Law Commission Report – Types of Incorporated Societies

A Diverse Range of Incorporated Societies The Law Commission’s Report, “A New Act for Incorporated Societies” records that “It is clear from Hansard that the original 1895 Act and the 1908 Act were intended to cover what might be referred to as members clubs. What the Act’s drafter, John Salmond could not have anticipated is the sheer diversity of bodies that have come to be incorporated as incorporated societies.” The Report refers to societies such as national sporting bodies that are responsible for multi-million dollar budgets, racing clubs that organise major events, social service organisations that provide services to the community rather than necessarily providing services to their members, health-based organisations that provide services to the general public or those affected by a particular condition, or support those who are caring for those with particular conditions, professional bodies that may have a quasi-regulatory role like Law Societies, private clubs, industry groups that may represent particular industries or coordinate participants in a particular industry, and small sporting, hobby or community groups that may, or may not, have assets. As the Report goes on to say: This very diversity makes it difficult even to talk of the statute currently covering a single not-for-profit sector. In fact it currently covers, and we recommend generally it continue to cover, this broad range of organisations (so long as the individual societies adhere to the essential characteristics of the incorporated societies model). The traditional clubs and associations that perhaps were the object of the original 1895 Act and the current 1908 Act focus on the needs of their particular members, while social service or health...