An introduction to the Charity Tribunal

Date last reviewed

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Judge Alison McKenna from the Charity Tribunal explains how to challenge Charity Commission decisions at the Charity Tribunal.



Who should watch this?

Watch this if you are unhappy with a Charity Commission decision and want to know how to use the Charity Tribunal to challenge it. 

The content of this video is accurate as at August 2019 (but see 'Update' section below).

What does the video cover?

The video will cover questions such as:

  • What types of Charity Commission decisions can be appealed?  For example, if the Charity Commission refuses to register a charity, can the Charity Tribunal overturn that decision? 
  • Can a charity represent itself in the Charity Tribunal?  How else can we save on costs?
  • How long does the Charity Tribunal take to decide a case?
  • What do I need to include in an application to the Charity Tribunal?  Is there a time limit?
  • Can we see what the Charity Commission’s response to our case is?
  • What are the different stages leading up to the hearing?
  • Are we obligated to cooperate with the Charity Tribunal?
  • What will happen at the hearing?
  • Are hearings and decisions open to the public?
  • What can I do if I think the Charity Tribunal’s final decision is wrong?

Running time: 24mins

  • Title page (0.23)
  • Introduction (0.23)
  • An overview of the Tribunal (3.34)
  • First tier Tribunal (3.08)
  • First stage of an appeal (2.46)
  • Second stage of an appeal (7.49)
  • The hearing (5.11)
  • Summary (0.41)


Fees - There have been consultations about whether to introduce fees in the Charity Tribunal and so it is possible that these would be introduced in the future. However, according to GOV.UK guidance updated on 10 June 2019, fees are still not applicable. 

Powers - The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 introduced additional regulatory powers for the Charity Commission.  These include a new power for the Charity Commission to direct that a specified action must not be taken by a charity, a power to direct the winding up of a charity, and a power to suspend or disqualify trustees.  These powers are subject to a right of appeal to the Tribunal.  A new right for the Charity Commission to issue an Official Warning to a charity was also introduced and, importantly, is not subject to a right of appeal.  For more information, see

Schedule 6 of the Charities Act 2011 - The tables mentioned in Schedule 6 of the Charities Act 2011 (see Part 4 of 8 of this Free Talk) have been updated by the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016

Special thanks to

Alison McKenna and NCVO.

How did we do?

Did you find this resource useful?  Are there other topics you would like to see covered in a video?  Email us at:


LawWorks, the presenters, and the organisations involved in producing these resources cannot accept any responsibility or liability for the use of the materials and they are not a substitute for taking appropriate legal advice.

Date last reviewed

August 2018


Date of publication

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Area of law

Type of Resource

Year of Publication