited from a presumption of public benefit.
Discuss how this presumption assisted some 'borderline' trusts to be deemed charitable, e.g.
trusts for poor relations (eg : s 4(2)Charities Act 2017 removes the presumption of public benefit – all charities must now be able to provide evidence that they are for the public benefit.
It is arguable that the removal of the presumption itself will have little practical effect on how charitable status is to be assessed.
‘Poor relations’: while the Charity Commission suggested that 'poor relations' trusts will be subject to closer scrutiny to ensure they are for the public benefit, the decision in  suggests that public benefit will still be generously assessed for charities which seek to relieve poverty.
Public schools: discuss whether the Act will affect the charitable status of public schools.
Early indications that the impact of the Act may be limited would appear to have been confirmed by the decision of .
Discuss how the Upper Tribunal confirmed that the Charity Commission Guidance on the public benefit requirement took too restrictive an approach to how public benefit was to be assessed in relation to fee-charging charities, such as public schools and hospitals. Consider whether the reforms introduced by the Charities Act 2017 have resolved the problems of 'public benefit' – are there issues which should have been addressed, e.g.
This decision also suggested that the presumption removed by s 4(2) never really had the force of a ‘true’ legal presumption and operated more as a simple ‘predisposition’ for judges considering the public benefit of potentially charitable trusts (see paras. should the Act have included a statutory definition of 'public benefit'?
A critical analysis of the development of the public benefit requirement of charitable purposes under English and Welsh charity law, from Re Compton  1 Ch 123 to R (Independent School Council) v Charity Commission  Ch 214.
The enactment of the Charities Act 2017 in November 2017 introduced the first statutory definition of charity into English and Welsh law.
Under the provisions of the Act, charitable status requires that an institution must be established for charitable purposes only and that the charitable purposes must be of public benefit.
Although, generally, well received the Charities Act 2006 has been criticised as ‘flawed’ on the public benefit requirement of charitable purposes.
The Charities Act 2006 was passed with the principle aim of modernising existing charity law, which was considered outdated and unclear.
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Note: the laws relating to charitable trusts and their administration have recently been consolidated by the Charities Act 2011.
All statutory references will be to this Act, unless otherwise mentioned.
: to answer this question, contrast the previous legal position with the changes contained in the Charities Act 2006.
One of the aims of the Charities Act 2017 was to make charities more accountable for the benefits they receive.
This area is an interesting example of how the political agenda which seemed to motivate the reforms to public benefit was not sufficiently supported by the terms of the Act itself (for example, through the retention of the previous common law by s 4(3)Charities Act 2011).
Attempts by the Charity Commission to address the spirit of these reforms, rather than their letter, have been hotly contested.
: the Charities Act 2017 charges the Charity Commission with ensuring the accountability of charities and with providing guidance to charities on how they may comply with the public benefit requirement (see, now, ss 14-17 Charities Act 2011).
Arguably, it is the Charity Commission’s attempts to embrace this enhanced role that has led to recent litigation and debate on this area.
Researching the Charity Commission’s role and operation will add further depth to your essay by demonstrating an understanding of how charities are regulated.
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“To be a charity in England and Wales, an organisation must have charitable aims that are for the public benefit”.
However, unlike charitable purposes, which are set down within the provisions of the Act, a definition of public benefit is not provided.
Section 3(3) of the Charities Act 2006 merely provides that ‘reference to public benefit is a reference to the public benefit as that term is understood for the purposes of the law relating to charities in England and Wales’.
This lack of a definition as to what constitutes public benefit and statutory reliance upon the charities’ regulator, the Charity Commission, to interpret and provide guidance on the public benefit requirement for charitable purposes has led to criticism that the Charities Act 2017 has raised as many uncertainties as it sought to clarify.
In critically evaluating the impact of the Charities Act 2006, and its successor, the Charities Act 2011, upon English charity law, this assessment places the legal definition of charity within its complex and, at times, vague historical context.