Acts of Charity and Acts of Terrorism: Regulation and Prosecution
in Mitsilegas, V., Hufnagel, S., Moiseinenko, A., Yanan, S., and Mingxiang, L., Transnational Crime: European and Chinese Perspectives (Routledge, Abingdon, 2018) 46-64
Posted: 27 Nov 2018
Date Written: June 3, 2016
The post-9/11 intensified attention to the financing of terrorism has often focused on the interaction with the activities of charities. Their vulnerabilities have been most underlined by the Financial Action Task Force. The resultant qualitative prominence given to anti-terrorism financing activities and legislation is not evidentially translated into quantitative impact. Nevertheless, the policy persists and is delivered in the United Kingdom both by regulation and laws, including prosecution, which will be assessed in this paper. By way of internal regulation, imposed through duties of watchfulness and disclosure, the charity is expected to monitor its own business and to adopt procedures which guard against terrorism financing. External regulation is principally applied by the Charity Commission. Its powers appear sweeping, but they have been in practice hobbled by two limitations. One is the choice of non-registration of not-for-profit bodies. The other is the 'green light' regulatory approach of the Charity Commission. Criticisms came to a head in early 2014, and have pressured the Charity Commission to make reforms. Yet, some of the consequences of stronger suppression of terrorism financing may be unpalatable. Relative indulgence for voluntary organisations has contrasted with severity for committed individuals. Furthermore, competing public goods in terms of participation in civil society and the provision of humanitarian relief have been compromised.
Keywords: Terrorism, regulation, prosecution, charity
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K19, K30, K33, K42, N40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation