The Australian Nonprofit Sector Legal and Accounting Almanac 2013

McGregor-Lowndes, Myles (2014) The Australian Nonprofit Sector Legal and Accounting Almanac 2013. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD. [Working Paper]





For a number of years, Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes, Frances Hannah and Anne Overell have compiled one to two page summaries of cases involving nonprofit organisations and published them on The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Developing Your Organisation (DYO) website.1 You can be alerted of new case summaries as they are posted to the DYO website by subscribing to the ACPNS RSS feed or the ACPNS twitter service.2 There were some very significant cases during 2013, such as Commissioner of Taxation v Cancer & Bowel Research Association (see case notes 2.8.2 and 2.8.11), The Hunger Project case which is under appeal, but could change the face of PBI jurisprudence (see case note 2.8.7) while Home Health Pty Ltd retained the PBI status quo but might have been different if appealed (see case note 2.8.8). For sheer interest there is nothing better in my 30 odd years of reading tax and charity judgements than case involving The Study and Prevention of Psychological Diseases Foundation Incorporated (see case note 2.1.1). It even rivals some of the more bizarre cases from the US jurisdiction of which St Joseph Abbey v Castille (case note 2.10.9) is certainly ‘dead centre’. A set of cases which stand out for attention are those involving New Zealand’s Christchurch Cathedral which anyone with responsibility for heritage-listed buildings should study carefully, for implications in relation to their own circumstances. A number of cases summarised in this Almanac are working their way through the appeals process and care should be taken with their application. In addition, some of the cases are from jurisdictions outside Australia, and readers should exercise caution when considering the implications of these cases for Australian law.


The Almanac includes a review of major statutory amendments during 2013, which are relevant to the nonprofit sector in all Australian jurisdictions. Special thanks must go to Nathan MacDonald and the JusticeConnect team for providing legislative updates for Victoria.


A number of legal practitioners have contributed articles on significant legal issues facing nonprofit organisations: charitable trusts giving to government entities (Alice Macdougall); workplace bullying (Tim Longwill); and privacy (James Tan and Nina Brewer).


Major developments from the UK and Ireland (Kerry O’Halloran), Canada (Peter Broder), New Zealand (Michael Gousmett and Susan Barker) and Jamaica (Frances Hannah) are all summarised in a review of a significant part of the common law charity jurisdictions.


The final section moves from looking in the rear view mirror to peering out the front windscreen to discern the reform agenda. The view from the windscreen in 2013 was of considerable reform traffic at the Commonwealth level jostling for a place in the parliamentary agenda. This year is quite different with a smaller number of vehicles ahead, but the potential for significant impact.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 69939
Item Type: Working Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: charities, not-for-profit organisations, governance, dispute resolution
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Corporations and Associations Law (180109)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Equity and Trusts Law (180112)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law and Society (180119)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Taxation Law (180125)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 07 Apr 2014 22:29
Last Modified: 27 May 2014 05:26

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