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Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches


Article 1

The participants of the inaugural meeting of September 28, 1969, have decided to establish the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches.

Article 2

The sphere of activity of the Society extends over the territory of the Republic of Austria. It is the intention to establish branch associations.

Article 3

Charter members are those who have voted for the acceptance of these Statutes.

Article 4

The purpose of the Society is the scholarly cooperation among specialists of the law of the Eastern Churches and of the civil law on churches insofar as it concerns the Eastern Churches. The Society will deal with the history of the sources of the institutions of canon law as well as comparative studies on the various legal systems which are at this time in force in the East. These purposes shall be realized by:

  1. Meetings and lectures,

  2. Publication of a bulletin,

  3. Establishment of libraries and centers of documentation.

The funds required for the realization of the purposes will be procured by:

  1. Fees upon joining and contributions of membership,

  2. Returns from organized events,

  3. Gifts, bequests and other endowments.

Article 5

The seat of the Society is in Vienna, Austria. It can be transferred by a decision of a majority of members, expressed during a general meeting of the Society or in a Note by correspondence, which shall also amend at the same time accordingly theses Articles.

Article 6

The Society composed of ordinary members and of associate members. Experts in the law of the Eastern Churches and of the civil law of churches with regard to the Eastern Churches from all nationalities and religious denominations may become ordinary members of the Society. Anyone who is interested in the above-mentioned subjects may become an associate member even if he does not possess academic qualifications. The reception of members is decided by the Board.

Article 7

Membership is terminated by death, withdrawal or by exclusion. Exclusion can be pronounced by the Board on account of conduct damaging to the Society or crass violation of the Statutes.

Article 8

All members enjoy active voting rights in elections as well as a deliberative vote in the general meeting. They can avail themselves of all facilities of the Society. The passive vote in elections to the Board is enjoyed by the ordinary members while ordinary and associate members may be elected to the Secretariat. Members are burdened with the obligation to support the interests of the Society and to omit anything which can be of damage to the Society.

Article 9

The Society is administered by:

  1. the Board, which is composed of:

    1. the President, who is elected by majority of votes in a general meeting for four years from among the members in ordinary in attendance. 
      The predecessor of the President in office, who belongs to the Board with the title of President Emeritus.

    2. the Vice-President, three Councillors and the Secretary General, elected for the duration of four years, from among the members in ordinary in the same manner as the President, as well as by the respective chairperson of the committee for the arrangement of a congress, in accord with the consent of the general meeting, until the end of the year which follows the year in which the congress took place.

  2. The Secretariate is an organ for assisting the President in his duties. The Secretariate is composed of three ordinary or associate members: one Secretary General, one Vice Secretary and the Treasurer of the Society, who are all elected in the same manner as the Board for four year terms.

Article 10

The members of the Board and of the Secretariat can be re-elected; the President and Vice-President can be elected only once. In the event that there is no general meeting hold during the four years following the election, the election is to be conducted in the next general meeting.

Article 11

If a member of the Board or of the Secretariat is unable to carry out the duties of the office, the President, or in his absence the Vice-President, can make provision for substitution until the next general meeting.

Article 12

The Board renders decisions with a quorum of at least four of its members, including the President or Vice-President. At the motion of the secretary general, the president, or in his/her absence, the Vice-President, may order that voting shall be conducted by mail. The decision is reached by a simply majority of votes.

Article 13

Decisions on the expenditures of the Society are made according to the budget by the President with the consent of two members of the Board, after having consulted with the Secretariat. 
The President may alone decide in instances of urgent expenditures when the amount does not exceed US$ 200,-. 
The four-year projected budget projected as was determined by the general meeting, can when necessary, be changed up to one-third by the Board.

Article 14

The general meeting of the members is the legislative organ of the Society. It has the responsibility to make decisions on proposals and on the rendering of accounts of the Board, on changes of the Statutes and on the dissolution of the Society, as well as on the election of the Board and Secretariat. The general meeting is comprised of ordinary and associate members of the Society. 
When possible, it is to meet every second year, as a rule together with the scholarly congress. The general meeting is to meet at least once within four years. Further on, the general meeting must be convened in case of a written application to the Board of at least 10 percent of the members. The general meeting can render decisions, provided it was summoned according to the Statutes at least four weeks in advance, without consideration of the number of members present. 
On condition that there is nothing contrary in the Statutes, the general meeting renders decisions with simple majority of votes. The agenda of the general meeting is decided by the Board. Every member of the Society enjoys one deliberative vote in the general meeting. A member can be represented by another member of the Society. However, a member can be a proxy for only one other member.

Article 15

The Society is represented by its President or if he is impeded, by the Vice-President, who can also convoke the meetings of the Board and of the general meeting. The above-mentioned competent representatives are respectively authorized individually to sign written documentation.

Article 16

The amount of the membership dues is to be determined by the general assembly.

Article 17

Disputes among members are to be resolved by an arbitration committee. The arbitration committee consists of one member each appointed by the parties to the dispute and by the chairperson, elected by the two other members of the arbitration committee. If agreement as to the person of the chairman cannot be reached, the decision is to be made by lot. The arbitration committee renders the decision by simple majority of votes. The decisions of the arbitration committee are final within the Society.

Article 18

The Statutes of the Society can be amended only by the general meeting. The Society can be dissolved only by a two-third majority of cast votes of the general meeting.

Article 19

In the event of a voluntary dissolution of the Society. It is for the general meeting or the Board to appoint one or more liquidators and to decide on whom the property of the Society devolves.

Article 20

The general meeting elects two independent and unbiased persons by a simple majority vote as auditors for the duration of four years. They cannot be members of the Board or the Secretariate at the same time. They have to check the financial accounting for accuracy and suitability. They always report on their activity to the general meeting before the decision-making on the exoneration of the board.

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