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Chapter 3 - Public Benefit and the Substantive Public Law-Private Law Divide

Kathryn Chan, The Public-Private Nature of Charity Law (Oxford: Hart Bloomsbury, 2016)

39 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2018  

Kathryn Chan

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2016

Abstract

The rule that an institution must be ‘for the public benefit’ in order to be charitable is both the most distinguishing, and the most controversial, substantive doctrine of the law of charities. In this piece I argue that the public benefit rule is a doctrinal hybrid, which feels the strength of public law and private law thinking in equal or near equal measure. I trace how the equilibrium between the doctrine’s constituent public law and private law elements has changed in recent years, and compare the public benefit rule with the quintessentially public law rule that government must act 'in the public interest'. The final version of this piece forms one chapter of a longer book, the central project of which is to map the relationship of the law of charities to the contested categories of ‘public law’ and ‘private law’.

Keywords: charity law; public law-private law divide; public benefit

Suggested Citation

Chan, Kathryn, Chapter 3 - Public Benefit and the Substantive Public Law-Private Law Divide (July 1, 2016). Kathryn Chan, The Public-Private Nature of Charity Law (Oxford: Hart Bloomsbury, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3108738

Kathryn Chan (Contact Author)

University of Victoria - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 2300, STN CSC
McGill at Ring Rds (Fraser Bldg)
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3B1
Canada

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