The Charities Bill received Royal Assent on 14 December, becoming the Charities Act 2011. It consolidates existing charities legislation into a single Act of Parliament.
The Charities Act 2011 brings together provisions of the Recreational Charities Act 1958, the Charities Act 1993 and much of the Charities Act 2006, all since amended by other legislation. The Act updates the text and simplifies the structure of the existing legislation, but it does not change the existing law or introduce new policy.
Charity legislation has been criticised for being fragmented and hard to follow, particularly for people acting in a voluntary capacity. The Charities Act 2011 will improve access to the law.
The Charities Act 2011 was prepared by the Law Commission working with the Office for Civil Society with the support of the Charity Commission. The Act will come into force in March 2012.