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Thematic Issue: Abuse of Power / General

Misuse of Power in the Australian Charities Sector


Rosemary Teele Langford and Miranda Webster

Charities are an essential part of Australian civil society and make fundamental contributions to social cohesion and well-being, as well as to the Australian economy. Public trust and confidence in the sector has, however, been damaged by high profile governance failures, despite the advent of a new national regime overseen by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. This article draws attention to gaps in the regulatory frameworks applicable to Australian charities in relation to misuse of charitable assets and makes reform suggestions. Strengthening the charities sector by deterring and sanctioning such misuse more effectively is important in order for the law to hold those who govern and control charities to account and to ensure that such power is not misused.

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(2022) 45(1) UNSWLJ 70: