The Visitor - Facilitation of Internal Dispute Resolution in Nonprofit Organisations

McGregor-Lowndes, Myles (1998) The Visitor - Facilitation of Internal Dispute Resolution in Nonprofit Organisations. [Working Paper]


One of the interesting boundaries in the law of nonprofit organisations is that where a court will intervene in a dispute concerning members of a voluntary organisation. The common law has traditionally been reluctant to provide a forum for disputing members of an association and adopts a basic policy of encouraging members to settle their disputes through the association’s own governance system. The rationales offered for this approach are a reluctance to interfere in private domestic bodies thereby infringing on the freedom of association, the perceived trivial nature of the issues, a lack of appropriate or effective judicial remedies and a possible opening of the floodgates of litigation. This is to be contrasted with the common law policy of voluntary association for profit such as a business partnership where the courts have less hesitation in resolving disputes between partners. There is increasing judicial activity where a voluntary association dispute involves economic or property issues which have a commercial nature such as the trade union, professional association or remunerated sporting association. A broad policy justification could be that such "commercial" associations share more in common with business associations and their disputes, so justifying judicial intervention.

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ID Code: 12032
Item Type: Working Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: nonprofit organisations, dispute resolution, membership, governance
ISBN: 086856835X
ISSN: 1037-1516
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1998 QUT
Deposited On: 17 Jan 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 12:39

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