Charity law (England & Wales) covers the rules relating to the setting up and operation of charities, which are bodies run for the public benefit. The Charities Act 2006 aims to support a dynamic and vibrant sector, ensuring that it continues to enjoy high levels of public confidence.


The Act reforms charity law and regulation to:

  • enable charities to administer themselves more efficiently and be more effective,
  • improve the regulation of charity fundraising, and reduce regulation on the sector, especially for smaller charities,
  • provide a clear definition of charity with an emphasis on public benefit,
  • modernise the Charity Commission’s functions and powers as regulator, increase its accountability, and preserve its independence from ministers.


Scottish Charity Law is very different from the law in England and Wales.  See Charity Law – Scotland.

Northern Ireland is not covered by the Charity Commission (England and Wales) and regulation is light.

For further information see Charity Law Northern Ireland.


The Channel Islands  (Jersey and Guernsey) have their own charity associations:

  • The Association of Jersey Charities – Click here
  • The Association of Guernsey Charities – Click here