Faith Hope and Charity: the resilience of the charitable trust from the middle ages to the 21st century. The WA Lee Lecture 2011

  • The Honourable Justice Margaret A McMurdo AC President, Queensland Court of Appeal


I hope in this paper to demonstrate both the adaptability of the legal concept of charity to changing knowledge and social needs, and the resilience of charitable trusts as an effective institution for delivering philanthropy. I exhort you to have faith that I can! The paper is in four parts. The first traces the origins and history of the trust with an emphasis on the charitable trust. The second is an analysis of the changing legal notion of charity since the seminal preamble to the Statute of Elizabeth, concluding with the High Court's 2010 pronouncement on the topic in Aid/Watch. The third is a discussion of the present law applicable in Queensland to charitable trusts. Finally, I will discuss aspects of likely imminent reform of this area of the law in Australia.


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