Upcoming events


Roundtable: New Zealand's Charities Amendment Act 2023

Date: Tuesday 19 March 2024, 1pm NZDT / 8am AWST / 11pm AEDT, online via Zoom

Register here

Following the passing of the Charities Amendment Act 2023 in New Zealand, we invite anyone with an interest to come together online to share notes and thoughts on how the amended New Zealand Charities Act is working in practice, what frustrations and outcomes are being observed that are hindering genuine pursuit of charitable purposes, and where to from here?


Webinar: Donor Advised Funds & Community Foundations: An Asia-Pacific Comparison of Public Philanthropic Intermediaries

Tuesday 12 March, 11am AWST / 2pm AEDT / 4pm NZDT, online via Zoom

Register here

Please consider joining Professor Ian Murray, Chair of CLAANZ, in conversation with Professor Masayuki Tamaruya, Professor of Law at The University of Tokyo, for this special webinar.


Over the last few decades many developed countries have seen a desire on the part of a greater range of donors for more sophisticated and strategic forms of giving. This reflects a range of factors, including changes in social expectations, improved data and data-tools (such as Candid, Tencent Charity and the creation of public charity registers) and the greater availability of institutional forms such as foundations or quasi-foundations. In the United States, such factors are linked to an explosion in the creation of ‘donor advised funds’ (DAFs); being management accounts within a public charity in relation to which the donor can advise their preference for how funds should ultimately be distributed. DAFs appear to offer many of the benefits of a private foundation, without the cost of establishing a new foundation, whilst also being subject to less onerous regulation. Unsurprisingly, this has caused significant consternation about DAFs. For instance, donors enjoy immediate tax breaks while sitting on large sums of money which are not disbursed in a timely manner.

Much comparative work centres on the United States. However, that is not necessarily because there is any less of a desire for institutional support for strategic giving in other jurisdictions. Indeed, as will be discussed, in many jurisdictions, community foundations have prime place in meeting these desires. Accordingly, this presentation takes a very different cross-section, comparing the presence and use of public philanthropic intermediaries such as DAF sponsors in the Asia-Pacific (focussing on Australian and Japan). In addition to providing a comparative account of public philanthropic intermediary regulation, the key contribution it seeks to make is to consider the way in which the advantages and disadvantages of public philanthropic intermediaries might suit them to the contexts of these different jurisdictions and therefore help predict whether they are likely to be a significant feature of the philanthropic landscape and whether they are likely to cause the worries that have surfaced in the United States. 



2024 Annual Conference: Global issues facing charities

Thursday 4 July - Friday 5 July, 2024, National Library, Wellington (NZ) and online

This year's conference will be held in Wellington, New Zealand. Save the date; more to come. As in previous years, the CLAANZ AGM will follow the conference.



Past events


2023 CLAANZ Annual Lecture and 4th John Emerson AM Oration

Wednesday 29 November 2023, Sydney and online

Time: 5–7pm AEDT; 2–4pm AWST; 7–9pm NZDT

Venue: The University of Sydney Law School, Level 2, Law Foyer, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, and streamed online. This event was not recorded.

The Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, in conjunction with the Law Council of Australia Legal Practice Section's Charities and Not-for-Profit Committee, and the University of Sydney Law School, hosted the CLAANZ Annual Lecture and 4th John Emerson AM Oration.

The Oration was delivered by the Hon Justice Mark Leeming, New South Wales Court of Appeal and Challis Lecturer in Equity Sydney Law School, on ‘Statutory Eucalypts in the Law of Charity’. The address focussed on the often hidden interaction between statute law and equity as it relates to the law of charity.

In promoting its objective of charity law education, CLAANZ holds an Annual Public Lecture, which is open to anyone with an interest in charity law and the not-for-profit sector. The Annual Lecture addresses key, contemporary legal issues in the charity and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and New Zealand.


Webinar on Public Benevolent Institutions: Reflections on the new Commissioner’s Interpretation Statement

Wednesday 25 October 2023, online

At the end of August, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission released its eagerly anticipated update to the Commissioner’s Interpretation Statement on Public Benevolent Institutions. The statement contains a range of significant changes from the earlier Interpretation Statement, and incorporates reasoning based on the very recent Equality Australia AAT decision.

This webinar featured two leading PBI legal thinkers (Murray Baird, Prolegis, and Bridgid Cowling, ABL) reflecting their thoughts on the implications of the statement for PBIs or charities considering PBI status. In particular, they discussed what it means for organisations conducting advocacy or preventative activities, or organisations seeking multiple subtype registration.
 
The format was interactive and speakers provided their views briefly before opening to questions and discussion from the floor. The session was chaired by Associate Professor Ian Murray, UWA.

While this webinar was not recorded, please feel free to review the casual speaking notes of Murray Baird and Bridgid Cowling, which are intended to be informal and not comprehensive.


The University-Charity Webinar – Book Launch

Wednesday 30 August 2023, online

Dr Mary Synge’s recent opus The University-Charity: Challenging Perceptions in Higher Education presents a challenge to all those involved in academic or higher education to take a closer look at the institutions they work within, to consider whether those institutions have systems in place to ensure that they behave as charities might be expected, or are required, to behave.

Attendees joined the author online to hear about the key insights arising from her examination of universities through a charity law lens. 

Are most universities rightly characterised as charities – as seems to generally be assumed (including for fiscal concessions)?  For those that are charities, what might this mean for the ways in which they operate – for instance in relation to executive remuneration and governance? What might this mean for the state/charity divide and the ways in which universities are regulated, or otherwise held accountable? In what circumstances can a charitable university be sold, or converted, to a for-profit one?

Despite the focus on universities, the insights are more broadly relevant to governance within the charity sector and its relationship to the state and to the business sector.  

Watch the recording on YouTube.



Workshop: General Themes on the Charity/Business Boundary & Group Decision-Making

Wednesday 26 July, 4 - 5:30pm AEST; Melbourne

Venue: Melbourne Law School, Room 920.

This special workshop on the evening before the CLAANZ conference was an informal opportunity to hear from Professor Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn Law School) and to discuss in more detail the concepts underlying her keynote address at the CLAANZ conference along with her work-in-progress insights from several other projects. 

It was followed by the CLAANZ Annual Conference the day after.



2023 CLAANZ Conference and AGM

Thursday 27 July 2023, Melbourne and online

Thank you to Corrs Chambers Westgarth for kindly hosting our annual conference this year.

The recordings and slides are now available online.

 




ACNC Regulators' Day 

Friday 28 July 2023, Melbourne and online

This discussion followed the conference and AGM and was held in hybrid mode.



Roundtable meeting to discuss the reforms proposed (or missed) by the Charities Amendment Bill 169-2

Tuesday 4 July 2023, 5-6pm NZST / 1-2pm AWST; Wellington (New Zealand) and online

The Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, with the kind support of Grant Thornton, held a hybrid (online and in person) roundtable meeting to discuss the reforms proposed (or missed) by the Charities Amendment Bill 169-2.  The roundtable was held in hybrid format.

The reforms proposed raise some challenging issues, for example regarding their interaction with the underlying law, and will affect every registered charity in New Zealand. The reforms also have wider potential implications. 


Webinar on Productivity Commission Inquiry into Philanthropy

Wednesday 19 April 2023, online

CLAANZ hosted a webinar on Wednesday 19 April from 2-3pm AEST with the Commissioners from the Productivity Commission inquiry into Philanthropy – Alex Robson, Julie Abramson, and Krystian Seibert.

The webinar updated CLAANZ members and friends on the inquiry and provided a forum for attendees to ask questions to the Commissioners before submissions due on 5 May.

Watch the recording on
YouTube.



CLAANZ Annual Lecture & third John Emerson AM Oration 2022

12 December 2022, 5.30 - 6.30pm (AEST), Melbourne and online

The Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand hosted the CLAANZ Annual Lecture and the third John Emerson AM Oration in Melbourne on 12 December 2022, jointly with the Law Council of Australia Legal Practice Section's Charities and Not-for-Profit Committee.

The Oration was delivered by Professor Oonagh Breen and co-chaired by Seak-King Huang, Chair of the Charities and Not-for-Profit Committee, and Associate Professor Ian Murray, Chair of the Board of CLAANZ. The Oration focussed on reviews of charity regulation that have taken place recently in many jurisdictions (including Australia and New Zealand) to learn from key themes on:

  • 'Watch outs' at each stage of the review process.
  • Similarities and differences between statutory and non-statutory reviews.
  • 'Nuts that get cracked' in reviews and those harder 'too hot to handle potato' issues that may be sidelined.
  • Key contributions by lawyers in the process of reform and areas where their input is always necessary.

In promoting its objective of charity law education, CLAANZ holds an Annual Public Lecture, which is open to anyone with an interest in charity law and the not-for-profit sector. The Annual Lecture addresses key, contemporary legal issues in the charity and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and New Zealand.

The 2022 event was held in person at Herbert Smith Freehills in Melbourne, with the option to attend online.

A recording of the annual lecture and oration can be viewed here.


CLAANZ Annual Conference: Charity Law Regulation in Australia and New Zealand - 10 Years on

Friday July 29 2022, 9.00am - 5.00pm (AEST), Melbourne and online

CLAANZ held its annual conference in Melbourne and online on 29 July 2022. CLAANZ is grateful for the support of Arnold Bloch Leibler in hosting the face to face option for this event at their firm and for providing technical support for the event.

More information, including recordings of each conference session, is available here.


2022 ACNC Regulators Day

Thursday July 28 2022, Melbourne and online

The 2022 ACNC Regulators Day focussed on the ACNC's regulation of charities over the past year, the impact of regulation generally on Australia charities and opportunities for the future.


CLAANZ Webinar: Attorney General v Family First New Zealand [2022] NZSC 80: Implications for advocacy by charities and the Charities Act

Thursday 14 July 2022, 3pm - 4pm (NZ Time) 1pm - 2pm (AEST) 11am - 12pm (AWT), Online

CLAANZ held its second webinar for 2022: Attorney General v Family First New Zealand [2022] NZSC 80: Implications for advocacy by charities and the Charities Act. On 28 June 2022, the Supreme Court of New Zealand delivered its decision in Attorney General v Family First New Zealand [2022] NZSC 80 ("Family First"), holding that Family First was not eligible for charitable registration, bringing to a conclusion a process that has lasted for more than a decade. If changes announced by the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector on 2 June 2022 go ahead, this may be the last time the Supreme Court of New Zealand has the opportunity to hear a Charities Act appeal.

Jennifer Batrouney AM QC, who acted pro bono for the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand as intervener, Peter Gunn, who was lead counsel for the Attorney-General, and Sue Barker, pro bono solicitor for the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, discussed the case and its implications. Kate Davenport QC, who also acted pro bono for the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, chaired the discussion.

Presenters: Jennifer Batrouney AM QC (Victorian Bar), Peter Gunn (New Zealand Crown Law), Sue Barker (Director, Sue Barker Charities Law).
Chair:  Kate Davenport QC (New Zealand Bar).

A recording of the webinar can be accessed here.


CLAANZ Webinar: What does a World-Leading Framework of Charities Law Look Like? Reflections on New Zealand Charities Law Reform

Thursday 19 May 2022, 3.00pm - 4.00pm (NZ Time) 1.00pm - 2.00pm (AEST) 11.00am - 12.00pm (AWT), Online

CLAANZ held its first webinar for 2022 on 19 May. It discussed the report "What does a world-leading framework of charities law look like?" which has just been released in fulfilment of the New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Fellowship Te Karahipi Rangahau ā Taiao.

The report makes 70 recommendations, including that the review of the Charities Act 2005 is transferred to an independent body, such as the New Zealand Law Commission, for an independent, first principles (and ideally multi-disciplinary) review taking into account the wider legal framework applicable to charities. The report draws on the experience of comparable jurisdictions and aims to shine light on some of the underlying assumptions and unintended consequences that are causing considerable current difficulty in this area of law in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Presenter: Sue Barker (Director, Sue Barker Charities Law)

Chair: Dr Andrew Butler (Barrister and Chair of the New Zealand Law Foundation Te Manatū a Ture o Aotearoa).

A recording of the webinar can be accessed here.


2022 Journal of Equity Conference: Equity. Charity and Governance

Friday 1 April 2022, 12.30pm - 6.30pm (AEDT), Online

CLAANZ warmly invited all members and friends of CLAANZ to the Journal of Equity conference, hosted by the University of Melbourne.



CLAANZ supported event: John Emerson Oration 2021

Tuesday 30 November 2021, 5.30pm - 7.00pm (AEDT), Melbourne and online

CLAANZ supported the second John Emerson AM Oration, hosted by the Charities and Not-For-Profit Committee of the Legal Practice Section of the Law Council of Australia. The Oration was delivered by Professor Ann O’Connell (Melbourne Law School and Senior Member, Administrative Appeals Tribunal) and chaired by Seak-King Huang, Chair of the Not-for-Profit and Legal Practice and Charities Committee, Legal Practice Section.


Global Citizen and ACNC – Public Benevolent Institution Decision

29 September 2021

The AAT  determined that a charity can be a public benevolent institution (with a purpose of relieving poverty) where that charity pursues its purpose by way of a holistic range of education, advocacy and lobbying activities designed to elicit financial commitments and policy changes from governments and philanthropists. This represented a large shift from the current practice.


CLAANZ 2021 conference: Government and the Sector

5 August 2021 – online in Australia, and with nodes in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in New Zealand 


CLAANZ reinstated its annual conference on 5 August 2021. The conference was hosted online for Australian audiences, and both online and in-person for audiences in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in New Zealand. The theme of the conference was Government and the Sector, which was broadly conceived and covers matters such as regulation, administrative law, tax, the government and charity boundary, outsourcing and political advocacy.
). Find out more here


NFP Researcher Network - Research Engagement Panel Discussion


23 June 2021

For academics who are members, the NFP Researcher Network (sponsored by CLAANZ and ANZTSR and ACNC) held a panel discussion on tips for research engagement. 

CLAANZ online seminar on illegal activities

Tuesday 9 March 2021


CLAANZ is delighted to invite you to a webinar dealing with the current proposal to amend the ACNC regulations in respect of illegal activities. Hear from sector leaders and experts about this important and topical issue. Speakers will include Tim Costello, Myles McGregor-Lowndes, Murray Baird, and Murray WessonFind out more


CLAANZ End of Year Celebratory Event

17 December 2020

CLAANZ marked two significant events for the Charity and NFP sector: the retirement of Professor Fiona Martin from her academic position at UNSW, and celebrated the publication of Professor Ann O’Connell’s landmark book, Taxation of Charities and Not-for-Profits. Find out more. 



CLAANZ webinar: Marilyn Warren AC QC in conversation with Jennifer Batrouney AM QC


Wednesday 2 December

The Hon Marilyn Warren AC QC, in conversation with Jennifer Batrouney AM QC, discussed her experiences with charity law in practice and on the bench, and some of the key questions for Australian charity law today
Find out more.


Charity Law, Accounting, and Regulation Conference 2020: Responding to COVID-19 – how might we #buildbackbetter?


Online conference

Wednesday 4 November 2020

This half day webinar will have a special focus on the sector in New Zealand, and an emphasis on how to rebuild the sector after the pandemic and its aftermath. Find out more here.

Webinar: Charity Advocacy: Recent Developments

Thursday 1 October 2020


The New Zealand Court of Appeal recently handed down its judgment in the case of Family First New Zealand v Attorney-General. This case raises important questions relating to the legal treatment of political advocacy and the law of public benefit in New Zealand. CLAANZ recently intervened in the New Zealand Court of Appeal case, Family First of New Zealand v Attorney-General. The case was heard in October last year, and a CLAANZ team of consisting of Kate Davenport QC, Jennifer Batrouney AM QC, Professor Matthew Harding, and Sue Barker, prepared the CLAANZ submissions and then presented oral arguments in Court. Find out more here

Webinar: Charity Law and Charities: Responding to Crises

Thursday 30 July

The years 2019 to 2020 have seen a series of crises, from bushfires in Australia and mosque shootings in New Zealand to the COVID-19 global pandemic. These crises pose challenges for charities and for charity law. This webinar engages with some of those key challenges through a series of short presentations arranged in two parts: (1) Crises and Fundraising: The Questions Not Asked in the Celeste Barber/New South Wales Rural Fire Service Case; (2) Operational Challenges in Crises. Find out more here


John Emerson AM Oration

The John Emerson AM Oration was held on 7 August 2019. The Oration was delivered by Robert Fitzgerald AM and chaired by Jennifer Batrouney QC, Chair of the Law Council's Not-for-Profit and Legal Practice and Charities Committee. Watch the video of the event here.


2019 CLAANZ Annual Public Lecture


Faith, hope, and charity – religion as a public benefit in modern Australia

Presented by the Hon Justice Sarah Derrington


28 November 2019, Melbourne Law School


This year the CLAANZ annual public lecture was delivered by the Hon Justice Sarah Derrington, the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission. The lecture was held at Melbourne Law School. Justice Sarah Derrington is the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission. Find out more here. The Australian Law Reform Commission has published a copy of Justice Derrington's paper, which is available here

Public Benefit conference


29 November 2019, Melbourne Law School


The Melbourne Law School held a major international conference on 'Exploring Public Benefit in Charity Law' . Speakers included Professor Matthew Harding, Professor Debra Morris, Associate Professor Mary Synge, Professor Adam Parachin, Professor Henry Ergas AO, The Hon Dyson Heydon AC QC, Professor Pauline Ridge and Jennifer Batrouney QC. The conference programme can be viewed here

2019 CLAANZ conference, Melbourne 


Why and How We Value the Charity Sector


1 August 2019 


The 2019 CLAANZ Conference, Why and How We Value the Charity Sector, will be held in Melbourne on Thursday 1 August 2018. The conference will be at the Woodward Conference Centre at the University of Melbourne, followed by a dinner also at the Woodward Conference Centre. Find out more here.


2019 New Zealand CLAANZ conference

The Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (CLAANZ), in conjunction with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and supported by DIA Charities Services hosted Future prospects for charity law, accounting, and regulation conference in Wellington, New Zealand on 11 and 12 April 2019. Find out more here.


Regulation and the Contemporary Not-for-profit: A Summit 

Featuring CLAANZ Annual Keynote Lecture by the Hon Robert French AC


Monday 26 November 2018


In this inaugural NFP UWA Research Group symposium, industry and academics convened to consider the regulatory framework impacting NFPs and charities. The summit involved presentations and roundtables, including the inaugural Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (CLAANZ) annual keynote lecture, which was delivered by the Hon Robert French AC. 

New NFPs UWA Report: Regulation of the Contemporary Not-for-profit
Commissioned by the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, supported by the UWA Public Policy Institute and UWA Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, the report synthesises and analyses themes from discussions and presentations at a recent summit on NFP regulation. The summit included the inaugural CLAANZ keynote lecture by the Hon Robert French AC. Key themes are the need for a national scheme for NFP regulation, need for red tape reduction and need to focus the ACNC’s second object on supporting the sector.
The report can be downloaded here and further information about NFPs UWA is available here.



2018 CLAANZ Conference

The 2018 CLAANZ Conference, Charity Law: What does the future hold?, was held in Melbourne on Thursday 2 August 2018 at the Woodward Conference Centre at the University of Melbourne, followed by a dinner also at the Woodward Conference Centre. On 3 August, the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) kindly invited conference delegates to join them for a day of discussions on charity regulation. Find out more here.


2018 New Zealand CLAANZ Conference


The Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (CLAANZ), in conjunction with 
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)and Parry Field, hosted Perspectives on Charities Law and Regulation in New Zealand conference in Wellington, New Zealand on 26 and 27 April 2018. Find out more here.


Global Citizen and ACNC – Public Benevolent Institution Decision

s