Charity law
Comply with your charitable objects

Most schools, universities and students' unions are charities, and registered with the Charity Commission.

Students' unions can spend money on holding debates, motions or speaker events on controversial current political issues - even if they don't affect students as students - as part of their educational objects.

This power could be overridden by other legal considerations such as defamatory statements, harassment, the union's duty of care to its members and guests, and the university's Prevent duty.

To ensure that debates and motions further the union's proper educational purpose, the union should ensure that debates are conducted in a balanced and non-partisan manner so as to ensure a fair opportunity for different viewpoints to be expressed.

Paragraph 3.5 of the Charity Commission's Guidance CC9 (Speaking out: guidance on campaigning and political activity by charities) says: "... political activity may be carried out by charities, but only as a means of supporting their charitable purposes".