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The Development of the Public Benefit Requirement for Charitable Trusts in the Nineteenth Century

Mills, M; (2016) The Development of the Public Benefit Requirement for Charitable Trusts in the Nineteenth Century. Journal of Legal History , 37 (3) pp. 269-302. 10.1080/01440365.2016.1235773. Green open access

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Abstract

The first express judicial reliance on the public benefit requirement for charitable trusts to conclusively determine charitable validity seems to occur in 1862, although implied references to similar ideas are seen up to a century previously. With limited exceptions, the origin of the public benefit requirement has been under-examined. This article argues that a multi-factorial and contextual approach best explains its adoption in the nineteenth century. Three developments in nineteenth-century law and society encouraged judges to broaden charity law: (1) increasing religious pluralism, (2) increasing state education, and (3) regular income taxation. These changes, combined with the formalization of the doctrine of precedent, required both some limit on the scope of charity law and a new substantive justification for novel decisions on charitable validity. This article argues that judges and lawyers, whether intentionally or subconsciously, borrowed ideas of public benefit from closely related mortmain cases to develop the public benefit requirement.

Type: Article
Title: The Development of the Public Benefit Requirement for Charitable Trusts in the Nineteenth Century
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/01440365.2016.1235773
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01440365.2016.1235773
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Journal of Legal History on 20 October 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01440365.2016.1235773
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1523811
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