(as amended on the 5 January, 1977, 20 May, 1992, 10 May, 2007)
The Canon Law Society of Great Britain & Ireland is a Charitable Trust established by Deed of Trust and described as “The Canon Law Society Trust”.
The objects of the Society are shown as “the fostering and promotion by any lawful charitable means of the study and interest in the Canon Law and its administration and practice including its relation to other branches of learning.
- In this Constitution the following expressions shall where the context so permits have the meanings respectively assigned to them as follows:-
(a ) “Canon Law” means the Canon Law of the Catholic Church;
(b) “Catholic” means Roman Catholic in communion with the See of Rome;
(c) “the Society” means the Canon Law Society;
(d) “the Trust Deed” means the Trust Deed to which this Constitution is attached as the second Schedule;
(e) “the Trustees” means the Trustees for the time being of the Trust Deed whether original additional or substituted.
2. The interpretation Act 1978 shall apply to this Constitution as to an Act of Parliament.
The name of the Society shall be the Canon Law Society of Great Britain & Ireland.
The objects of the Society shall be the fostering and promotion by any lawful charitable means of the study of and interest in the Canon Law and its administration and practice including its relation to other branches of learning.
- Membership of the Society shall be either Ordinary, Honorary or Library.
- Application for Ordinary Membership shall be made to the Committee of the Society and shall be supported by the nomination of two Ordinary Members. The Committee shall have the right to accept or reject any application.
- Only Ordinary Members shall have the right to vote at General Meetings of the Society.
- The Committee may in its absolute discretion admit Library Members of the Society and terminate Library Membership. Library Membership entitles the Institution only to receive the publications of the Society.
- The Committee may in its absolute discretion admit Honorary Members of the Society and terminate their membership. Honorary Members shall not have the right to vote at General Meetings of the Society.
- An Ordinary Member shall cease to be a Member of the Society if having failed to pay his annual subscription for two successive years he omits to pay the arrears of subscriptions due to the Society within fourteen days of the date of the second of two notices given to him of such arrears. Any such person may be readmitted as a Member of the Society by the Committee on such terms and conditions as they see fit to impose. The same applies to Library Membership.
- If the Committee is of the opinion that the continued membership of an Ordinary Member would be contrary to the interests of the Society that Member shall be invited to resign: if he shall have failed to do so in writing within twenty-one days he shall be deemed to have ceased to be a Member of the Society but he shall have a right of appeal to the Society. Such an appeal shall be in writing and shall be heard and determined by a Committee appointed for that purpose by the Society.
The annual subscription payable by each Ordinary Member shall be fixed from time to time by the Society in General Meeting. All such subscriptions shall be paid to the Trustees or to their order.
- Meetings and Conferences
- A General Meeting of the Society (hereinafter called “the Annual General Meeting”) shall be held once in each calendar year.
- Other General Meetings of the Society shall be called Extra-ordinary General Meetings and shall be held at such times as the Committee shall from time to time decide. Provided that twenty Ordinary Members of the Society may summon a meeting by written notice to the Honorary Secretary stating the business which they wish to be discussed at that meeting.
- All General Meetings of the Society shall be summoned by the Honorary Secretary giving to the Members one month’s notice in writing stating the place and time at which the General Meeting is to be held and the business to be transacted thereat. Provided that in case of urgency the President or the Committee may instruct the Honorary Secretary to summon a General Meeting by not less than fourteen days’ notice as aforesaid.
- The President shall if present take the chair at all General Meetings of the Society. In his absence the Ordinary Members present shall elect one of their number to be the Chairman of that meeting.
- No person other than a Trustee of the Trust Deed who is not a Member of the Society shall without the leave of the Chairman be present at any General Meeting of the Society or at any meeting of the Committee.
- The quorum for any General Meeting of the Society shall be twenty Ordinary Members or one-tenth of the total number of Ordinary Members whichever shall be the lesser.
- In case of an equality of votes at any General Meeting of the Society the Chairman of that Meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
- Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution all questions shall be decided by a majority of the votes of those Ordinary Members present and voting at a General Meeting of the Society.
- At every Annual General Meeting of the Society reports shall be presented (a) by the Honorary Secretary on the work of the Committee since the last Annual General Meeting and (b) by the Honorary Treasurer together with the accounts of the Society.
- The Committee
- (a) The Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Society, namely the President, the Honorary Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer and three Ordinary Members of the Society. Provided however that the Committee shall have power to co-opt not more than two other Members for such purposes and for such period not exceeding one year as the Committee shall decide.
(b) All the members of the Committee other than any co-opted members shall be Catholics.
2. (a) The President shall be elected from among the Ordinary Members at an Annual General Meeting of the Society for a period of three years. He shall be eligible for re-election for a further term of office but he shall not thereafter be eligible for re-election as President until he has been out of office for a period of at least six years. The President shall enter upon his office immediately upon his election.
(b) The President shall if present be ex officio Chairman of all Meetings of the Committee and of all conferences, lectures, seminars, discussions or courses of study held or organised by the Society or the Committee.
(c) In his absence the Committee shall appoint one of their number not being an Officer of the Society to take the chair.
3. All the other Members of the Committee other than any co-opted Members after being proposed and seconded by other Ordinary Members shall be elected by ballot from among the Ordinary Members at an Annual General Meeting of the Society for a period of three years and shall be eligible for re-election.
4. The Honorary Secretary shall be a member ex-officio of all Sub-Committees of the Society.
5. The Meetings of the Committee shall be convened by or at the direction of the President on giving to the other Members of the Committee not less than seven or in a case of urgency three days’ prior written notice specifying the business to be transacted at that meeting. Provided that:
(a) in the event of a vacancy in the office of President a meeting may be convened by the Honorary Secretary on giving the like notice, and
(b) any two Members of the Committee may convene a meeting by giving to the other Members not less than seven days prior notice in writing specifying the matters they propose to be discussed at that meeting.
6. The quorum for any Meeting of the Committee shall be three Members.
7. Except as otherwise provided in any rules made by the Committee and for the time being in force all questions shall be decided by a single majority of those Members present and voting at that meeting of the Committee. Provided that in the event of an equality of votes the Chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
8. Under the general direction of the Committee the Honorary Secretary shall keep Minutes of all General Meetings of the Society and of all meetings of the Committee and shall conduct the correspondence of the Society.
9. Subject to the directions and control of the Trustees the Honorary Treasurer shall on behalf of the Trustees collect and keep a record of all the subscriptions of the Ordinary Members and shall manage and keep an account of the finances of the Society. He shall report to the Committee those Ordinary Members who are in arrear with their annual subscriptions.
10. Any Member of the Committee other than a co-opted Member who ceases for any reason to be an Ordinary Member of the Society shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Committee.
11. In the event of any vacancy among the Members of the Committee other than co-opted Members the Society shall at its next General Meeting elect an Ordinary Member to fill that vacancy but the Member so elected shall only hold office for the unexpired term of office of the Member in whose place he has been elected.
12. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution the Committee may make, vary or revoke rules for the conduct of its affairs.
13. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and to any directions of the Society in General Meeting the Committee shall conduct the affairs of the Society and shall exercise any functions delegated to it by the Society in General Meeting.
- Carrying out Objectives of the Society
For the purpose of carrying out the objects specified in Clause 3 hereof the Society or the Committee may hold or organise or assist in holding or organising conferences, lectures, seminars, discussions and courses of study whether in the United Kingdom or abroad on subjects pertaining to the Canon Law or any aspect thereof and either in the course of or apart from any General Meeting of the Society.
- Publication in the name of the Society
Any publication or media interview or recording by any other means in the name of the Society must have the prior approval of the Committee or the President.
Any Member of the Society appointed to be the author or editor of a publication issued in the name of the Society may at any time be removed from that office by the Committee.
- Additions to and Amendments of the Constitution
The provisions of this Constitution may be added to, amended or revoked on the following conditions:
- Any resolution to add to amend or revoke the provisions of this Constitution or any of them shall be proposed to a General Meeting of the Society either by the Committee or by not less than twenty Ordinary Members who shall have signed and submitted a written proposal to this effect to the Committee not less than two months before the date of the said General Meeting.
- The text of the proposed addition amendment or revocation shall be incorporated in the notice of the said General Meeting issued in accordance with the provisions of Clause 6 (II) hereof.
- No resolution to make any addition to amendment or revocation of this Constitution shall be valid if:
(a) it is in conflict with any provision of the Trust Deed;
(b) it should have the effect of making any of the objects of the Trust or of the Society non-charitable or of permitting any part of the Trust Fund or the income thereof or any part of the assets or income of the Society to be applied for non-charitable purposes; and,
(c) it is not passed by a majority of two-thirds of the Ordinary Members present and voting by ballot at the said General Meeting.
- Notices of all General Meetings of the Society shall be given to the Trustees and to the Ordinary and Honorary Members.
- The provisions of Section 81 of the Charities Act 1993 or any statutory modification or substitution thereof shall apply to the giving of notices which are required or authorised to be given by this Constitution.
- Dissolution of the Society
- A resolution to dissolve the Society shall be proposed to a General Meeting of the Society either by the Committee or by not less than twenty Ordinary Members who shall have signed and submitted a written proposal to this effect to the Committee not less than two months before the date of the said General Meeting.
- No resolution to dissolve the Society shall be valid unless it is passed at the General Meeting mentioned in Sub Clause (I) hereof by a majority of two-thirds of all the Ordinary Members who may record their votes either personally or by post and has been confirmed at a subsequent General Meeting of the Society held not less than one month after the previous General Meeting.
- After payment of all the just debts and expenses due by the Society the capital and income shall be held by the Trustees to be applied in accordance with the provisions of Clause 4 of the Trust Deed.