In a judgment delivered yesterday, Jackson J of the Supreme Court of Queensland had to decide whether various gifts to Oxfam Australia “for the purposes of [various educational activities in developing countries]” were absolute gifts, conditional gifts, or charitable trusts for the specified purpose.

The problem arose because Oxfam could no longer fulfil the specified purposes, as the particular projects had either already been wound up, or were being wound up by the time of the testator’s death.

It was held that no trust was created, but that the gifts were conditional gifts.  As a result, because Oxfam couldn’t fulfil the condition, the gifts failed and fell into residue.  Oxfam is the residuary beneficiary of the will, so will receive the gifts through residue, free of the conditions.

The judgment was delivered ex tempore so there is no published decision as yet.  Hopefully a transcript will be available soon.  The decision is Bryan v Oxfam Australia & Anor, unreported, Jackson J, 25 August 2015, BS 6762/15.