CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH LAW SOCIETY
I. Objectives and Activities of the Society
The Church Law Society (hereinafter referred to as the “Society”) supports study and research in the fields of church law and related branches of law at schools of law, theology, arts, education and others, at the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Czech Christian Academy, and other educational and scientific institutions and associations in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.
The Society approaches these studies and research with its own study, research and educational activities and contributes to deepening the knowledge of church law among lawyers, clergy and general public.
The Society cooperates with foreign associations and similar institutions.
The subject of study and research interest of the Society are mainly the following branches and problem areas:
- law in force of churches and religious societies registered in the Czech Republic,
- legal history of churches,
- religion law regulation in force in the Czech Republic and its preparation,
- religion law regulation in states geographically or culturally close to us,
- history of the relationship between the state and churches in our country and in other countries,
- institutes of various branches of secular law related to institutes of church law,
- institutes of international law concerning the faith and religion,
- egal theory and participation of religion law in its development,
- legal comparison of both historical scholarly branches of law: of Roman and canon law, as well as comparison of church and secular law in force, also within church legal systems.
The Society performs particularly following types of activity to achieve its stated objectives:
- It organizes scientific conferences at the regional, national or international level, alternatively contributes to their organization together with other institutions.
- It arranges teaching and educational activities in the fields of church law to the benefit of institutions that requests it.
- It publishes the Church Law Review containing
a) scholarly articles of experts in the fields and problem areas mentioned above,
b) selected seminar works of students, alternatively selected parts of master’s or Ph.D. theses,
c) notifications of legal regulation, case law, Czech and foreign literature in monitored fields.
- It creates its own specialized library. It acquires and provides information on specialized literature and texts of legal norms. It cooperates with other specialized libraries.
II. Competence, Headquarters and Organizational Structure of the Society
The Society is active throughout the Czech Republic. Its headquarters is in Prague.
Membership in the Society
- Any natural person over 18 years of age and any juridical person may be accepted as a member of the Society.
- The Working Committee decides on the acceptance or expulsion of a member.
- Each member have the right:
a) to vote and to be elected to all bodies of the Society,
b) to participate in all activities of the Society,
c) to preferentially obtain specialized information from the resources of the Society.
- Each member is obliged to assist in the of the objectives of the Society and to fulfil obligations arising from the resolution of its General Meeting.
- Membership in the Society is extinguished upon resignation or expulsion of a member. Membership is also extinguished in consequence of death of a natural person or termination of a juridical person.
- The Working Committee proceeds to expulsion of such a member who, on behalf of the Society, carries out any activity other than that provided in its By-laws and the Policy Statement, despite an admonition by the Chairman or his or her authorized representative. A member who has failed to pay the membership fee for more than three years and does not respond to reminders may be also expelled.
The General Meeting
- The General Meeting is the supreme body of the Society. It consists of all members of the Society. It convenes once every two years.
- Exclusive powers of the General Meeting include
a) election of the Managing Bodies and the Audit Committee,
b) approval of the By-laws and amendments to it,
c) decision to dissolve the Society or to merge it with another association.
- The General Meeting, together with the Managing Bodies, completes the concept of activities of the Society determined by the By-laws. Above all, it participates in formation of the programme of the Society and evaluation of its activities.
- The General Meeting supervises economic activities of the Society with the assistance of the Audit Committee.
- The General Meeting has a quorum if a majority of all members of the Society is present. After a half an hour has elapsed since the announced beginning of the session, the General Meeting has a quorum irrespective of the number of members present.
- The General Meeting decides by a simple majority. In the event of equality of votes, the Chairman’s vote decides.
The Managing Bodies of the Society
- The Managing Bodies of the Society are: the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Working Committee, elected by the General Meeting for a term of two years. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman are members of the Working Committee. The Chairman or Vice-Chairman represent the Society as its authorized representatives. Each of them can do so independently. The Working Committee consists of at least six members. At least three alternate members are elected for the same period. If the number of members of the Committee falls below six, the Working Committee chooses a new member of the Committee from among the alternate members.
- The General Meeting determines the number of members of the Working Committee for the next term by acclamation and elects the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the members of the Working Committee as well as alternate members by secret ballot.
- A list of candidates for the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, members of the Working Committee and alternate members is proposed by the present Working Committee. Candidates can also be nominated by any member of the Society.
- The Working Committee is convened and lead by the Chairman of the Society or, where appropriate, by the Vice-Chairman. If necessary, individual alternate members are invited to the meetings of the Working Committee.
- The Working Committee adopts the Policy Statement of the Society and determines the amount and maturity of membership fees. The Working Committee convenes the General Meeting. It is obliged to convene the General Meeting as soon as at least twenty members of the Society request it.
- The Working Committee has a quorum if a majority of all members is present. The Working Committee decides by majority of members present. In the event of equality of votes, the Chairman’s vote decides, in his or her absence the Vice-Chairman’s vote. Present alternate members have advisory vote. The Working Committee may also decide per rollam (in writing); the resolution is in this case adopted by a majority of its members who gave their opinion on the proposal within the given deadline.
- If the function of the Chairman of the Society is left vacant, the Vice-Chairman carries out his or her office until the ordinary election of the new Chairman takes place.
- The General Meeting elects the Audit Committee consisting of three members for a period of two years. For the same period, it elects two alternate members who are appointed to vacant seats of the members of the Audit Committee in the order in which they were elected. A list of candidates for members of the Audit Committee as well as alternate members is proposed by the Working Committee.
- The Audit Committee monitors economic activities of the bodies of the Society as well as compliance with regulations and submits an audit report to the General Meeting. The General Meeting approves activities of the Working Committee in case of agreement with the audit report.
- The Chairman of the Society, alternatively the Vice-Chairman, informs members of the Audit Committee of convocation of the Working Committee meeting. They take part in meetings of the Working Committee at their discretion or at the invitation of the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Society.
- The Working Committee constitutes local groups on a proposal of the Chairman of the Society in individual cities and municipalities in which interest in activities of the Society arises and appoints as well as dismiss their chairmen.
- The chairmen of local groups are invited to meetings of the Working Committee and may participate either in person or through a designated representative. They have an advisory vote in the Working Committee.
- The local group in Prague is managed directly by the Chairman of the Society and its Working Committee.
III. List of Members of the Society
- Mandatory data registered in the list of members are:
a) name, surname, date of birth, employment,
b) delivery address, preferably the e-mail address and telephone number, and
c) details of the payment of membership fees.
A member is obliged to notify the Society without undue delay of the data referred to in point a) and b), and their changes.
- Entry into the list of members is based on decision to be admitted as a member. Data already written are deleted after the membership is extinguished.
- The list of members is not publicly available and is used only for the needs of the bodies of the Society.
IV. Final Provisions
- In the event of termination of the Society, the liquidator ensures settlement of claims and debts of the Society according relevant legal regulation.
- All assets of the Society will be offered to the Charles University in Prague, Prague 1, Ovocný trh 5, after all commitments have been settled.
These By-laws take effect after approval by the General Meeting (24th April 2014). The existing By-laws of the Society, as amended, expire.
POLICY STATEMENT OF THE CHURCH LAW SOCIETY
- The Church Law Society (hereinafter referred to as the “Society”) is built on the principle of respect and friendly relations with churches and religious societies (hereinafter referred to as the “religious communities”).
- Applicants are invited to join the Society regardless of their studies, employment and religious affiliation.
- The Society promotes an ecumenical approach in the relationship between churches and solidarity between religions.
- The Society is not part of any religious community and works independently of political parties and movements.
- The Society supports external activities of religious communities in the public sphere, especially in health service and education.