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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am one of several trustees of an charity.Our Code of

Customer Question

I am one of several trustees of an charity.Our Code of Conduct has been recorded in the minutes as agreed by all trustees as applying to all who attend our event.We work by consensus.All the trustees just heard two of the trustees say that if an individuals make a political protest at our event and breaks our Code of Conduct those two trustees will not agree any punitive actions as outlined in the Code of Conduct because they agree with the protesters.They said that in front of the main protesters. Which meansyy that the protesters now believe they will not be held to the Code of Conduct.To me that breaks the code of conduct and so can we ask that the two trustees should stand aside in any decisions regarding the protesters or what they protest as they have a conflict of interest.I am one of several trustees of an charity.Our Code of Conduct has been recorded in the minutes as agreed by all trustees as applying to all who attend our event.We work by consensus.All the trustees just heard two of the trustees say that if an individuals make a political protest at our event and breaks our Code of Conduct those two trustees will not agree any punitive actions as outlined in the Code of Conduct because they agree with the protesters.They said that in front of the main protesters. Which means that the protesters now believe they will not be held to the Code of Conduct.To me that breaks the code of conduct and so can we ask that the two trustees should stand aside in any decisions regarding the protesters or what they protest as they have a conflict of interest.(The issue of protest is the presence of individuals because they are transgender - I know that if it happens it is illegal and do not want it and want the code of conduct strong, I do know we are backed by law but also need the individuals to know that the trustees will not support them by misusing their position within the charity).
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 7 months ago.
There is one rider that goes with this reply and that is that you have to absolutely sure about what the 2 trustees said.If they said that political protest at the meeting did not, in their view, breach the code of conduct then that is another matter.However , if they said that the protest was in breach of the code of conduct but they would not enforce the code of conduct then they are in breach of the code for failing to enforce it. They are trustees and their function is to act in the interests of the agreed aims and rules of the charity irrespective of their personal opinion ( like towing the party line in politics) if they feel unable to do this they should resign.I hope this helps , best regardsMichael

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