The Charities (Jersey) Law 2014 (the "Charities Law") is being brought into force on a staged basis, beginning today, as part of the Island's initiative to strengthen and develop Jersey's position as a centre of excellence for philanthropic wealth management. It is being implemented in stages, to allow for various preliminary matters to be completed first, before the Charities Law becomes fully effective. These preliminary matters include the appointment of the Charity Commissioner, the issuance of guidance by the Commissioner, and the introduction of supporting regulations and orders.
During this initial stage, whilst only certain provisions are in force, the remainder of the Charities Law will effectively be dormant, so that the customary law of Jersey in respect of what is charitable will continue to apply, and it will not be possible to register as a charity under the Charities Law.
Trusts and foundations are the two key structures used for philanthropy in Jersey, with the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984 and the Foundations (Jersey) Law 2009 both placing a strong emphasis on the importance of flexibility, allowing for the creation of structures tailored to meet individual client requirements. Once the Charities Law becomes fully effective, it will complement these two pieces of legislation by offering a system of registration in the Island, for those wishing to register structures as charities.
Jersey is an attractive jurisdiction in which to establish philanthropic structures for a variety of reasons. As well as allowing clients to pursue philanthropic ventures tailored to their own particular passions, the Island offers:
- stability (politically, economically and geographically);
- a robust and highly regarded regulatory regime;
- a well-respected judicial system with adherence to the rule of law; and
- a depth and breadth of experience amongst its professional advisers.
Added to this list is the fact that Jersey is readily accessible from the UK (with several daily flight connections and a flying time to London of under an hour) so that, for clients with business interests or family connections in London or elsewhere in the UK, choosing the Island also makes logistical and practical sense.
Please see our briefing in relation to charities registering under the Charities Law.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.