The British Association for Soviet, Slavonic, and East European Studies (BASSEES) Constitution [As amended, 7 April 1991 and 1 April 2012]

Object

1. The object of the British Association for Soviet, Slavonic and East European Studies is to advance education for the public benefit in the United Kingdom in the humanities and the social sciences as they relate to the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe.

Membership

2. The following shall be eligible for full membership of the Association:

  • a) Members of staff who hold or who have held until retirement posts in any institution of higher education or research whose work relates to the disciplines described in paragraph 1;
  • b) Other scholars of like status working in these disciplines who shall be approved by the Committee from time to time.

The following shall be eligible for associate membership, without voting rights:

  • c) Research students registered for a higher degree in any institution of higher education in the United Kingdom whose work relates to the disciplines described in paragraph 1, who may be approved by the Committee from time to time and shall be eligible for membership during the period of their study and for one year thereafter;
  • d) Retired members who elected for associate membership in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5;
  • e) Other scholars of like status whose work relates to the disciplines described in paragraph 1 and who shall be approved by the Committee from time to time.

3. Persons falling into the categories listed in paragraphs 2 a) and 2 b) shall be qualified for membership of the Association without any requirement of nomination or election, but their membership may be terminated in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5. Nominations for membership under paragraphs 2 b) and c) must be supported by appropriate evidence of standing, and membership may be terminated in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5. The Committee shall have the power to accept or reject such nominations.

4. On the recommendation of the Committee, honorary life membership maybe conferred on persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the fields of study described in paragraph 1. Such recommendations must be approved at an Annual General Meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of those attending the Annual General Meeting.

5. Each member of the Association shall pay an annual subscription, the amount of which shall be determined from time to time at the Annual General Meeting of the Association. The subscription for associate members shall be less than the full subscription. Membership may be terminated by a decision of the Committee for non-payment of the annual subscription or other good cause.

6. If the qualification of any person for membership of the Association is in doubt the Committee's decision shall be final.

7. The Committee of the Association shall consist of the President, a Vice-President (the most recent holder of the office of President who is able to serve), a Vice-President (President-elect) in the year preceding the first year of office, the Secretary, the Membership Secretary, the Information Officer, the Treasurer, and eight other members.

8. Every nomination of a person for election to the Committee must be supported by two members of the Association and must be sent to the Secretary in writing before the Annual General Meeting.

9. The President shall normally hold office for a period of three years, having been elected at the annual General Meeting of the Association held one year before he/she is due to take up office, and in the meantime having served as a member of the Committee with the title of Vice-President. This period of three years may in a particular case be prolonged by one year, but the President shall in no circumstances hold office for more than four successive years. A President of the Association shall, on retirement from that office, automatically become a Vice-President.

10. The Secretary, Information Officer and Treasurer shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Association to hold office until the next annual General Meeting. All of these officers shall be eligible for re-election, and shall not normally serve for more than three years. The Secretary, upon retirement from that office, shall become an ordinary member of the Committee for a period of one year.

11. A member of the Committee other than the president, Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Information Officer and Treasurer shall hold office for not more than four years in succession. The tenure of office of a member of the Committee shall be determined at the time of his/her election. A member of the Committee who has held office for at least three years in succession and who ceases to be a member of the Committee shall not be eligible for re-election until on year has elapsed since he/she ceased to be a member.

General Meetings

12. The Association shall hold at least one general Meeting in every calendar year. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called at any time by the Committee or by the President and Secretary acting on its behalf, who shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting at the written request of twenty-five or more members and shall give at least twenty-one days notice of the meeting.

13. Decisions of a General meeting shall not be valid unless a quorum of thirty members is present at the time a decision is taken.

14. Any alteration to this Constitution shall be made at the Annual General Meeting of the Association and shall require the votes of not less than two-thirds of the members present. Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed by the Committee or by any two members of the Association if the proposed text is sent to the President for submission to the Committee at least six weeks before the General meeting at which it is to be considered. In circulating notice of an amendment to the Constitution the President shall indicate whether the Committee approves, disapproves or offers no opinion on each amendment. No alteration shall be made to the object of the Association (paragraph 1), this paragraph, or the dissolutions provisions (paragraph 16) and no amendment shall be made to the remaining paragraphs which would have the effect of causing the Association to cease to be a charity in law.

15. An Auditor shall be elected by the Annual General meeting, the person receiving the most votes holding office as Auditor until the next Annual General Meeting. The accounts shall be submitted each year by the Treasurer to the Auditor together with such additional evidence as may be necessary to demonstrate the full financial position of the Association. The accounts for each financial year shall be audited and presented to the Annual General Meeting next following; they shall be circulated with the agenda for such meetings.

16. The Association may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two thirds majority of those present and voting at an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for the purpose, of which twenty-one days notice shall have been given to the members in writing. Such a resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Association, provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the members, but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to those of the Association, as the Association may, with the approval of the Charity Commissions or other authority having charitable jurisdiction, determine.

Address

17. The address of the Association shall be care of the secretary of the Association for the time being. Members are individually responsible for reporting to the Association, at its address, the address to which the agenda of General Meetings and the accounts should be sent.