Statutes and By-Laws of the International Union of Crystallography

as Adopted by the Fourth General Assembly in 1957 and Amended by the Fifth General Assembly in 1960, the Sixth General Assembly in 1963, the Seventh General Assembly in 1966, the Eighth General Assembly in 1969, the Ninth General Assembly in 1972, the Tenth General Assembly in 1975, the Eleventh General Assembly in 1978, the Seventeenth General Assembly in 1996, the Eighteenth General Assembly in 1999, by unanimous postal agreement of the Adhering Bodies in 2010 and the Twenty-Second General Assembly in 2011.

Statutes

1. Objects of the Union

1.1. The objects of the Union are
  • (a) to promote international cooperation in crystallography;

  • (b) to contribute to the advancement of crystallography in all its aspects, including related topics concerning the non-crystalline states;
  • (c) to facilitate international standardization of methods, of units, of nomenclature and of symbols used in crystallography;
  • (d) to form a focus for the relations of crystallography to other sciences.

1.2. For these purposes the Union shall have the power

  • (a) to adhere to the International Council for Science;
  • (b) to organize international meetings and conferences on subjects falling within the purview of the Union;
  • (c) to promote international publication of crystallographic research and of crystallographic works;
  • (d) to set up Commissions or other bodies for special objects;
  • (e) to initiate, promote and coordinate crystallographic research requiring international cooperation;
  • (f) to organize Special Projects which shall be financed independently of the regular operations of the Union;
  • (g) to participate in Joint Commissions with other Unions or other scientific bodies in matters of interest to the Union;
  • (h) to perform all such other legal acts as are essential for or conducive to the objects of the Union including the constitution or organization of separate or independent bodies having an appropriate legal status;
  • (i) to receive into association existing regional organizations of crystallographers having substantially the same aims and objects as the Union; these organizations shall be known as Regional Associates of the Union;
  • (j) to receive into association existing international scientific organizations whose interests overlap with the aims and activities of the Union; these organizations shall be known as Scientific Associates of the Union.

2. Organization and Legal Domicile

2.1. Under the name of International Union of Crystallography an Association has been organized and incorporated; it is governed by Articles 60 and following of the Swiss Civil Code and by the present Statutes of Incorporation.

2.2. The duration of the Union is not limited.

2.3. The legal domicile of the Union is in Geneva, Switzerland.

3. Membership

3.1. The members of the Union are its Adhering Bodies.

3.2. There shall be only one member for each country. Only under extraordinary circumstances the General Assembly may admit a suitably designated additional Adhering Body from a country, provided a corresponding Adhering Body of that country has already been admitted as a National Member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). In this case, each Adhering Body will have separate delegates and will be treated separately in questions of voting and finances.

3.3. The Adhering Body can be a National Academy, National Research Council or similar body, or a scientific society or group of such societies. Each Adhering Body shall form a National Committee for Crystallography to represent it in the Union.

3.4. Any number of Countries may agree to form a group in order to name or establish a single Adhering Body. This Body shall form a joint National or Regional Committee for Crystallography. Wherever the terms Country and National Committee for Crystallography are used in these Statutes or in the By-Laws, they shall be taken to include such groups of Countries and joint National or Regional Committees for Crystallography.

3.5. Membership in the Union shall be fully effective when the nature of the Adhering Body and the membership of the National Committee have been reported to and accepted by the General Assembly. Any replacement of an Adhering Body is subject to the approval of the Executive Committee and acceptance by the General Assembly. Any major change in the nature of an Adhering Body shall be considered valid only after it has been reported to and accepted by the General Assembly.

3.6. Adherence to the Union shall be in one of five Categories I-V with corresponding voting powers and contributions as set out in Statutes 5.5 and 9.4. A Body applying for adherence to the Union shall specify in which Category it wishes to adhere; this choice of Category, or any desired change in the Category, is subject to the approval of the Executive Committee and confirmation by the General Assembly.

3.7. Any extension of a joint adherence formed in accordance with Statute 3.4 is subject to the approval of the Executive Committee and acceptance by the General Assembly.

3.8. Participation in Special Projects [Statute 1.2(f)] shall not be obligatory. The extent of financial participation shall be a matter for special negotiation for each such project, except that the relationship between contribution and voting power within the project shall be that of the Category scheme defined in Statutes 5.5 and 9.4 to determine this relationship in the General Assembly.

3.9. Each National Committee has the right to submit to the Union through the General Secretary questions within the competence of the Union.

3.10. Any Adhering Body may withdraw from the Union if it has given notice of withdrawal at least six months before the end of the current financial year; it is required to fulfil its obligations relating to the time period when it was a member of the Union. Its membership and any further obligations shall then be suspended by the Executive Committee at the expiry of the notice of withdrawal. The withdrawal shall take effect when it has been reported to the General Assembly.

3.11. An Adhering Body which withdraws from the Union in accordance with Statute 3.10, or any Adhering Body whose membership is cancelled in accordance with Statutes 5.12 or 9.6, loses all rights in connexion with the Union.

3.12. If the Countries of a group formed in accordance with Statute 3.4 agree that the group should be dissolved, or if a Country wishes to withdraw from such a group, with or without the agreement of the other Country or Countries of the group, the adherence of the original group shall be suspended by the Executive Committee at the expiry of an appropriate notice, provided that the original group has fulfilled its obligations. The termination of the original adherence shall take effect when the matter has been reported to the General Assembly. Pending this report, the Countries of the group, or any of them, may submit proposals for the continuation of their representation in the Union. In each of such proposals the nature of the Adhering Body, the membership of the National Committee and the desired Category of adherence shall be specified. These proposals are subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, which shall then make ad interim arrangements concerning these adherences. These arrangements are subject to acceptance by the General Assembly.

4. Administration

4.1. The work of the Union shall be conducted by

  • (a) the General Assembly;
  • (b) the Officers of the Union, constituting the Executive Committee;
  • (c) the Commissions as defined in Statute 8.1.

The composition and function of these bodies are defined in the following paragraphs, whose application is governed by the By-Laws.

5. General Assembly

5.1. The work of the Union shall be directed by the General Assembly which is composed of delegates appointed by the Adhering Bodies.

5.2. The Executive Committee is responsible to the General Assembly and shall participate in its deliberations. Members of the Executive Committee have no voting power in the General Assembly, except for the casting vote of the Chair [Statute 5.8].

5.3. The General Assembly shall, as a rule, hold an ordinary meeting once every three years. The date and the place of the meeting, unless determined by the previous General Assembly, shall be determined by the Executive Committee. The General Secretary shall communicate the date and the place of the meeting to the National Committees and to the Commissions at least twelve months in advance.

5.4. In special cases, the President of the Union, with the consent of the Executive Committee, may call an extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly. This shall be done at the request of one-fifth of the Adhering Bodies. The routine business of a General Assembly prescribed in Statute 5.10 shall normally be omitted, unless specifically included in the agenda; but an extraordinary General Assembly shall have the same powers, and be subject to the same rules, as an ordinary General Assembly, except where otherwise is stated in the Statutes and By-Laws. The General Secretary shall communicate the date and the place of the extraordinary General Assembly to the National Committees and to the Commissions at least eight months in advance if amendment of the Statutes is contemplated, or at least four months otherwise.

As an alternative, in special cases not requiring an amendment to or a change of the Statutes, the President of the Union with the consent of the Executive Committee may ask for a postal or electronic ballot of the Adhering Bodies. This shall be done at the request of one-fifth of the Adhering Bodies. The voting power of an Adhering Body in a postal or electronic ballot is the same as that at General Assemblies. The General Secretary will communicate the matter for determination to the National Committees and to the Commissions four months before the deadline for the votes to be received by the General Secretary. In order to facilitate a full discussion between the participants in the postal or electronic ballot, the comments and questions of the Adhering Bodies, the responses of the President as well as any amendment to the initial proposal will be circulated among the Adhering Bodies using fast means of communications at the latest one month before the deadline.

5.5. The voting power of an Adhering Body at General Assemblies and in postal or electronic ballots shall be in accordance with its Category of adherence, as follows:

 Category I II 111 IV V
Number of votes 1 2 3 4 5.

5.6. Each Adhering Body, through its National Committee, shall make known to the General Secretary before the opening of each General Assembly the names of its delegates (and of their alternates, if any), and also the name of the Chair of the national or regional delegation. No Officer of the Union may be a member of any delegation, nor shall any person serve as a member of more than one delegation.

5.7. Normally each of the delegates present at a General Assembly shall have one vote only, but when for special reasons an Adhering Body cannot be fully represented at a General Assembly it may distribute its votes among a number of delegates smaller than the number of votes which that Adhering Body has in accordance with the Category in which it adheres; such a decision has to be made known to the General Secretary before the opening of the General Assembly concerned. Any Adhering Body not represented at a General Assembly may forward its views to the General Secretary by letter, and such views shall be made known to the General Assembly if received before voting takes place.

5.8. Except where otherwise provided in the Statutes and By-Laws, decisions of the General Assembly are taken by a majority of the votes cast. In the event of an equal division of votes the Chair shall take the final decision.

5.9. No question which has not been placed on the agenda of business to be transacted at the General Assembly shall be discussed or put to the vote unless a proposal to that effect be approved by at least two-thirds of the votes there represented.

5.10. The General Assembly shall

  • (a) take appropriate action on any matters concerning membership in the Union [Statutes 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.10, 3.12 and 5.12];
  • (b) elect the President, the Vice-President, the General Secretary, the Treasurer and the other Officers of the Union [Statutes 6.1 and 6.3];
  • (c) consider, and make decisions regarding, the confirmation of the appointments of Editors of publications of the Union [Statute 7.1];
  • (d) determine the number of elected members of each Commission set up by the General Assembly [Statutes 5.11(c) and 8.2];
  • (e) elect the Chairs and members of the Commissions [Statute 8.2];
  • (f) elect representatives of the Union on Joint Commissions with other Unions, and on other scientific bodies [Statutes 1.2(g) and 8.5];
  • (g) receive the reports on the activities of the Union and of its Commissions [Statutes 6.8 and 8.4];
  • (h) receive the audited accounts for the years elapsed since the previous General Assembly [Statute 9.1];
  • (i) on receipt of satisfactory reports or accounts, release the Treasurer, or any other Officer, or the Chair or any member of any Commission or other body, from financial or other liability to the Union;
  • (j) determine the budget for general expenditure for the period to the next General Assembly, on the basis of the estimate prepared by the Executive Committee [Statutes 9.2 and 9.3];
  • (k) determine the unit contribution for the period to the next General Assembly [Statute 9.5];
  • (l) determine the general policy and the timetable for the period to the next General Assembly;
  • (m) give preliminary consideration to the activities of the Union for the three-year period following the next General Assembly.

5.11. The General Assembly shall have the power

  • (a) to amend these Statutes in accordance with Statute 13.1;
  • (b) to formulate and amend By-Laws on any matters not covered by these Statutes;
  • (c) to set up any Commission or other body it may deem necessary for the administrative and scientific work of the Union, and to determine the terms of reference of such a body [Statute 1.2(d)];
  • (d) to dissolve any Commission or other body set up in accordance with Statute 5.11(c) when its existence is deemed no longer necessary;
  • (e) to determine the nature of Special Projects which shall be financed independently of the regular operations of the Union [Statute 1.2(f)];
  • (f) to accept Regional Associates, to determine the nature of the association in each case, and to determine any mutual financial commitments;
  • (g) to accept Scientific Associates, to determine the nature of the association in each case, and to determine any mutual financial commitments;
  • (h) to decide on all other questions falling within the competence of the Union.

5.12. The General Assembly may cancel the membership of any Adhering Body of the Union for any serious cause; such a decision may only be taken after the member in question has been previously given an opportunity to furnish an explanation to the Executive Committee for forwarding to the General Assembly. At least three-fourths of the total number of the votes of all Adhering Bodies are required for cancellation.

6. Executive Committee

6.1. The Officers of the Union constituting the Executive Committee are

  • (a) the President;
  • (b) the Vice-President;
  • (c) the General Secretary;
  • (d) the Treasurer;
  • (e) the immediate Past President;
  • (f) six ordinary members.

6.2. The election of Officers of the Union shall be arranged in such a way that there will not be more than two Officers from any one Country and that amongst the six ordinary members there will be at least one Officer from a Country from each of the three geographical regions (i) Europe and Africa, (ii) the Americas and (iii) Asia/Oceania. A person is regarded as belonging to the Country in which he or she is normally resident and where the main part of his or her work is conducted. In cases of doubt the General Assembly shall decide to which Country a person is considered to belong.

If during the period between General Assemblies the number of Officers from a Country is increased above two because of any change of Country of residence, the Officer or Officers who changed their Country of residence may continue to serve until the close of the next General Assembly. If at that time the number of Officers from the Country concerned would remain above two, one or more of the Officers who changed their Country of residence shall be considered to have resigned.

6.3. The offices of General Secretary and Treasurer may be combined and shall then be considered as a single office. Otherwise no person shall hold more than one office simultaneously. The voting power of the Officer holding the combined office of General Secretary and Treasurer shall not be more than that of either the General Secretary or the Treasurer.

6.4. The President holds office as President until the close of the ordinary General Assembly following his or her election, and continues as a member of the Executive Committee until the close of the ordinary General Assembly next but one following that of his or her election. He or she is not then eligible for immediate re-election to the office of President, nor to any other office in the Executive Committee.

The Vice-President holds office until the close of the ordinary General Assembly following his or her election. He or she is not eligible for immediate re-election to the same office.

The General Secretary and the Treasurer hold office until the close of the ordinary General Assembly following that of their election. They are eligible for immediate re-election to the same office, but shall not serve in that office for more than three full consecutive terms.

Three ordinary members are elected at each ordinary General Assembly and hold office until the close of the ordinary General Assembly next but one following that of their election. They are not eligible for immediate re-election to the same office.

In the event of a vacancy, through resignation, death or other cause, any Officer elected by the General Assembly to fill the unexpired term of office shall serve only to the end of the normal term of the Officer he or she replaces; at the end of this service he or she may be nominated for re-election for a full term to the same office.

6.5. The Executive Committee shall carry out the decisions of the General Assembly and give effect to the general policy of the Union as determined by the General Assembly.

6.6. During the periods between General Assemblies the Executive Committee shall have full power to carry on the business of the Union in all matters not specifically assigned by the Statutes, the By-Laws or the General Assembly to individuals or to Commissions or other bodies. If necessary, it may make ad interim arrangements in all matters assigned by the Statutes and By-Laws to the General Assembly.

6.7. In the event of an individual, a Commission or another body of the Union failing to act in any matter assigned to him or her or it by the Statutes, By-Laws or the General Assembly, the Executive Committee may, after reasonable notice to the individual or body in question, take action on behalf of the Union.

6.8. The Executive Committee shall report on its activities to the General Assembly. The action taken by the Executive Committee in accordance with Statutes 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.10, 3.12, 6.6, 6.7, 7.1, 7.2, 8.2, 9.6 and 9.9 shall be included in this report. The report to the General Assembly shall be dispatched by the General Secretary to the National Committees and to the Commissions at least ten weeks before the meeting.

7. Publications of the Union

7.1. The Editors of the publications of the Union are appointed by the Executive Committee for initial terms extending through not more than six years beyond the ordinary General Assembly following the appointment. Each initial appointment is subject to confirmation by that General Assembly. Reappointments may be made by the Executive Committee for terms of not more than three years, and are subject to confirmation by the ordinary General Assembly following the reappointment.

7.2. Co-editors and Assistant Editors are appointed by the Editors for terms of not more than three years, but they may be reappointed immediately for terms of the same length. The appointments and reappointments are subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

7.3. Editors and Co-editors are members of the Commissions set up for their respective publications.

8. Commissions and Joint Commissions

8.1. The term Commission shall be understood to include all Commissions, Committees, and other bodies of the Union with the exception of National Committees for Crystallography, and the Executive Committee and its subcommittees.

8.2. The Chairs and members of the Commissions are elected at each General Assembly. Subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, Commissions may co-opt further members during the periods between General Assemblies, and may fill vacancies arising from resignation, death or other cause. Members (but not Chairs) may be nationals of or residents in a Country not adhering to the Union.

8.3. The Commissions shall be responsible to the General Assembly. They shall generally have full freedom in arranging their internal structure and work. They may formulate their own Rules of Procedure within the framework of the Statutes and By-Laws of the Union, and within their terms of reference.

8.4. The Chairs shall report on the activities of the Commissions to the General Assembly. These reports shall reach the General Secretary at least fourteen weeks before the General Assembly and shall be dispatched by him or her to the National Committees and the Commissions at least ten weeks before the meeting.

8.5. The representatives of the Union on Joint Commissions and on other scientific bodies [Statute 1.2(g)] are elected at each General Assembly. For each such body one representative shall be designated as the chief representative of the Union. His or her obligations to report are the same as those of the Chairs of the Commissions.

9. Finance

9.1. The Executive Committee shall be responsible to the General Assembly for all the financial affairs of the Union.

9.2. The Chair of each Commission (or other member approved by the Executive Committee) shall be responsible to the Executive Committee for any expenditure of funds by this Commission. Five months before each General Assembly he or she shall submit to the Executive Committee an estimate of the budget of the Commission for the period between that General Assembly and the one following it. He or she shall submit annually to the Executive Committee a revised budget for the ensuing year and a statement of accounts for the preceding year. These accounts shall be available for audit by the Executive Committee or its appointees.

9.3. The Executive Committee shall prepare an estimate of the budget for the period between the next General Assembly and that following it. This estimate shall be dispatched by the General Secretary to the National Committees and to the Commissions at least ten weeks before the meeting.

9.4. Each Adhering Body shall pay an annual subscription in accordance with its Category of adherence, as follows:

 Category I II III IV V
Number of unit contributions 1 3 6 10 15.
The annual subscriptions are payable during the calendar year to which they apply.

9.5. The unit contribution, stated in terms of a currency to be designated by the Executive Committee, shall be determined by the General Assembly for the period to the next General Assembly.

9.6. Any Adhering Body which is in arrears with its subscription for two years shall be warned and shall be deprived of its voting power. The membership of any Adhering Body which is in arrears for four years shall be automatically suspended and may be cancelled by the General Assembly under Statute 5.12. An Adhering Body whose membership has been suspended shall receive no privileges of the Union and incur no further responsibility for dues; it may be reinstated by action of the Executive Committee.

9.7. The financing and management of publications of the Union shall be kept distinct from general expenditure. Editors and Co-editors shall be responsible to the Executive Committee for any receipts or expenditure of funds by them with respect to their publications.

9.8. The financing and management of Special Projects of the Union shall be kept distinct from the regular operations of the Union.

9.9. No funds may be solicited or accepted on behalf of the Union or any of its Commissions from any international, governmental or other agency or person without the prior approval of the Executive Committee. Any National Committee for Crystallography may however solicit funds within its own Country for the support of its own activities or in its capacity as host for a General Assembly, Congress or other meeting sponsored by the Union. Any funds, in the form of donations, legacies, or grants, accepted by the Executive Committee shall be used so far as is possible in accordance with the wishes of the donors.

10. Liability

10.1. The Union is liable only to the extent of its assets, and the Adhering Bodies are not individually liable for its corporate debts and liabilities.

10.2. The liabilities of the Adhering Bodies are limited to the payment of their annual subscriptions and to such contributions to the Special Projects of the Union as they may have pledged.

10.3. No Officer of the Union shall be individually liable for the corporate debts and liabilities of the Union. The Union shall indemnify any Officer or former Officer in respect of any claims laid against him or her in respect to his or her authorized actions on behalf of the Union. At its discretion the Executive Committee may extend this indemnity to other persons in respect of their authorized actions on behalf of the Union.

10.4. The Union shall not accept any liability for any personal loss, damage or accident sustained by an individual, not being an employee of the Union, engaged in any activity, including travel, on behalf of the Union.

11. Auditor and Representation of the Union

11.1. The Auditor of the Union shall be a person or corporation authorized to act as a public accountant. The Auditor shall be appointed by the Executive Committee on the recommendation of the Treasurer and maintained thereafter subject to the approval of the General Assembly.

11.2. With the exception of cheques, all contracts and formal agreements involving the Union shall be signed by two Officers of the Union. The Executive Committee may restrict the power to sign a particular document or type of document to specific persons among the Officers; and it shall determine rules for the signing of cheques.

11.3. The President shall be the official representative of the Union on all other civil and legal occasions and in dealing with other organizations. The President may in this respect delegate his or her powers to another Officer of the Union, or, with approval of the Executive Committee, to any other person.

12. Dissolution of the Union

12.1. The Union shall not be dissolved except on a motion presented at a General Assembly. If a motion to dissolve is to be presented, the notice for that General Assembly as given under Statute 5.3 or 5.4 shall include a statement of the motion to dissolve and shall refer specifically to this Statute. Such a motion shall be presented to the General Assembly without amendment and at least three-fourths of the votes there represented shall be required for dissolution.

In the event that less than three-fourths of the total number of the votes of all Adhering Bodies are represented at the General Assembly, a postal or electronic ballot may be arranged, and in such a postal or electronic ballot at least three-fourths of the total number of the votes of all Adhering Bodies shall be required for dissolution.

12.2. In the event of dissolution of the Union in accordance with Statute 12.1, the General Assembly shall appoint a special Committee, reporting to the International Council for Science, for the liquidation of the assets of the Union. The available assets will be entirely attributed to one or more institutions in pursuit of a goal of similar public interest to that of this association and that also benefits from tax exemption.  In no case can the property be returned to its current or founding members, nor be used for their profit in whole or part in any manner whatsoever.

13. Statutes

13.1. Amendments to the Statutes require action at a General Assembly. An amendment is adopted at such an Assembly only if (i) at least two-thirds of the votes represented at the General Assembly are affirmative and (ii) if these affirmative votes amount to more than half the total number of the votes of all Adhering Bodies. In the event that the vote on a proposed amendment satisfies condition (i) but not condition (ii), the Executive Committee may refer the proposed amendment to a postal or electronic ballot of the Adhering Bodies. If the proposed amendment then obtains affirmative votes amounting to more than half the total number of the votes of all Adhering Bodies, the amendment is adopted.

Proposals for amendments may be made by the Executive Committee or by any National Committee. Such proposals made by National Committees shall reach the General Secretary at least six months in advance of the General Assembly. The General Secretary shall dispatch these proposals, and those made by the Executive Committee, to the National Committees and to the Commissions at least four months before the meeting.

13.2. The present English text shall be considered the authoritative text in the interpretation of these Statutes. Where disputes arise concerning this interpretation, the matter shall be decided by the General Assembly, or, during the periods between General Assemblies, by a ruling of the President of the Union.

By-Laws

1. General Assembly

1.1. The agenda of business to be transacted at a General Assembly shall be determined by the Executive Committee and shall be dispatched by the General Secretary to the National Committees and to the Commissions at least ten weeks before the meeting.

1.2. Any National Committee and any Commission of the Union may propose business to be transacted at a General Assembly. Such proposals shall reach the General Secretary at least four months before the meeting, and shall be included in the agenda of the General Assembly.

1.3. The General Assembly may determine the date and the place of the next but one ordinary meeting of the General Assembly.

1.4. Chairs of the National Committees and of the Commissions, and representatives of Regional Associates and Scientific Associates may attend the General Assembly and take part in the discussions but shall have no voting power. The President may invite representatives of scientific bodies, or individuals, to attend the General Assembly; such invited guests may take part in the discussions but shall have no voting power. Other interested persons may also attend the General Assembly but they shall not take part in the discussions, unless specifically invited or permitted to do so by the Chair, and they shall have no voting power.

At the discretion of the Chair any or all of the persons attending the General Assembly under this By-Law may be required to withdraw.

1.5. If a delegate to a General Assembly is absent from a session of the Assembly, his or her place may be taken by any of the alternates nominated to the Assembly under Statute 5.6 provided that the Secretary of the Assembly is notified before the beginning of the session of the name of the delegate and of the name of the alternate, either by the delegate or by the Chair of his or her delegation. In general no such substitution may take place during a session of the Assembly, but the Chair of the Assembly may permit substitution to be made under special circumstances.

1.6. The names of the representatives of a Body whose application for adherence to the Union has been received and declared in good order by the Executive Committee under By-Law 2.9(a) shall be made known to the General Secretary as prescribed in Statute 5.6. These representatives shall be seated with the delegates of the Adhering Bodies during the preliminary ceremonies and the initial business of the General Assembly. At the discretion of the Chair or by a vote of the Assembly, the representatives may be required to withdraw during the discussion of and voting on matters concerning adherence to the Union. The delegates of a new member may take their seats among the other delegates as soon as the General Assembly has accepted their Adhering Body as a member of the Union.

1.7. Unless decided otherwise by the General Assembly, matters concerning adherence to the Union shall take precedence over all other business at the first business session of the General Assembly, and shall normally precede the reading of the minutes and the discussions of matters arising therefrom.

1.8. Delegates of an Adhering Body may not vote on any matter concerning its membership in the Union.

1.9. In the event of the General Assembly considering a change in a group of Countries according to Statute 3.12, the delegates from the Countries belonging or previously belonging to the group may not vote on any matters concerning the representation in the Union of any of these Countries. After acceptance of the ad interim arrangements made by the Executive Committee under Statute 3.12, these delegates have full voting power.

1.10. The delegates of new members may not vote on any matters concerning adherence to the Union, nor on any matters concerning the adoption of the minutes of the previous General Assembly, during the General Assembly at which they themselves are admitted.

1.11. The General Secretary shall post on the official bulletin board of the General Assembly the names of the Chairs and members (and alternates, if any) of the delegations and the numbers of votes represented by them.

1.12. During the General Assembly any delegate (or alternate) and any Officer of the Union is considered to have been notified of any action of the General Assembly, or of the Executive Committee, or of any Commission, if one of the two following procedures is adopted

  • (a) a notice is placed in the mail box or other location at which the delegate (or alternate) or the Officer is accustomed to receive mail during the course of the General Assembly, or
  • (b) a notice is handed to the designated Chair of each delegation with the specific request that he or she communicate its contents to his or her delegation, and to the General Secretary with the specific request that he or she communicate its contents to the Executive Committee, provided that in either case a similar notice is posted on the official bulletin board.

1.13. Minutes of the meetings of the General Assembly shall be made. Copies of the draft minutes shall be communicated by the General Secretary to the National Committees, to the Officers of the Union and to the Chairs of its Commissions. After approval at a subsequent General Assembly, two copies of the definitive minutes shall be signed by the Chair and the Secretary of the session at which they are approved, and shall be kept by the President and the General Secretary.

2. Executive Committee

2.1. The Executive Committee shall meet at each General Assembly. There shall be at least two additional meetings during the period between General Assemblies, unless the Executive Committee by a postal or electronic vote decides otherwise.

2.2. The Executive Committee shall make nominations to the General Assembly for the Officers of the Union, for the Chairs and members of the Commissions, and for representatives on Joint Commissions and on other scientific bodies. Normally these nominations shall be made after a preceding postal or electronic communication with the National Committees. In each case in which an Officer of the Union is nominated for another office, either by the Executive Committee or by delegates to the General Assembly [By-Law 8.2], the Executive Committee shall also include a nomination for the office which would be vacated if the election to the other office occurs. If the election to the other office does not occur and if the Officer's term has not expired, the nomination to the office which would have been vacated shall not be considered.

2.3. In the event of the resignation, death or disability of the President, the Vice-President shall assume the office of President until the close of the next ordinary General Assembly.

In the event of the resignation, death or disability of the Vice-President, the Executive Committee may appoint one of its members to serve as Vice-President until the close of the next ordinary General Assembly.

In the event of such circumstances that the General Secretary or the Treasurer cannot carry out his or her duties, the other shall assume those duties until the Executive Committee has considered the situation. In that event the Executive Committee may, but need not, appoint a new General Secretary or Treasurer to serve until the close of the next ordinary General Assembly.

In the event of the resignation, death or disability of an ordinary member of the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee may co-opt a new member to serve until the close of the next ordinary General Assembly.

The accession of an Officer of the Union to a new office under the conditions of this By-Law shall be accompanied by his or her resignation from the office to which he or she was previously elected, but service under this By-Law shall not affect his or her eligibility for immediate re-election to the new office.

2.4. Any Officer unable to attend a meeting of the Executive Committee may designate a deputy to attend that meeting. Such a deputy shall be named in writing to the President or the General Secretary. He or she shall have no voting power and shall not be counted as part of a quorum.

2.5. The President, on his or her own initiative or at the request of the Executive Committee, may invite any individual to be present at a meeting of the Executive Committee; such an invited guest may take part in the discussions but shall have no voting power.

2.6. At a meeting of the Executive Committee two-thirds (fractional parts neglected) of the Officers specified by Statutes 6.1 and 6.3, excluding any who have resigned or died, shall constitute a quorum; and decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of the Officers present and voting. The Chair of the meeting shall not vote in open ballots; but in the event of an equal division of votes the Chair may take the final decision. In secret ballots required by the Statutes or By-Laws or ordered by the Chair, he or she may vote at his or her discretion. If the Chair does not vote and there is an equal division of votes, he or she may take the final decision. If the Chair has voted in a secret ballot, he or she may not take the final decision, and must leave it to further discussion and ballot.

2.7. During the period between meetings of the Executive Committee, voting may take place by post or electronic means. Adoption of a proposal shall require affirmative votes from two-thirds (fractional parts neglected) of the Officers specified by Statutes 6.1 and 6.3, excluding any who have resigned or died. No decision on any proposal other than calling or cancelling a meeting of the Executive Committee shall be made by postal or electronic vote in the event that at least two Officers express the wish that the matter concerned should first be given more or further consideration, either by correspondence or at a meeting of the Executive Committee.

2.8. Minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee shall be made. Two copies of the minutes shall be signed by the Chair and the Secretary of the meeting at which they are approved, and shall be kept by the President and the General Secretary. A summary of the draft minutes of meetings of the Executive Committee shall be despatched by the General Secretary to the National Committees within ten weeks of the conclusion of each meeting.

2.9. In addition to the obligations described in the Statutes and elsewhere in these By-Laws, the Executive Committee shall

  • (a) receive and report on applications for adherence to the Union if the nature of the applying Body and the membership of the National Committee have been duly reported to and considered to be in good order by the Executive Committee; pending the next General Assembly the Executive Committee may in the case of such applications provide such services of the Union as it deems proper;
  • (b) consider and report on any other questions concerning adherence to the Union;
  • (c) present an annual report, including an audited statement of receipts and expenditure, to the National Committees;
  • (d) report to the Commercial Registry of Geneva any changes in the registered information concerning the Union;
  • (e) have the power to appoint representatives on scientific bodies not belonging to the Union.

3. President

3.1. The President of the Union is Chair of the General Assembly and of the Executive Committee. In the absence of the President from a session or meeting, the Vice-President, or if he or she is not present another Officer of the Union designated by the Executive Committee, shall act as Chair.

3.2. The President of the Union is an ex officio member, with voting power, of all Commissions of the Union.

4. General Secretary

4.1. The General Secretary of the Union is Secretary of the General Assembly and of the Executive Committee. In the absence of the General Secretary from a session or meeting, another Officer of the Union designated by the Executive Committee shall act as Secretary.

4.2. The General Secretary of the Union is an ex officio member, with voting power, of all Commissions of the Union.

4.3. The General Secretary is responsible for conducting the ordinary business of the Union, with the exception of the financial administration, and for keeping its records.

4.4. The General Secretary may appoint a permanent Executive Secretary to assist with the running of the Union. In the event that an Executive Secretary is appointed the posts of General Secretary and Treasurer will be combined. In these Statutes and By-Laws administrative tasks assigned to the General Secretary will be considered to have been fulfilled if carried out by the Executive Secretary. 

5. Treasurer

5.1. The Treasurer of the Union is responsible for the financial administration of the Union and for keeping its accounts.

5.2. The Treasurer is an ex officio member of all Commissions of the Union, with voting power only for those questions which may involve the Union in financial commitments.

6. Sub-committees of the Executive Committee

6.1. The Finance Committee is appointed by the Executive Committee to advise on finances, establishment and salaries. The Convener of the Finance Committee should normally be a resident of the same country as the Union Secretariat. If the Convener is not an elected member of the Executive Committee he or she will attend ex officio the meetings of the Executive Committee without voting rights.

6.2. The Sub-committee on the Union Calendar is appointed by the Executive Committee to advise on the sponsorship of the Union for meetings, symposia and schools. The Chair of the Calendar Sub-committee should be a member of the Executive Committee.

6.3. The Executive Committee may establish, modify or abolish any other Sub-committees.

7. Commissions of the Union

7.1. The Chairs of the Commissions and the chief representatives on Joint Commissions or other bodies shall forward records of all meetings of the Commissions to the President and the General Secretary. They shall report annually on the activities of these bodies to the Executive Committee.

7.2. If funds are provided for the use of a Commission, it may make its own financial arrangements, with the prior approval of the Executive Committee and subject to the provisions of the Statutes and By-Laws. In cases where the Executive Committee has given prior approval, payments toward travelling expenses of Chairs and members of Commissions may be made from the general funds of the Union.

7.3. No person who has served for three consecutive full terms of office on a Commission is eligible for nomination for a fourth consecutive term of service on the same Commission except as Chair. In no case is any person eligible for more than four consecutive full terms of service on the same Commission. These limitations do not apply to Editors [Statute 7.1], Co-editors [Statute 7.2] and ex officio members. Any Commission, in its Rules of Procedure, may reduce the length of service specified here.

7.4. In the event of the resignation, death or disability of the Chair of any Commission, the Executive Committee shall appoint a member of that Commission to serve as Chair until the close of the General Assembly following this appointment.

8. Nominations and Elections

8.1. All delegates (and alternates) shall be notified of the nominations presented by the Executive Committee under By-Law 2.2 for the Officers of the Union as early as possible and at least ninety-six hours before the scheduled commencement of the session of the General Assembly at which the vote is to be taken.

8.2. After the delegates have been notified of the nominations by the Executive Committee as prescribed in By-Law 8.1, other nominations for Officers of the Union may be made by any six or more delegates. Such nominations shall be made in writing to the General Secretary not less than thirty-six hours before the voting session and shall be accompanied by a written statement that the consent of the nominees has been obtained. These nominations shall be posted by the General Secretary on the official bulletin board not less than twenty-four hours before that session.

8.3. Recommendations from each Commission for the Chair and members of the Commission shall be made in writing to the General Secretary not less than seventy-two hours before the voting session of the General Assembly. These recommendations shall be approved by a majority of the members of the Commission and shall be accompanied by a written statement that the consent of the persons recommended has been obtained. All delegates (and alternates) shall be notified of the nominations presented by the Executive Committee under By-Law 2.2 for the Chair and members of each Commission at least forty-eight hours before the voting session.

8.4. After the delegates have been notified of the nominations by the Executive Committee as prescribed in By-Law 8.3, other nominations for the Chair and members of each Commission may be made by any six or more delegates. Such nominations shall be made in writing to the General Secretary not less than twenty-four hours before the voting session and shall be accompanied by a written statement that the consent of the nominees has been obtained. These nominations shall be posted by the General Secretary on the official bulletin board not less than twelve hours before that session.

8.5. In voting for the President, Vice-President, General Secretary and Treasurer of the Union, each of these offices shall be taken separately and voting shall be by secret ballot. A simple majority of the votes represented by the delegates present at the voting session shall be required for election.

If there is only one candidate for one of these offices, his or her nomination shall be presented to the General Assembly and the candidate concerned shall be considered as elected. If there are two candidates or more, and an election is not achieved after two ballots, the candidate receiving the smallest number of votes in the second ballot shall be removed from the list unless this will lead to a candidate being elected without receiving a simple majority of the votes. If an election is not achieved after a third ballot, this procedure shall be repeated until an election is achieved. Any ballot form showing more than one mark shall be invalid. Any contingency arising during the balloting shall be resolved by a ruling of the Chair of the General Assembly.

8.6. The election of the ordinary members of the Executive Committee shall be by secret ballot, the ballot form showing the nominations presented by the Executive Committee and the nominations made by delegates. Balloting shall be conducted in such a way that the requirements of Statute 6.2 are met. A simple majority of the votes represented by delegates present at the voting session shall be required for election. If there are not more candidates than vacancies, the nominations shall be presented to the General Assembly and the candidates shall be considered as elected. If there are more candidates than vacancies and all vacancies are not filled by election at the first ballot, a second ballot shall be arranged containing the names of the candidates not elected. If there are vacancies after the second ballot, the balloting procedure shall be repeated until all vacancies are filled; for second and subsequent ballots the name of the candidate receiving the smallest number of votes on the preceding ballot shall be removed from the list unless this will lead to a candidate being elected without receiving a simple majority of the votes. Any ballot form showing more marks than the appropriate number of vacancies shall be invalid. Any contingency arising during the balloting shall be resolved by a ruling of the Chair of the General Assembly.

8.7. In the event that an election must be held to fill the unexpired term of an office vacated by an ordinary member [Statute 6.4], the nominations for this office shall be distinct from the nominations for ordinary members for full terms. A person may be nominated for both categories, but can be elected to only one office [Statute 6.3]. If ballots are required in the elections for both categories, the ballots for the full-term offices shall take place first. A person who has been elected to two consecutive non-full terms is not eligible, on completion of his or her second term, for immediate re-election as an ordinary member of the Executive Committee.

8.8. In voting for the Chairs and members of the Commissions each Commission shall be considered separately. For the election of the Chairs the procedure described in By-Law 8.5 shall be followed. For the election of the members of the Commissions the procedure described in By-Law 8.6 shall be followed except that no more than two ballots shall be held. Any vacancies still remaining may be filled as provided in Statute 8.2.

8.9. The procedure for the nomination and election of representatives of the Union on Joint Commissions and on other scientific bodies is so far as is possible the same as that for the nomination and election of the Chairs and members of the Commissions.

9. By-Laws

9.1. These By-Laws may be amended or suspended at any General Assembly and at least two-thirds of the votes there represented are required for an amendment or suspension. A motion to amend or suspend, if not already included in the agenda of business of the General Assembly, may be placed there by the procedure of Statute 5.9. No notice is required for a proposal to suspend the time limits prescribed by By-Laws 8.2 and 8.4. Notification of any other motion to amend or suspend the By-Laws must be given by its originators to all delegates (and alternates) and to all Officers of the Union in accordance with the procedure prescribed in By-Law 1.12, at least forty-eight hours before the session of the General Assembly at which the motion is to be considered.

9.2. The present English text shall be considered the authoritative text in the interpretation of these By-Laws. Where disputes arise concerning this interpretation, the matter shall be decided by the General Assembly, or during the periods between General Assemblies, by a ruling of the President of the Union.

APPENDIX

Timetable in Preparation for General Assembly

 Statute By-Law 

12 months Notice of date and place of ordinary General Assembly
to National Committees and Commissions 5.3 __
8 months Notice of date and place of extraordinary General
Assembly to National Committees and Commissions, if
amendment of Statutes is contemplated 5.4 __
6 months Proposals for amendments to Statutes to General
Secretary 13.1 __
5 months Estimated budgets from Commissions to Executive
Committee 9.2 __
4 months Proposals for agenda of General Assembly to General
Secretary __ 1.2
4 months Notice of date and place of extraordinary General
Assembly to National Committees and Commissions, if
amendment of Statutes is not contemplated 5.4 __
4 months Proposals for amendments to Statutes to National
Committees and Commissions 13.1 __
14 weeks Reports of Commissions to General Secretary 8.4 __
10 weeks Report of Executive Committee to National Committees
and Commissions 6.8 __
10 weeks Reports of Commissions to National Committees and
Commissions 8.4 __
10 weeks Budget to National Committees and Commissions 9.3 __
10 weeks Agenda to National Committees and Commissions __ 1.1
Timetable during General Assembly
Before Notice by National Committees to General Secretary of
names of delegates, alternates and Chairs of
delegations, and of distribution of votes if not one
per delegate 5.6, 5.7 __
96 hours Nominations by Executive Committee for Officers of
Union __ 8.1
72 hours Recommendations by Commissions to General Secretary
for Chairs and members of Commissions __ 8.3
48 hours Nominations by Executive Committee for Chairs and
members of Commissions __ 8.3
48 hours Notification of motion to amend or suspend By-Laws __ 9.1
36 hours Notice to General Secretary of nominations by
delegates for Officers of Union __ 8.2
24 hours Posting of nominations by delegates for Officers of
Union __ 8.2
24 hours Notice to General Secretary of nominations by
delegates for Chairs and members of Commissions __ 8.4
12 hours Posting of nominations by delegates for Chairs and
members of Commissions __ 8.4