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Our Constitution – ASLLUK

Our Constitution

Name
1. The association will be named “The Association of Sri Lankan Lawyers in the UK.

Objects
2. The Objects of the association shall be to:

a) Promote the welfare and interests of all Sri Lankan Lawyers in the UK with the object of enabling all members to develop their professional work and conduct to meet current levels of competence and efficiency;

(b) Further research and provide education and training in law and practice within the UK

(c) Co-operate with other organisations whose objects are similar to those of the Association; and

(d) Promote interaction among solicitors, barristers, academics and Members of the Judiciary in the UK by organising social events with and among members and others.

Membership

3 All persons shall be eligible to become members of the Association if they support its objects. There shall be two membership categories, Full Members and Associate Members.

4 Full Members shall include:

(a) Attorneys-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka who are ordinarily resident in the UK ;

(b) Members of the Bar or admitted Solicitors in England and Wales , Northern Ireland and Scotland or members of the Faculty of Advocates
in Scotland ; and

(c) Pupil barristers and trainee Solicitors.

5. Associate Members shall include:

(a) Persons who are or have been teachers of law in a recognised institution;

(b) Fellows, Members or Associates of the Institute of Legal Executives;

(c) Other persons having connections with the teaching, practice or administration of the law who, in the opinion of the Committee, would be likely to make a valuable contribution to the work of the Association; and

(d) Law students.

6. The Associate Members shall have no voting rights.

7. Any eligible person who wishes to become a Member shall submit to the General Secretary a signed application in writing, together with a bank standing order mandate for the appropriate subscription and shall notify the General Secretary of his or her postal and e-mail addresses. The Committee may in its discretion refuse to admit any applicant to the membership. The Treasurer shall be responsible to keep and maintain a Membership Register.

8 The Association in any of its General Meetings may on the recommendation of the Committee elect any person as a Patron or an Honorary Member of the Association.

9. Membership of the Association shall terminate:

(a) Upon the Member ceasing to be eligible for membership;

(b) Upon receipt by the General Secretary of the Member’s written notice of resignation;

(c) If the Member’s subscription shall be six months in arrears; or

(d) If the Member shall be expelled under Rule 10, by a vote of two thirds of the Members present and voting at a General Meeting on a resolution presented for that purpose.

Expulsion of Members
10. A Member may be expelled where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee that the member:

(a) Has acted against the interests of the Association;

(b) Has acted in such a manner to bring the legal profession to disrepute; or

(c) Has been found to be guilty of such unbefitting conduct by the Law Society or the General Council of the Bar or other appropriate Regulatory Body.

Office Bearers and the Executive Committee
11. The Association shall have a President, a Chairman of the Executive Committee, two Vice Presidents, a General Secretary, an Assistant General Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Assistant Treasurer, an Editor, an Assistant Editor, a Chief Organiser and an Assistant Organiser as it’s office bearers who shall hold office until death, resignation or removed from office and or until the next Annual General Meeting.

12. The Association shall have an Executive Committee consisting of the patrons, the office bearers, twelve elected Members, and not more than five co-opted Members. One of the Co-opted Members shall be elected from the Associate Members.

13 The Co-opted Members shall be selected by the Executive Committee and co-option decisions shall be made with a view to ensuring that the constitution of the Executive Committee reflects the membership from time to time.

14. Subject to Rule 17, the office bearers and other members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by show of hands at the Association’s Inaugural Meeting and thereafter by the Members present at Annual General Meetings.

15. Nominations for election of any person as an office bearer or a member of the Executive Committee may be made by the Executive Committee or by written notice given by two members and signed by the candidate. Nominations (other than those made by the Executive Committee) shall be delivered to the General Secretary not less than twenty-one days before the Annual General Meeting. Retiring Officers and members of the Executive Committee shall be eligible for re-election.

16. All contested elections for an office bearer or membership of the Executive Committee may be conducted by ballot of the Members present at the Annual General Meeting by single non-transferable votes.

17. If there shall be a vacancy for any office bearer, the Executive Committee shall appoint one of the other office bearers or an elected member of the Executive Committee to fill the vacancy until the close of the next Annual General Meeting.

18. Co-opted Members of the Executive Committee shall hold office until the close of the Annual General Meeting following their co-option.

19. The tenure of all members of the Executive Committee shall be subject to the terms of this Rule. Any Executive Committee member who fails to attend three consecutive Executive Committee meetings without reasonable excuse shall be deemed automatically to have resigned from his office and the Executive Committee. The remaining members of the Executive Committee shall have power to co-opt any Member of the Association to fill the resulting vacancy, subject to the limit in Rule 12.

Annual General Meeting
20. An Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held at least once in every calendar year. It shall be held on such a day as may be appointed by the Executive Committee, being not more than fifteen months after the previous Annual General Meeting.

21. The business at the Annual General Meeting shall be such as may be required by the Rules or directed by the Executive Committee together with any resolution of which notice in writing to the General Secretary signed by two Members has been given not less than twenty-one days before the meeting. Any other matter may be raised in the discretion of the Chairman of the meeting without notice for purposes of discussion only.

22. The General Secretary shall give to each Member not less than thirty days written notice of the date, time and place of the Annual General Meeting. The General Secretary shall, not less than ten days before the date of the meeting send to each Member an agenda specifying the business to be conducted at the meeting and the names of candidates for election.

Special General Meetings
23. A Special General Meeting of the Association shall be held:

(a) If requisitioned by the Executive Committee; or

(b) On the requisition of not less than one quarter of paid up Members, which shall be made in writing to the General Secretary specifying the business for which such a meeting is to be requisitioned, and no other business shall be transacted at that meeting.

24. The General Secretary shall give to each Member not less than fourteen days written notice of any Special General Meeting, specifying the date, time and place of the meeting and the business to be transacted.

Proceedings at General Meetings
25. Accidental failure to give notice of a General Meeting or send an agenda to any member in due time or at all shall not invalidate the proceedings at the General Meetings.

26. Subject to Rule 16, voting at a General Meeting shall be by show of hands. In the event of equality of votes the Chair of the meeting shall have a casting vote.

27. The President of the Association or in his or her absence one of the Vice Presidents shall take the chair at any General Meeting. In the absence of both the President and a Vice President, the Members present at the meeting shall elect a chair. In the absence of the General Secretary or the assistant Secretary, the chair of the meeting shall appoint a member to take the minutes of the meeting.

28. The quorum of any General Meeting shall be not less than twenty one (21) paid up Members of the Association.

29. If the business of a General Meeting is not concluded within the time available, the meeting shall be adjourned to such time and place, as the chair of the meeting shall direct.

Powers of the Executive Committee and Executive Committee meetings
30. So far as not otherwise provided in this Constitution and subject to any directions, which may be given by a resolution of the Association in any General Meeting, the affairs of the Association shall be controlled and directed by the Executive Committee.

31. The President of the Association or in his/her absence, the Chairman of the Executive Committee shall take the chair at any meeting of the Executive Committee. In the absence of both the President and the Chairman, the Members present at the meeting shall elect a chair.

32. The quorum at any meeting of the Executive Committee shall be seven Members of the Executive Committee.

33. Any Member of the Executive Committee may send an alternative who is a Member of the Association to act and vote in that Members place at any meeting of the Committee, which that Member is unable to attend.

34. The chair of any meeting shall have a casting vote in the event of equality of votes.

35. Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be convened at such times and places as shall be agreed by the Executive Committee and may also be convened on the requisition of any Officer Bearer or any three Members of the Executive Committee. The General Secretary shall give to each Member of the Executive Committee not less than seven days’ notice of any meeting, but the period of notice may be abridged in cases of urgency. Accidental failure to give notice to any member in due time or at all shall not invalidate the proceedings at any meeting.

36. The Executive Committee may from time to time make, repeal and amend all such regulations (not inconsistent with these rules) as it shall think expedient for the management and well being of the Association. All such regulations made by the Executive Committee under this rule shall be binding on the Members until repealed by the Executive Committee afterwards or set aside by a resolution at any General Meeting of the Association.

37. The Executive Committee may appoint sub-committees for specific purposes and may co-opt any person (whether or not a member of the Association) to such a sub-committee.

38. The Executive Committee shall at each Annual General Meeting report to the Members on its conduct of the affairs of the Association since the previous Annual General Meeting.

Subscriptions and Finance
39. The subscriptions for a year shall be such sum or sums as may be determined by the Executive Committee from time to time in accordance with Rule 42, but there shall be no charge if a Member is a student, pupil barrister or trainee solicitor on the date on which their subscription falls due.

40. Subject to Rule 42, subscriptions shall be paid by standing order on joining the Association and thereafter on 01 February of each year (“the Renewal Date”). Any Member joining the Association on or after 01 September in any year shall pay one year’s subscription from the date of joining to the last day of January of the following year.

41. Any Member who is a student, pupil barrister or a trainee solicitor and who wishes to renew their membership shall inform the General Secretary in writing not less than 21 days before the Renewal Date of whether that Member remains a student, pupil barrister or trainee solicitor on the Renewal Date. If the Member does not remain as a student, pupil barrister or trainee solicitor on the Renewal Date that Member’s membership must be renewed by signature of an appropriate standing order mandate.

42 (a). The amount of the annual membership subscription may be fixed and altered by a resolution at a meeting of the Executive Committee from time to time.

(b). In the event a Member opts to make a one off capital payment towards his/her membership, such a Member will become a Life Member upon payment of such sum as defined in 42(c). below.

(c). The Life Membership in the Association is available to a Member upon payment of a fee which is the equivalent of ten times the annual Membership fee for the year he/she applies for Life Membership (“Life Membership Fee”).

(d). The Life Membership Fee can be paid in full at anytime or in two equal consecutive monthly instalments.

(e). All Life Membership fees will be held as capital in an interest bearing account separate from the income/expenditure account for use in events/projects which require capital up-front by way of example as deposits to book halls, grounds etc.

(f). In the event of the Association being dissolved, such Life Membership Fees shall revert to the Life Members in existence as at that date.

43. The Association shall open and maintain an account at a bank (to be selected from time to time by the Committee) into which the subscriptions and other receipts of the Association shall be paid. Money which is not required for the time being for the purposes of the Association may be placed on deposit account or invested in any other manner as approved by the Executive Committee.

44. The Treasurer shall be responsible (under the supervision of the Executive Committee) for the management of the finances of the Association. The Treasurer shall cause accounts to be prepared in respect of each year and such accounts shall be laid before the Annual General Meetings each year.

Amendments to the Rules
45. Subject to Rule 36, these Rules may be added to, repealed or amended only by a resolution at any General Meeting supported by at least two thirds of the Members present and voting thereon.

Branches
46. Members may form branches in any of the counties, regions or localities of the UK and members of any such branch may make such regulations as they think fit for the conduct of its activities, provided that any such branch shall have the same objects as the Association and that its regulations shall not be inconsistent with the Rules of the Association.

47. The Executive Committee may provide assistance for branches out of the funds of the Association. The Executive Committee shall consult with any relevant branch on matters of particular concern to the county, region or locality in question.

Notice
48. Any written notice shall be deemed to have been given to a Member if it has been sent by post or delivered or sent by electronic mail to a member’s address last notified in writing by such Member to the General Secretary.

Language
49. All proceedings at the meetings and the affairs of the Association shall be conducted in the English language.