Constitution

Objective

1. The objective of the ACT Chapter of the Australasian Study of Parliament Group (the ACT Chapter) is to support, in the Australian Capital Territory, the purpose of the Australasian Study of Parliament Group (the Group): to encourage and stimulate research, writing and teaching about parliamentary institutions in Australia and the South Pacific Regions in order to generate a better understanding of these institutions.

2. The Group has the aim of:

  • providing a general forum at least once a year for interaction between those with a direct and continuing interest in parliament and parliamentary affairs, academics, staff and members of parliament, and the media;
  • maintaining a dialogue between those whose major research interests are in the area;
  • facilitating exchange of reports or other useful information on the study of parliament for research and teaching purposes;
  • publishing a newsletter at appropriate intervals which will further these aims;
  • informing and educating the general public about parliamentary institutions and legislative processes;
  • encouraging appropriate organisations to include in their conferences special sections on parliament and related matters;
  • contributing to the process of reform and improvement of parliamentary institutions and the legislative processes;
  • providing an avenue for publication of research and other studies, particularly related to parliamentary institutions.

Membership

3. Membership of the Group is open to any person with a direct and continuing interest in parliament and parliamentary affairs including members and officers of the National, State and Territory parliaments of Australasia and the South Pacific, library and research staff attached to those parliaments, and journalists, academics and others interested in the parliamentary form of government.

4. Membership of the Group may be individual or corporate.

5. Membership of the Group is conferred on an individual or corporate entity upon payment of applicable membership fees to the Group in accordance with the Group’s requirements.

6. The benefits that accrue to members of the Group are in accordance with the Group’s Constitution and/or decisions of the Executive Committee of that entity or decisions taken at the Group’s annual general meeting.

7. On becoming a member of the Group, an individual or corporate entity based in the ACT is automatically granted membership to the ACT Chapter.

Notice of meetings

8. A notice of meeting of the ACT Chapter must be provided to members via email (based on contact details included on the ACT Chapter’s membership list) no less than one week prior to the meeting being held.

Amendments

9. The ACT Chapter constitution may be altered at an annual meeting or a general meeting.

10. Any proposed change to the ACT Chapter constitution must be provided to members via email no less than one week prior to a meeting to determine the proposal being held

Annual and general meetings

11. There will be an annual meeting of the ACT Chapter.

12. General meetings may be held as required by the ACT Chapter Executive Committee (see clause 16).

13. The quorum for annual meetings or general meetings is five members.

14. Each individual member of the ACT Chapter is permitted a vote.

15. Each corporate member is permitted two votes, exercisable by the head of the relevant entity. The head of the corporate entity may nominate a proxy to cast these votes.

The Chair of the Executive will chair both annual meetings and general meetings. Where the chair is not available another member of the executive may chair the meetingExecutive Committee

16. The Annual General Meeting may elect no fewer than three and no more than six members, including to be members of the Executive.

17. The Executive may co-opt further members for special events as required.

18. At its first meeting following its election, the Executive will elect from its number a Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.

Chair

19. The Chair is responsible for corresponding with members about the activities of the group, providing notice of meetings and for chairing any annual or general meetings of the Chapter.

Treasurer and financial matters

20. The Treasurer is responsible for the finances of the Chapter and shall be a parliamentary officer of either the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory or of either house of the Commonwealth Parliament.

21. A financial statement for each financial year will be prepared by the ACT Chapter Treasurer for presentation to the annual meeting and the Group Treasurer.

22. The ACT chapter is permitted to open a bank account in which to deposit and to withdraw funds to enable expenditure on activities related to the achievement of the Group’s objectives. Electronic access to the account is permitted by the Chair, Treasurer and Secretary of the ACT Chapter.

23. Account withdrawals will be jointly effected by the agreement of two members of the Executive Committee, neither of whom are beneficiaries of the payment. A record of expenditure decisions shall be maintained (e.g. email correspondence) and reconciled with bank records.

Secretary

24. The Secretary is responsible for maintaining the membership list of the ACT Chapter, for drafting and circulating minutes of meetings of the Executive, annual meetings or general meetings.

Patron

25. The Annual General Meeting may appoint a Patron of the Chapter.

Winding up

26.The chapter may be wound up if a resolution is passed by a majority of members present at an annual or general meeting.

27. Upon winding up, all assets are to be transferred to the ASPG.

28. In the event of the ASPG having been wound up, assets will be paid to Amnesty International

Adopted at the Annual General Meeting, 30 May 2001 and amended at Annual General Meeting 4 November 2015.