Country Idealist Profiles

Australia – Incorporated Associations

All states and territories now have incorporation legislation for associations. The feature of these models is that members are immune from personal liability at the suit of third parties in their capacity as members. In relation to the liabilities faced by committee members, Fletcher contends that ‘committee members in all jurisdictions owe in the same measure, the common law and equitable duties which law and equity have imposed on company directors.’

Incorporated associations in all jurisdictions are granted corporate status and, as a result, gain all the traditional legal attributes of a corporation including:

• recognition as a separate legal entity with perpetual succession and a common seal;
• an ability to contract;
• an ability to acquire, hold and dispose of real or personal property; and
• an ability to sue or be sued in its own name.

The legislation was enacted to give members of non-profit organisations the same rights as their for-profit counterparts.

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/BondLRev/1998/16.html

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