Two charities granted permission to bring a case related to "responsible investment" to the High Court

The Charity Commission has updated its information relating to the recent consultation announced on draft guidance relating to "responsible investment" to confirm that two charities were granted permission to bring a case related to the issue to the High Court on 14 April. 

The Charity Commission's consultation on its new draft guidance on “responsible investment” will continue, and the Commission would still like charities to respond.  

This purpose of the consultation was to replace various sections relating to this kind of investing in its existing guidance “Charities and investment matters: a guide for trustees”.

The draft guidance aims to clarify the discretion that charity trustees have to make responsible investments, and to reassure trustees that they can decide to adopt a responsible investment approach “in most circumstances”.

It follows a listening exercise carried out last year that suggested:

  • uncertainty about the decisions trustees were legally allowed to make, and
  • anxiety over making a mistake and the potential for resulting liability

were preventing trustees of some charities from making investments in a way that was consistent with their charity’s mission and purposes.

The Commission still intends to publish a summary of the consultation responses received this summer, but, if the court's decision affects the draft guidance, it will also consider any further steps necessary following the judgment. 

The deadline for responses to the consultation is 20 May 2021.

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