International Heraldry Society Constitution
PART A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Name of the Organisation
A1. The name of the organisation is the International Heraldry Society.
A2. The International Heraldry Society is an unincorporated non-profit association sponsored by the Armorial Register Limited and will at all times shall remain with or be associated to the Armorial Register Limited.
A3. The International Heraldry Society is established for the following purposes:
a. To provide a forum for persons interested in the study of the art, science and philosophy of heraldry and its associated disciplines, including armory, chivalry, genealogy and any other allied subjects.
b. To encourage, increase and extend interest in and knowledge of the subject.
c. To offer education to members.
d. To offer education, advice and assistance to persons who might make enquiries about such matters.
e. To offer advice on the registration, matriculation and grant of heraldic devices.
A4. The International Heraldry Society is not a competitor or replacement for any heraldic authority in any country that legally regulates heraldry or registers arms. The International Heraldry Society may assist in the design of arms but claims no authority to grant coats of arms.
A5. The International Heraldry Society does not issue copyrights or register trademarks, service marks, certification marks, collective marks or coats of arms
A6. The operations of the International Heraldry Society will mainly be on the Internet and may be conducted from any place.
A7. The International Heraldry Society will maintain Internet WebPages designed to educate and assist those interested in heraldry and its associated disciplines.
Wherever possible the International Heraldry Society will try to help with queries about heraldry and its own activities.
A8. The principal office of the International Heraldry Society shall be the same as the principle office of the Armorial Register Limited.
A9. The International Heraldry Society will have no membership fees and will make no charges.
A10. Individual members or officers of the International Heraldry Society will not solicit donations.
A11. No salaries, fees or honoraria will be paid by the International Heraldry Society to any member of the International Heraldry Society for any purposes.
A12. The Armorial Register Limited undertakes to offset the cost of web hosting and domain names. Members of the International Heraldry Society may, with the approval of the Committee, make voluntary donations to offset costs that might be incurred by the International Heraldry Society, by paying those costs directly.
Elections and Voting
A13. Elections for Committee members are prescribed in PART C MANAGEMENT.
A14. For any vote, seven days notice shall be given followed by seven days for voting. The quorum necessary for a vote to be valid shall be thirty per cent of the listed membership. Decisions shall be reached by a simple majority of those voting.
A15. If a quorum has not been achieved, exactly the same resolution may be put again seven days later, and those voting within the following seven days will form the quorum for the purposes of this Article.
A16. All elected officers shall take up office on 1 May following April elections or at the earliest appropriate date after adjourned elections.
A17. All elections and voting shall be organised by the Secretary.
Amendment of Articles
A18. Any Member may propose amendment of these Articles to the Committee.
A19. All members will be notified of proposed amendments ratified by the Committee. Amendments will be put to a vote of all members.
A20. Notice of a vote on the proposal shall be given no less than two weeks and no more than four weeks after details have been so circulated, when the provisions for elections shall apply save that no amendment to these Articles shall be approved without a two thirds majority of those voting.
A21. Amendments to Articles shall not have retrospective effect.
Natural Justice and Procedural Fairness
A22. In all procedures of the International Heraldry Society, the principles of Natural Justice and Procedural Fairness shall be applied.
A23. In the case of conflict with any International Heraldry Society Article these principles shall take precedence.
Code of conduct
A24. Members will reasonably confine themselves to matters covered by the purposes of the International Heraldry Society.
A25. Members will refrain from introducing political or religious matters, which have no direct bearing on heraldry, into International Heraldry Society affairs.
A26. Members will not make personal attacks on any person in the International Heraldry Society forum or act so as to bring harm to the Society.
Winding up the International Heraldry Society
A27. The Society may be dissolved by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of those members present with voting rights at either an AGM or an EGM called for the purpose and in accordance with the procedures in clause A15. The resolution shall include instructions for the disposal of any assets or collections held by the Society (after all debts and liabilities have been settled) such that they shall be transferred to the Armorial Register Limited.
PART B. MEMBERSHIP
Grades of Member
B1. The International Heraldry Society shall have grade of membership: Member.
B2. The Committee of the International Heraldry Society may determine from time-to-time the criteria for admission as Members or for the institution of any further grades.
B3. A member must be a real person, and not a corporate body, company, institution, society or association and have attained an age of 16 years.
B4. Reasons for declining membership, or suspending or expelling a Member shall include conduct considered to have violated any of the fundamental principles, objects, or rules of the International Heraldry Society, or action in any manner, that, in the opinion of the Committee of the International Heraldry Society, is detrimental to its interests.
B5. Rights, privileges and obligations of members cannot be transferred or transmitted to another person, corporate body, company, institution, society or association.
Applications for Membership
B6. Any real person may apply for membership of the International Heraldry Society, giving such information in support of the application as may be requested.
B7. Applications for membership shall be considered as decided by the Committee.
B8. The Secretary shall announce to the International Heraldry Society the acceptance of a new member and add the new member's name to the Lists of Members.
B9. If the Committee declines an application, the Secretary shall inform the applicant, giving reasons for the decision.
B10. Any applicant whose application has been declined may ask a current Member to appeal against the decision on his or her behalf. If no Member will make an appeal on behalf of an applicant, that applicant may make a further application after six months.
B11. Appeals against a decision to decline membership shall be considered by the full membership. The decision of the Committee and its reasons will be published to the membership with the appeal together with any further information put forward by the applicant. The provisions for elections shall apply to a vote on an appeal.
B12. All members must report any change of email address to the Secretary, as well as to confirm current email addresses annually.
Resignation of Membership
B13. Members may resign at any time by notice to the Secretary.
B14. On receipt of such a notice the Secretary shall remove the name of the member from the Lists of Active Members.
B15. If a resigned or dismissed member wishes at some time to be re-instated, then he must re-apply to join as if he had never been a member and if membership is granted will start as a Member again if there are any other grades.
B16. A member can at any time ask to be removed from the List of Active Members. That member's name will then be placed on the Inactive List.
B17. Every 1 January every member on the Active and Inactive Lists will be asked by the Secretary to confirm that they wish to remain as members of the International Heraldry Society.
B18. If no response is received from a member within three months of the regular reminder, the member will be placed on the Inactive List if currently on the Active List, and if on the Inactive List the name and details will be transferred to the “ex-member's list”.
B19. A member can be restored to the List of Active Members at any time on request.
B20. If any person is aware that a member is deceased, the Secretary should be notified.
Suspension or Expulsion
B21. The Committee will inform members of any decision of the Committee that a Member should be considered for suspension or expulsion, giving reasons for that decision.
B22. Any Member has the right to be informed by the Secretary of the decision of the Committee. If the Member does not appeal, the decision of the Committee shall be confirmed.
B23. A Member has a right of appeal to the Members against suspension or expulsion. Appeals against suspension or expulsion shall be considered by the Membership. Any information put forward by the Member will be considered. A Member shall be given the opportunity to present evidence on his or her own behalf, either personally or by a chosen representative. A simple majority of those who vote is needed to overturn the decision of the Committee.
PART C MANAGEMENT
The Management Committee
C1. There shall be a Management Committee, totalling an odd number, responsible for the overall policy and direction of the International Heraldry Society and responsible for the interpretation of this Constitution.
C2. The Management Committee shall consist of a Chairman, A Secretary and as many Committee Members to bring the Committee up to an odd number.
C3. The Committee shall be chaired by the Chairman who shall also be a member of any other group or sub-committee within the International Heraldry Society.
C4. The Committee may co-opt members as assistants in any area of activity, for any period of time up till the next election.
C5. There shall be on the Committee, a representative of the Armorial Register as the patrons of the International Heraldry Society. This representative may be elected as Chairman or Secretary. If the representative is not elected onto the Committee then they will be co-opted along with another Member, so as to maintain the odd number total.
C6. This Armorial Register Committee Member shall have the power of veto, but only for issues that would affect the Armorial Register.
C7. Elections for the posts shall be held annually as close as possible to the second Friday in April, with successful candidates to hold office until the next election.
C8. Any Member may nominate any other Member for election as a Committee Member, and any Member who is nominated must confirm to the Secretary that nomination is accepted.
C9. If a Committee Member resigns, the Member with the next number of votes at the previous election will take the place for the remainder of that period of office.
C10. If there is no candidate, the Committee may co-opt a Member for the remainder of that period of office.
C11. The Committee may recommend that a Committee Member be removed from office. The same procedure for the suspension or expulsion of a Member will then be followed.
Management Committee Meetings
C12. The Committee shall meet at agreed times and places, and this includes electronic meetings.
C13. The quorum for Committee meetings is three.
C14. Notice of a Committee meeting must be given to each Committee Member two weeks in advance, but with a lesser period if all Committee Members agree.
C15. The Secretary will keep minutes and correspondence. Decisions taken at Committee meetings shall be published electronically to all Members.
Appeals against Committee Decisions
C16. A Member who feels aggrieved by any Committee decision, including interpretation of this Constitution, may, within one month of the cause of the grievance, give notice of an appeal.
C17. The Committee will then consider the matter and the process will then be the same as in the case of an appeal against suspension or expulsion.
C17. The International Heraldry Society is committed to maintaining the privacy and security of individual or organizational information to the best of its abilities within the limitations imposed by the relatively insecure Internet.
C18. The International Heraldry Society privacy philosophy is that no information about its Members is collected or used except what is necessary for the efficient running of the International Heraldry Society. In particular the following principles have been established:
a. Via the use of the online resources of the Society, data automatically transmitted by the visitor's browser and computer may be collected. This data may include such information as IP address, browser version, etc. The content of such data obtained about a Member will be accessible to review and confirmation prior to it going online.
b. Information provided for online presentation cannot be absolutely secure from unauthorized use by parties external to the International Heraldry Society, but every effort will be made to make such use as difficult as possible. To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.
c. Providers of information will have the opportunity to update it by contacting an identified International Heraldry Society representative.
d. The International Heraldry Society will take steps to ensure that any updates are processed in a timely and complete manner. 18th June 2013.