BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprise

At a glance

There have been two Charity Tribunal decisions relating to Jehovah Witness charities.

Cambridgeshire Shooting Association has also lodged an appeal, against the recent decision of the Commission to refuse it registration.

The Information Commissioner has found that the charity, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) broke electronic marketing rules.

The Independent Academies Association has published the latest edition of its newsletter.

TSRC has published a report “Understanding Cultural Value: the Amateur and Voluntary Arts”.

Charity Tribunal

There have been two decisions relating to Jehovah Witness charities:

  • The first relates to the main umbrella charity, the WatchTower Bible and Tract Society of Great Britain. It has been refused leave to appeal against a Tribunal decision that it is out of time to appeal against a Charity Commission inquiry and “production order” (made under Section 52 2011 Act) to disclose various documents relating to safeguarding issues within the charity.
  • The second relates to a Manchester congregation, (the appeal is brought by Tayo, Bailey, Halls, Jones, Rowarth & Flanagan, Trustees of Manchester New Moston Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses). The appeal here had been filed in time and this is the substantive decision – the Tribunal dismissed the appellant’s application for a review of the Charity Commission decision to open a statutory inquiry.

Civil Society Media has this article about the appeal lodged by the Steadfast Trust (mentioned in last week’s Briefing).

Cambridgeshire Shooting Association has lodged an appeal, against the recent decision of the Commission to refuse it registration.


See item under Sport below.

Social finance

Social investment – see this blog about a series of social investment workshops organised recently by NCVO and supported by the Cabinet Office. The sessions were held in Exeter, Ipswich, Leicester and London.

Crowdfunding – see here for an article on regulation of crowdfunding in the Republic of Ireland.


3rd July 2015 is UK Employee Ownership Day.


See here for the February edition of the Academies Voice, the bi-monthly newsletter of the Independent Academies Association.

Faith based organisation

Faith based organisations may be interested that on 30 March 2015, the Local Government (Religious etc Observances) Bill received Royal Assent to become the Local Government (Religious etc Observances) Act 2015. The Act gives local authorities in England (and a range of other authorities in England such as fire and rescue authorities and combined authorities) the power to:

  • Include prayers or other religious or philosophical observance as an item of business should they wish to do so.
  • Support, facilitate or be represented at religious or similar events, such as the annual commemoration on Remembrance Sunday.


ICSA has published this article on governance in sport organisations by Amanda Bennett of the Sport and Recreation Alliance.


TSRC has published a report,“Understanding Cultural Value: the Amateur and Voluntary Arts”.

Human Rights

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law has been asked by the UK Foreign Office, the Department for Business and the Ministry of Justice to undertake a quick survey of the UK’s current provision of access to remedy for victims of human rights abuses involving business enterprises.


The Information Commissioner has found that the charity, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) broke electronic marketing rules. Previously, the UCAS form only allowed applicants to opt-out of receiving marketing from commercial companies if they un-ticked three boxes covering marketing emails, post and text messages. The wording of the opt out also meant that un-ticking these boxes would result in the applicant not receiving information about career opportunities and education providers or health information. The ICO has ruled that this approach meant applicants felt obliged to let UCAS use their information for commercial purposes, otherwise they’d potentially miss out on important information about their career or education. This breaches the Data Protection Act, which requires personal information to be processed fairly, and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, which govern electronic marketing and require consent to be given freely and for a specific purpose. The ICO has required UCAS to change its practices.

The Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court's decision that three individuals resident in England may bring claims in England against US-based Google Inc. for misuse of their private information and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The claims arise from Google's exploitation of Apple Safari's web browser security settings whereby Google installed cookies to track Safari users' online behaviour without their knowledge or consent. Google sold the data to advertisers who used it to send targeted online advertising. (Google Inc. v Judith Vidal-Hall and others [2015] EWCA Civ 311)

Trustees Unlimited

Trustees Unlimited has released its second newsletter, which includes an interview with Rob Wilson, minister for civil society. The bulletin examines the positive effects that volunteering can have on employee development and the critical importance of strong leadership in charities. If you are seeking a trustee or honorary treasurer position, details of opportunities are also listed.

IP Spring Clean

Are your brand names a bit dusty?

Could your publications do with a polish?

Having trouble getting the crumbs from underneath your website?

If the answer to any of these questions is 'yes', then it sounds like your charity or social enterprise could use an IP Spring Clean.

BWB's trade mark and copyright experts would love to get their brooms out and help you sweep all those IP cobwebs out from underneath your organisation.

For a fixed fee starting at £500*, we will give a thorough-going over to your registered trade marks and brands protection, your key marketing and operational material, your website and online content, and anything else you require. Please email Mathew Healey ( to learn more. 

Click here to read our IP Spring Clean guide

Posted on 15/04/2015 in Legal Updates

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