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Constitution

Constitution

1.     

The name of the Society shall be the British Society for Genetic Medicine (also known as the British Society for Human Genetics).    

2.

The objects of the Society shall be:
a) to advance the science of human genetics
b) to promote study and research into human genetics as it relates to health and disease
c) to promote public awareness of human genetics as it relates to health and disease
d) to support, guide and inform the professions contributing to applications of genetics in the health care systems of the United Kingdom
e) to offer informed opinion on issues of public interest in relation to genetics
f) to co-ordinate and assist as appropriate the activities of the Constituent Groups.

 Powers of the Society

3.

In furtherance of the above mentioned objects but not otherwise the Society through its Council shall be empowered to:
(a) hold seminars, lectures, discussion groups, conferences and symposia
(b) act as an authoritative body for the purpose of consultation in matters of public and professional interest
(c) invite and receive contributions from any person or organisation by way of subscriptions or donations
(d) collect subscriptions on behalf of Constituent Groups from time to time (e) borrow and raise money for the promotion of the objects of the Society on such terms as the Council shall consider expedient and in the interests of the Society
(f) support by means of grants or guarantees such activities of the Constituent Groups as the Council may consider expedient and in the interests of the Society
(g) undertake and execute any charitable trusts which may be lawfully undertaken by the Society
(h) invest the monies of the Society not immediately required for working purposes in such investments as the Council shall from time to time determine
(i) do all such things as shall further the above mentioned objects or any one of them.

4.

The income and property of the Society whencesoever derived shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects of the Society as set forth in the Constitution, and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of profit to Members of the Society. Provided that nothing herein shall prevent the reimbursement of expenses or payment in good faith of proper and reasonable remuneration to any Officer, Member or servant of the Society in return for services rendered to the Society, or reasonable and proper rent for premises demised or let by any member of the society; but so that no member of the Council or governing body of the Society shall be appointed to any salaried office of the Society or any office of the Society paid by fees, and that no remuneration or other benefit in monies worth shall be given by the Society to members of such Council or governing body, except repayment of out of pocket expenses and reasonable and proper rent for premises demised or let to the Society.

 Membership of the Society

5.

The Society shall consist of Ordinary, Senior and Honorary members, Corporate members and Overseas affiliates. Only Ordinary and Senior Members of the Society shall be entitled to vote in elections or at meetings of the Society, or to be elected as Officers.

6.

The membership shall be open to those with a professional interest in human genetics.

7.

Ordinary members shall be normally resident, or normally practise a relevant profession in Great Britain or Northern Ireland. Such persons who are also members of the Constituent Groups and who pay the Society's membership subscription shall automatically be members of the Society. Other persons may be nominated in writing by two members of the Society for election as Ordinary Members.

8.

Overseas Affiliates shall normally be resident outside Great Britain and Northern Ireland and practising a relevant profession. Such persons who are members of the Constituent Groups and pay the Society's membership subscription shall automatically be Overseas Affiliates of the Society. Other persons may be nominated in writing by two members of the Society for election as Overseas Affiliates.

9.

The Council shall recommend candidates for election as Ordinary Members or Overseas Affiliates to any General Meeting of the Society. If there is any objection to a candidate his or her application shall be referred back to the Council for further consideration. All members of the founding Constituent Groups on the date of formation of the Society shall be entitled to appropriate membership of the Society on payment of the Society's subscription.

10.

Ordinary Members on retirement from relevant professional appointments, may cease to be Ordinary Members and may become Senior Members.

11.

Persons of eminence who have contributed to the advancement of genetic medicine shall be eligible for election as Honorary Members. They shall be elected to the Society on the recommendation of the Council and they shall pay no membership subscription.

12.

Companies may on the recommendation of the Council be admitted to Corporate Membership of the Society on payment of the Corporate Membership subscription.

13.

The annual subscriptions of the Society shall be determined at the Annual General Meeting. Non-payment of the subscription within three months after it is due shall be considered equivalent to resignation.

14.

The Council shall have the power to recommend to the Annual General Meeting, after consultation as appropriate with any relevant Constituent Group, termination of a member if such termination appears to them to be in the interests of the Society.

15.

New Constituent Groups may upon application be admitted to the Society by recommendation of the Council followed by resolution at a properly constituted General Meeting approved by a two-thirds majority of those present. .

 Officers and Council

16.

The Honorary Officers of the Society shall be the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Conference Organiser. The posts of Treasurer and Conference Organiser may be held by the same person.

17

The Council of the Society shall consist of three Members of the Society nominated by each of the founder Constituent Groups, normally including the Chairman or President of each Constituent Group, together with three Ordinary members elected by the Members of the Society. The Members will normally serve for a maximum of three years and those representing constituent groups should be changed on a rotational bases arranged by the Constituent Group. Council should be informed of these arrangements. 40% of Council Members will constitute a quorum. In the event of a new Constituent Group being accepted, the Council shall determine the representation of that group on the Council. The Treasurer and Conference Organiser shall be elected by the Members of the Society. They will hold office for three years and be eligible for re-election on expiry of their term of office.

18.

Decision of the Council can be taken by simple majority vote except on matters which concern essential professional interests of members of only one of the Constituent Groups, in which case members of that Constituent Group may reserve the right to refer the matter back to the Council of their own group.

19.

The Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary shall be elected by the Council from Society members nominated and seconded by the Council and shall take office at the Annual General Meeting of the Society. The Secretary shall hold office for three years notwithstanding whether or not they are a member of a constituent group. The Vice Chairman will be the Chairman elect and will hold office as Vice Chairman for one year, as Chairman for a further two years and as Past Chairman for one year. Holders of these offices will not be eligible for re-election to the same office until one year after the expiry of their term of office.

20.

The Ordinary Members of the Council shall be elected by the Members of the Society. They will hold office for three years and will not be eligible for re-election until one year after the expiry of their term of office. The periods of office of these members will be staggered to ensure continuity.

21.

At least eight weeks before the Annual General Meeting the Secretary shall send to each Member of the Society the names of elected members of Council (including where appropriate the Treasurer and Conference Organiser) who are due to retire from the Council. Any Ordinary Member of the Society or member of the Council may, with his or her consent, be nominated in writing by two Members to stand for election to such vacancy. In the event of a contest, the Secretary shall prepare and distribute to all Members ballot papers listing the name and other relevant professional information concerning each candidate.

22.

The Council shall have power to invite any appropriate person to attend any of its meetings from time to time as a non-voting observer.

 Meetings

23.

The Society shall hold an Annual General Meeting at a place and time determined by the Council. The Agenda for the Annual General Meeting shall be arranged by the Council. Members wishing to have matters included on the Agenda shall inform the Secretary in writing at least four weeks prior to the meeting.

24.

An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by fifty Ordinary Members of the Society, or by the Council, and at least two months' notice must be given to the Secretary. All Members shall be notified of the time, place and agenda of any General Meeting at least three weeks in advance.

25.

The quorum of an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting shall be fifty Ordinary Members and four members of the Council, one of whom shall be an Officer. Resolutions will be passed by simple majority vote, and in the event of a tie the Chairman shall have the casting vote.

26.

The Council, on its own authority or if requested to do so by a member or members representing 10% of all the voting members, may proceed to call a postal ballot on the election of members of the Council, or on any other resolution put to the members.

 Alterations to Constitution

27.

Any alteration to this Constitution shall be made only at a General Meeting of the Society, and provided that notice of such alteration has been given on the Agenda of the meeting and that two thirds of those voting on the alteration signify their assent. Members unable to attend the meeting may request permission to vote by post on such alteration, such request to be in writing to the Secretary at least one week before the meeting. Any such alteration must be proposed and seconded by Ordinary members and must be notified in writing to the Secretary at least two months before the Meeting.

28.

No amendment may be made to clause 1, clause 2, clause 4, clause 29 without prior consent in writing of the Charity Commissioners.

29.

If upon the winding up or dissolution of the Society there remains, after satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the Society but shall be given or transferred to the Constituent Groups or to some other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to those of the Society and which prohibit the distribution of its or their income among its or their members. Such charitable institution or institutions shall be determined by the Members of the Society at or before the time of dissolution and if effect cannot be given to this provision, the surplus funds shall be devoted to some other charitable object or objects.