Charitable trust

Introduction - submenu
Charitable trust
eGanges epistemology

As a charitable trust, Grays Institute was established in Sydney, Australia, on 10th December 2012. In the Australian case, Incorporated Council of Law Reporting of the State of Queensland v Federal Commissioner of Taxation (1971) 125 CLR 659, at 668-9, the High Court of Australia recognized that a not for profit institution with the purpose of producing law reports, qualified as a charitable institution entitled to income tax exemption. Barwick C.J. explained the charitable nature of such a purpose in the following ways:

"Thus the production of law reports is, in my opinion, clearly beneficial to the whole community because of the universal importance of maintaining the socially sustaining fabric of the law." (p.668)

"The sustenance of the law is a benefit of a material kind which enures for the benefit of the whole community. Is not its administration, with regularity, and with as much consistency as a system based on human judgment can attain, ... socially fundamental ... ? ... society cannot exist as such if it is not based upon and protected by justice under law: and nurtured by obedience to law." (p.669)

Windeyer J. added:

"The promotion of the learning of the law and adding to the number of men learned in the law and augmenting their learning are in themselves charitable objects and beneficial to the community." (p.671-2)

The law was described by Windeyer J. as 'a living stream.' (p.672) He may have been influenced by the nineteenth century work of William Whewell, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University, the inventor of the term 'scientist', who explained the development of scientific theory as the increasing abstraction of more general propositions from demonstrated facts, built up like a river system.

Grays Institute will also encourage students to develop applications of eGanges for the Grays Institute Online Library. For this purpose, it will make available, for free, licences of eGanges for construction of student applications, and publish these applications in the student section of the Grays Institute Online Library. Thus students may learn to create educational applications.

Apart from specialist and student legal expert systems, Grays Institute may develop a third section of the Online Library that is educational in another way; this may include, inter alia:

(1) articles which assist people to understand how to construct an eGanges application and

(2) hypothetical eGanges applications that may be proposed by authors for future purposes.

Articles and proposed applications may suggest ways in which the law may be argued or further developed.

In College of Law (Properties) Pty Ltd v Willoughby Municipal Council (1978) 38 LGRA 81, promotion of education in law was held to be a charitable purpose; education was extended to providing information toward a practical end, so that knowledge is imparted and not just accumulated.

The exact wording of law is called black letter law. Application of this law to particular cases requires an understanding of the structures and operations of that law. eGanges provides a framework of structures and operations, i.e. an epistemology, to automate the application of law to cases specified by the user. At the precise point of structure, a link to the exact corresponding black letter law may be shown; these links can use available black letter law databases such as AustLII and similar websites that provide free public access to black letter law. In the Grays Institute Online Library, there is an integration of black letter law and the functioning of that law as understood by legal specialists and students. Making law accessible entails making its structures and operations available through communication, education or automation.

The construction of an eGanges application will usually require research into the structures and operations of a defined area of black letter law; this will increase useful knowledge of the law and provide a means for imparting it. Thus, the charitable purposes of Grays Institute include the necessary research to provide free legal education by way of online legal expert system applications. In Taylor v Taylor (1910) 10 CLR 218; 16 ALR 129, the High Court of Australia upheld as a valid charitable gift, a testamentary disposition for the advancement of scientific research generally. Artificial intelligence is a science and the research to develop legal expert systems falls within that science. Legal expert systems have produced a new form of legal science that must be developed and taught; they have contributed to computer science. There may be some overlap of educational and research purposes, whereby each sustains the other.

The charitable purposes of Grays Institute are fourfold:
(1)providing free online educational access to applied law through the communication of legal expert systems;
(2)providing free online educational access to black letter law through the automation of legal expert systems;
(3)education relevant to (1) and (2); and
(4)research relevant to (1), (2) and (3).