CONSTITUTION

1. Name of the Society

The name of the association shall be the Society for Latin American Studies (hereafter the Society).

2. Aims

The aims of the Society shall be to advance and promote the study of Latin America within the United Kingdom, and in particular to:

  • sponsor an annual conference for Latin Americanists.

  • sponsor or co-sponsor such other conferences or meetings as the Society shall from time to time deem appropriate.

  • publish a periodical bulletin, the Bulletin of Latin American Research (BLAR), the ownership of the copyright to the content and title of which will be retained by the Society.

  • maintain a website for the Society and publish other publications as the Society shall from time to time deem appropriate; and

  • co-operate with public, academic and institutional bodies which have similar interests or objectives.

 

3. Charitable Status

The Society shall be constituted and registered as a charity in accordance with the laws of England and Wales.

 

4. Governance of the Society

 

  • The whole body of the members in General Meeting shall constitute the highest governing body of the Society.

  • All the business of the Society not reserved to a General Meeting by this Constitution shall be conducted by a Committee and Officers elected in accordance with this Constitution.

 

5. Membership

  • Membership of the Society shall be open to any person concerned with Latin American studies.

  • Members shall be such persons as shall have applied in due form, on condition of payment of an annual subscription (which may be at a lower rate for students in full-time or part-time education or for the unwaged).

  • Members of the Society shall have the right:

    • to attend, initiate business and vote at General Meetings of the Society, each member having one vote;

    • to stand for election to the offices and committees of the Society;

    • to receive the publications distributed by the Society and such other privileges as the Committee may from time to time determine.

  • Membership of the Society shall terminate in the event of any of the following:

    • where the member has submitted their resignation in writing and the Committee is satisfied that the member’s obligations to the Society have been discharged;

    • where the member’s subscription is more than one year in arrears and the Committee so resolves;

    • where the Committee has given notice to the member that it proposes to terminate his or her membership and has in fact so terminated it, this shall be ratified at a General Meeting of the membership by a majority of not less than two thirds of those present and voting.

 

6. The Officers of the Society

  • The Officers of the Society shall be the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. The President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected in accordance with the procedure laid down in Section 11: Elections.

  • Officers must be fully paid-up Members of the Society and, if resident outside of the UK Common Travel Area, willing to travel to the UK CTA at their own expense for such meetings as will be held in person.  

  • Officers must already be ordinary members of the Committee or have prior experience of being a member of the Committee.

  • The Officers of the Society will be elected as follows:

    • The President and Vice-President shall hold office for two years and shall not be eligible for re-election to the same office.

    • The normal expectation is that the Vice-President will become President when the current President completes their term.

    • The Treasurer and Secretary shall hold office for two years and shall be immediately eligible for re-election to the same office for a maximum of three terms after which they will no longer be eligible for re-election to the same office.

    • The officers shall be elected in such a way that no more than two officers are elected in any year.

  • The duties of the officers are as follows:

    • The President shall:

      • chair the meetings of the Society and its Committee;

      • oversee the efficient functioning of the Society and its business;

      • represent the Society to other bodies and institutions;

      • keep the Members of the Committee fully informed of all developments with respect to the Society;

      • maintain a supervisory function over the administration of the Society’s membership.

    • The Vice-President shall:

      • deputise for the President in his/her absence and carry out such other of the President’s duties as the President may request.

      • liaise with the Treasurer to ensure probity in the management of the Society’s financial assets.

    • The Secretary shall:

      • keep the archives and carry on such correspondence of the Society as the President shall from time to time require;

      • serve notice of such meetings as the Constitution, the Committee or the Members shall from time to time require;

      • keep the minutes of the meetings of the Society and its Committee;

      • oversee the organisation of the academic programme of the Society’s annual conference;

      • administer the annual election of Officers and Committee Members;

      • carry out such other duties as the Society shall from time to time deem appropriate.

    • The Treasurer shall:

      • manage such financial assets as the Society possesses;

      • operate such bank accounts as the Society shall from time to time set up, on his/her own signature and, for sums over a limit that shall be determined by the Committee, that of the President or Vice-President;

      • keep the books of the Society which s/he shall have audited annually by an independent examiner in accordance with the requirements of the Charity Commission and for presentation to the Annual General Meeting;

      • present such other accounts as the Committee shall from time to time require;

      • prepare annual accounts to be circulated to the Committee for its meeting held prior to the Annual General Meeting.

 

7. The Committee

 

  • The management of the affairs of the Society shall be vested in a Committee which shall consist of all the Officers of the Society and six ordinary Members. The Committee shall also have as members ex-officio the Past President, the representative of PILAS (Postgraduates in Latin American Studies), the co-ordinating editor of BLAR (or another editor as his/her delegate), and the Organiser of the next Annual Conference. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt up to two additional members (who will not have voting rights).

  • The six ordinary members of the Committee, who must be fully paid-up Members of the Society and, if resident outside the UK Common Travel Area, willing to travel to the UK CTA at their own expense for such meetings as will be held in person, shall be elected by the Society as laid down in Section 11: Elections.

  • An ordinary member of the Committee shall hold office for a term of two years and shall be eligible for re-election for a maximum of three terms unless they proceed to take up the duties of an officer of the Society in which case the term limits of that role apply.

  • The co-opted Members shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting of the Society following their co-option.

  • If an ordinary member of the Committee misses three consecutive meetings they shall be deemed to have relinquished their role and the vacancy on the Committee will be filled in the next round of elections, as laid down in Section 11: Elections.

  • If an officer of the Society misses three consecutive meetings they shall be deemed to have relinquished their role and the Committee will appoint another member of the Committee to replace that officer fully and with immediate effect. The role will then be advertised in the next round of elections, as laid down in Section 11: Elections.

  • The Committee shall meet at least three times a year, and at other times when convened by the President. Most meetings are expected to be virtual, in consonance with the Society’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, except for meetings held in relation to the Annual Conference where that conference is being held in person.

  • The Committee may constitute such sub-committees as it sees fit for the more efficient conduct of its business and, unless the Committee resolves otherwise, such sub-committees shall have the power to act without further reference to the Committee.

  • The President shall preside over the meetings of the Society and the Committee. When the President is unable to act, the Vice-President (or failing the Vice-President, any other member of the Committee designated by the President or the Vice-President) may exercise any of the functions of the President.

  • The Committee shall be deemed to have a quorum when at least seven voting members are present. In the event of a Committee meeting being inquorate, the President may determine that, in order to continue the business of the Society and providing that any three Officers are present, the meeting should be deemed a meeting of Officers, who will exercise their due executive authority to take any decisions deemed necessary; any non-Officers present from the Committee will be invited to remain at this meeting.

 

8. Meetings of the Society

 

  • The Society shall hold an Annual General Meeting of its Members once in each calendar year.

  • The President may, or (at the request in writing of not fewer than ten Members of the Society) shall, convene an Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss any matter of which not less than twenty-eight days’ notice has been given to Members.

  • Twenty-eight days’ notice of every General Meeting and of the business to be transacted therein shall be given to all Members.

  • A General Meeting shall be constituted when there are present:

    • the President or, in his/her absence, the Vice-President;

    • one other of the officers of the Society; and

    • 20 full members of the Society.

  • The Society shall meet at such other times as the Committee may determine. At such meetings business other than that for which the meeting has been called shall be transacted.

9. The Conduct of the Annual General Meeting (AGM)

  • The Committee shall in each calendar year, appoint a time and place for the AGM of the Society in the ensuing year.

  • The business of the Annual General Meeting shall include:

    • the notification of the election of officers of the Society;

    • the notification of the election of ordinary Members of the Committee;

    • the receipt of the audited accounts of the preceding calendar year;

    • the receipt of a general report by the Committee on the activities of the Society;

    • the appointment of auditors;

    • any other business relating to the Society and its affairs.

  • Not less than 28 days prior to the AGM the Secretary shall circulate to the members:

    • an Agenda showing what business is to be transacted;

    • the minutes of the previous AGM;

    • such other documents as the Committee shall determine.

  • Amendments to the Constitution shall be entertained only in General Meetings. See Section 10: Amendment of the Constitution.

 

10. Amendment of the Constitution

 

  • This Constitution may be amended by a resolution approved by not less than two-thirds of the Members of the Society present and voting at a General Meeting.

  • Any proposal for an amendment of the Constitution shall be in writing, be submitted not less than 28 days before the date of the General Meeting at which it is sought to move the amendment, and shall either:

    • be submitted by the Committee; or

    • be supported by at least ten Members of the Society who have signified their support in writing or by email.

  • The Secretary shall keep a copy of the proposal and shall circulate the text of the amendment to the members not less than 14 days before the meeting.

  • At the meeting, the President shall call for debate.

  • The meeting will then proceed to a vote.

 

11. Elections

The election of officers and ordinary members of the Committee will take place annually, prior to the Annual General Meeting, in accordance with the following procedures:

  • Two months prior to the Annual General Meeting, the Secretary shall inform the membership of the vacancies that will occur on the Committee, requesting application by self-nomination within 21 days.

  • All fully paid-up members of the Society are eligible to stand for election and the Society particularly encourages self-nominations that align with its commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

  • There will be no election for the office of President where the Vice-President indicates their willingness to succeed the current President in that role.

  • Twenty-eight days prior to the Annual General Meeting, the Secretary shall notify the members of the nominees.  

  • If for an office there is only one nominee, the office will be filled. If there is more than one nominee, a ballot will be held. Members of the society will receive a statement of up to 200 words prepared by each candidate outlining his/her relevant background and qualifications for the post. The ballot shall be conducted by a date earlier than seven days prior to the Annual General Meeting.

  • The Secretary shall inform the President of the outcome of the elections and the President shall inform the Annual General Meeting.

 

12. Property of the Society

 

  • The property of the Society, other than cash to such amounts as the Committee shall from time to time specify, which shall be under the control of the Treasurer, shall be vested in trustees who will be all the current members of the Committee.

  • In the event of the winding up or dissolution of the Society any remaining assets, after all liabilities have been discharged, shall not be paid or transferred to any member or members of the Society, but shall be transferred to some other institution or institutions having objectives similar in whole or in part to the objectives of the Society, as the members of the Society at or before the time of dissolution shall determine.

21-4-2022 (approved by vote of AGM, University of Bath)

Photo: Doris Siegel, Patagonia, Argentina