THE CHARITY TRIBUNAL RULES (NI) 2010

IN THE CHARITY TRIBUNAL FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

APPLICATION NUMBER 12/14

BETWEEN:

 

STEPHEN McALISTER

Appellant

-and-

 

THE CHARITY COMMISSION FOR NORTHERN IRELAND

   Respondent

 

1.      This is a record of a decision of the Tribunal made in respect of an application brought by Mr Stephen McAlister (“the Appellant”). The application is to extend time for the bringing of an appeal by the Appellant against a decision to suspend him as a Trustee of the Disabled Police Officers Association Northern Ireland (“the Association”). The Appellant’s application was not opposed by the Respondent. The context for this decision is set out in the decision in the related case of Crawford v The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. The principles applicable to an application to extend time are set out in the Crawford decision.

 

2.      Upon the hearing of this appeal, the Appellant was represented by Mr Keith Gamble, Solicitor, of Messrs Holmes & Moffitt. Mr Frank O’Donoghue QC appeared on behalf of the Respondent. The Tribunal is grateful for their oral and written submissions.

 

3.      The Appellant was informed of the Respondent’s decision to suspend him as a Trustee by letter dated 15 September 2014. Thereafter, Mr Gamble wrote to the Respondent on 14 October 2014 and 17 October 2014, seeking information and setting out various concerns which the Appellant had about his suspension, and raising the question of a review. The Respondent responded on 17 and 21 October 2014. On 29 October 2014, Mr Gamble again wrote to the Respondent about whether the decision was being reviewed. The letter referred to an appeal and applicable time limits. An appeal was thereafter lodged on 12 November 2014. The appeal was lodged out of time.

 

4.      In circumstances where there was contact between the Appellant’s solicitors and the Respondent about a review of the decision to suspend, and with respect to an appeal, all during the time limit, the Tribunal considers that there was a satisfactory reason for the delay in filing the appeal.

 

5.      The Tribunal therefore extends time for the filing of an appeal by the Appellant.

 

Mr A Colmer (Chairman)

NI Charity Tribunal

18 December 2014