Jan 19, 2017

Commission and Jehovah's Witnesses call off legal action

Civil Society
19 Jan 2017

The Charity Commission is able to continue with its inquiry into safeguarding concerns at the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, after settling legal proceedings.

In June 2014 the commission opened statutory inquiries into two Jehovah’s Witness charities, The Watch Tower Bible and Society of Britain, the national body of the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Manchester New Moston Congregation, to investigate how the charity safeguards children and adults at risk.

Media reports about a “disfellowship” meeting where women were expected to recount their experience of child abuse in front of the accused abuser – who had previously been jailed for the offence.

As part of its investigation the Commission had issued a production order requiring the charity to share documents. The charity challenged the commission’s ruling by way of judicial review.

In a statement today, the Charity Commission said it has “obtained additional information from the charity and other sources” so it has withdrawn the order and the charity has withdrawn its application for judicial review.

“With the legal proceedings now settled, the commission will continue to work with the charity to establish the facts and understand the charity’s safeguarding policy, procedures and practices in order to explore the issues that are the subject of the ongoing statutory inquiry and address the commission’s regulatory concerns,” the regulator said.

he investigation into a second charity Manchester New Moston Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is also ongoing.


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