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MAY 2015: The Law of Charity
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When: 5/8/2015

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The Law of Charity

May 8, 2015

Faculty of Law

University of Montreal


Charity is big business.  At present, it is estimated that Canada has more than 85,000 charitable organisations holding more than $55 billion in assets.  In the United States, the numbers are even more staggering, where nearly 300,000 charities combine to control almost $3 trillion.  The situation is the same in other Commonwealth countries, where massive amounts of money is held by private entities engaged in providing services designed to relieve poverty, advance education, promote religion or provide other benefits to the public.


Rather surprisingly, until recently, the organisation and activities of charitable foundations have largely escaped public notice or substantial government regulation.  Indeed, it is somewhat surprising that with so much money moving about the voluntary sector governments have not been more aggressive in attempting to ascertain how that money is obtained and how it is spent.  This is especially puzzling given the fact that one of the most important aspects of charitable organisations is that their income is generally tax free.


The past decade has seen a dramatic shift in governments' approach to the problems of the charitable sector.  Legislators and policy-makers have begun to turn their attention to the activities of private sector charities with a view toward regulating their work and making their operations more transparent.


This conference will bring together scholars from around the common law world to consider both the normative and practical questions of regulating charities.  It will discuss the future of charities law and develop both avenues for continuing research as well as concrete proposals for reform.


Keynote Speaker:

Judge Alison McKenna, Principal Judge, First-tier Tribunal (Charity) (England & Wales)


Participants include:

Mary Synge (Cardiff)​​​​

Matthew Harding (Melbourne)

Adam Parachin (Western)​​​

Michael Lubetsky (Davies)

Oonagh Breen (UCD)​​​​

Mark Sidel (Wisconsin)

Dana Brakman Reiser (Brooklyn)​​

Aline Grénon (Ottawa)

Evelyn Brody (Chicago-Kent)​​​

Roger Colinvaux (Catholic)

Debra Morris (Liverpool)​​​

Kathryn Chan (Victoria)

Anne-Sophie Hulin (McGill)​​​

Hubert Picarda QC


Registration is free

Complete details may be found on the university’s website at


For more information or to register:

An application for recognition for 6 CLE credits is pending with the Barreau du Québec

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