Re Besterman’s WT (unreported), as cited in McGovern v AG [1982] Ch 321, 352-3

Key point

  • Requirements were laid on when a trust for research will be deemed charitable: 1. it must be concerning a useful subject, 2. the result must be intended for dissemination and 3. the trust must be for the public benefit

Slade J

  • A trust for research will ordinarily qualify as a charitable trust if, but only if
    1. the subject matter of the proposed research is a useful subject of study; and
    2. it is contemplated that knowledge acquired as a result of the research will be disseminated to others; and
    3. the trust is for the benefit of the public, or a sufficiently important section of the public.
  • In the absence of a contrary context, however, the court will be readily inclined to construe a trust for research as importing subsequent dissemination of the results thereof.
  • Furthermore, if a trust for research is to constitute a valid trust for the advancement of education, it is not necessary either:
    • that a teacher/pupil relationship should be in contemplation, or
    • that the persons to benefit from the knowledge to be acquired should be persons who are already in the course of receiving ‘education’ in the conventional sense.
Charitable purpose trust cases
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