Under Fiji law, the Charitable Trusts Act, 1945 (Charitable Trusts Act) provides the legal process to incorporate (establish) a charitable trust. The incorporation of a charitable trust creates a legal "person" that may amongst other things: employ people, hold a bank account, secure office premises, enter contracts and sue and be sued.
To comply with section 2 of the Charitable Trusts Act, the proposed charitable trust must comply with one of the limited number of "charitable purpose[s]" set out in the Charitable Trusts Act. On Wednesday, 7 March 2018 by Legal Notice No. 14, the relevant Minister in exercise of his powers under the Charitable Trusts Act expanded the categories of "charitable purpose" to include:
· the conservation of the environment; and
· the provision of electricity to rural communities and households in Fiji that do not have such access.
For more information on how to incorporate a charitable trust under Fiji law and the potential benefits of doing so, please see our earlier bulletin here
At the date of writing, “charitable purpose” now includes the following:
- the supply of the physical wants of sick, aged, destitute, poor, or helpless persons, or of the expenses of funerals of poor persons
- the education (physical, mental, technical, or social) of the children of the poor
- the reformation of criminals, prostitutes, or drunkards
- the employment and care of discharged criminals
- the provision of general or denominational religious instruction for the people
- the support of libraries, reading-rooms, lectures, and classes for the instruction of the people
- the promotion of athletic sports, wholesome recreations and amusements of the people
- encouragement of skill, industry, and frugality
- rewards for acts of courage and self-sacrifice
- the prevention of cruelty to animals and the education and instruction of the people for the furtherance of that end
- the furtherance of thrift and the improvement of standards of living by education and advice in matters of self-help
- marriage guidance and counselling, the promotion of education and research in marriage guidance and the publication and the dissemination of the results of such promotion
- the relief of distress caused by any disaster affecting the whole or any part of the community
- the erection, laying-out, maintenance, or repair of buildings and places for the furtherance of any of the purposes mentioned
- the provision of electricity to rural communities and households in Fiji that do not have such access
- the conservation of the environment
- any such purpose as may be declared by the Minister to be a charitable purpose.
This legal bulletin is not, and should not be relied on as, legal advice. It is provided for information purposes only.