Statutes & Bylaws
By-laws approved by the General Assembly of the ISLSSL, September 2009
The International Society for Labour and Social Security Law (Société Internationale de Droit du Travail et de la Sécurité Sociale) was constituted in Brussels in June 1958. It is the result of the merger of the International Society for Social Law (São Paulo Congress, 1954, and Brussels Congress, 1958) and the International Congresses of Labour Law (Trieste, 1951, and Geneva, 1957).
Name and Objects
- The International Society for Labour and Social Security Law, in the following articles called the Society, is established as an association for the purposes of studying labour and social security law at the national as well as international level, and promoting the exchange of ideas and information from a comparative perspective, and encouraging the closest possible collaboration among academics, lawyers, and other experts within the fields of labour and social security law.
- The activities of the Society include the promotion of the study of labour and social security law amongst young academics and lawyers, and support for international comparative schools, seminars and other meetings in those fields.
- The aims of the Society are of a purely scientific character, independent of all considerations of a political, philosophical or religious nature.
The seat of the Society is in Geneva. It may be transferred to another place by decision of the Executive Committee.
The Society membership shall consist of:
- National associations or other entities which have decided to affiliate themselves as members of the Society and whose affiliation is accepted by the Executive Committee. This category of membership shall be referred to as the Society’s National Members. To be eligible, a National Member shall submit its by-laws or a brief on its purpose and activities and shall demonstrate that it has no less than 15 dues paying individual members. The Executive Committee may, however, accept a smaller number of members of an association in order for it to qualify as a National Member if that smaller membership is justified because of the applicant’s individual situation. There shall be no more than one National Member per country. In the event that more than one organization seeks recognition as the National Member for a county, the Executive Committee shall determine which shall be recognized as the National Member based on its dedication to the Society’s goals and the capacity to participate meaningfully in its activities. All other national associations may be recognized and participate as Institutional Members of the Society.
- Individuals elected by the Executive Committee. This category of membership shall be referred to as the Society’s Individual Members.
- Scientific societies, national associations (other than National Members), and research institutes which are elected by the Executive Committee. This category of membership shall be referred to as the Society’s Institutional Members. In order to get such recognition, the Executive Committee will require from the (relevant) National Member that it submits a report on the applicant’s accomplishments, to confirm the above-referred dedication to the Society’s goals, and the support and collaboration that it provides to the National Member.
- In each country where there is a national association of persons who, because of their scholarly work or professional activities, are interested in furthering the aims of the Society, that association shall be encouraged to become a National Member of the Society.
- Individual Members are elected primarily among persons from countries where there is no National Member of the Society, and among the officials of international organizations dealing with labour and social security law.
The organs of the Society are:
- the General Assembly;
- the Executive Committee, and
- the Officers (the President, the President-Elect, the Secretary-General and the Treasurer).
- Individual members of National Members of the Society, Individual Members designated by the Executive Committee in keeping with article 7.3 here below and representatives appointed by Institutional Members of the Society constitute the General Assembly. Each member shall have one vote. However, the maximum number of votes from the National Member of one country shall not exceed the average number of individuals for whom contributions have been paid during the past three years immediately preceding the General Assembly, and in total be not more than 30. In the event that the maximum number is exceeded for a National Member, the votes for that group shall be reduced to the above-mentioned maximum of votes for a national group. Before the casting of votes takes place, the Treasurer shall report to the Assembly on the financial contributions and suggest for decision the maximum number of votes of each National Member. In addition, Individual Members and Institutional Members each have one vote.
- The General Assembly shall meet on the occasion of each World Congress.
- With the exception of Article 15, the voting shall be by simple majority.
- The General Assembly shall approve increases in dues, changes in these statutes, and any issues over which the Executive Committee is deadlocked. It shall also elect Honorary Presidents on the proposal of the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Committee is composed of the President, the President-Elect, the Honorary Presidents, the Secretary-General, the Treasurer, and of one representative of each National Member. National Members may designate by a signed writing alternate representatives of the same national association who may vote in the absence of the representative.
- The Executive Committee may invite Institutional Members to participate at its meetings, with the right to speak but not to vote. To this purpose the Executive Committee shall determine which Institutional Member shall be invited, on the basis of its dedication to the Society’s goals, its number of individual members and its capacity to participate meaningfully in the Society’s activities.
- The Executive Committee, upon a proposal by the Officers after consultation with the Vice-presidents, can also designate individual members in order to establish channels of communication with countries which otherwise would not be represented on the Executive Committee. Only one individual member per country shall be accepted. Such individual members can participate, but not vote, at its meetings. The Executive Committee shall also determine when an individual member will no longer participate at it, especially because of inactivity or when a national association has been accepted as a national member of the Society in respect to that individual member’s country.
- In order to maintain the international character of the Society, the Executive Committee shall appoint, from among the National Member representatives, Vice-Presidents, to a maximum of six to act as advisers of the Officers.
- In order to ensure diversity of advisory perspectives provided to the Officers and to the deliberations of the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee may appoint up to 2 additional Vice Presidents from among the National, Institutional or Individual Members.
- The Executive Committee shall hold two regular meetings in any period between two World Congresses. One of these meetings shall be held immediately before each World Congress. Normally, the second meeting shall be held in the year prior to each World Congress, and immediately before a Regional Congress, unless otherwise decided by the President after consultation with the Officers, Honorary Presidents and Vice-Presidents. The date and venue of these meetings shall be announced by the Secretary-General not less than six months before they are to be held.
- After consultation with the Officers and Vice-Presidents, the President may convene additional meetings of the Executive Committee. He or she may also invite the Executive Committee to take decisions by correspondence when such is justified for reasons of urgency.
- The Executive Committee has the power to decide any matter which in these by-laws is not reserved to the General Assembly or to specific officers.
- Subject to the provisions of paragraph 6 hereafter, each National Member has one vote on the Executive Committee, and the voting shall be by simple majority of those who take part in the decision.
- Honorary Presidents and Officers have the right to vote on the Executive Committee but Officers shall not have the right to vote for the election of the Officers unless they are representing a national member.
- Only National Members that have paid their dues until and up to the calendar year preceding the year in which a vote is conducted can cast a ballot when a vote is taken.
- No less than eighteen months prior to a World Congress the Secretary-General shall issue a call for nominations for the President-Elect of the Society. Any nomination for the President-Elect shall be made in writing, and shall reach the Secretary-General no less than three months prior to the meeting of the Executive Committee that is normally held in the year before a World Congress. At that meeting, if only one candidate has been nominated he or she can be elected by acclamation unless the Executive Committee upon request by three or more members having voting rights decides that the election be made by a secret ballot. If more than one candidate has been nominated the election for President-Elect shall be conducted by secret ballot and the nominee receiving a majority of more than fifty per cent of the votes cast shall be the President-Elect. If none of the nominees receives the described majority in that first round of voting, a second vote shall be taken in which only the nominees receiving the two highest numbers of first round votes shall be on the ballot, and the candidate receiving the highest number of votes in the second round shall be the President-Elect. In the event of a tie for the highest number of ballots in the second round, the Executive Committee will postpone the election of the President until its next meeting. The President-Elect shall assume the office of President at the closing ceremony of the World Congress.
- The Vice-Presidents, the Secretary-General and the Treasurer shall be appointed by the Executive Committee at its meeting that normally takes place immediately before each World Congress. In order to appoint the Secretary-General and the Treasurer, the Secretary-General shall issue a call for nominations no less than six months prior to this meeting, and the nominations shall reach him or her no less than three months prior to that meeting.
- All appointments made by the Executive Committee shall be for a time not exceeding the period between the close of a World Congress and the close of the next World Congress. The Secretary-General and Treasurer only may be re-elected for new periods.
- In case of vacancy in the Presidency, if a President-Elect has already been appointed, he or she shall immediately succeed to that office. If the President-Elect has not yet been appointed the Secretary-General, after consultation with the Vice-Presidents will ask one of the Vice- Presidents to take up the office of President until a new President is appointed.
- In case of vacancy of the Secretary-General or the Treasurer, the President, after consultation with the Vice-Presidents, shall provisionally appoint an Acting Secretary-General or an Acting Treasurer until the Executive Committee can meet and take a decision on these appointments.
- The President and the Secretary-General are jointly responsible for the management of the Society and they shall, whenever practicable, consult with the President-Elect, the Honorary Presidents and the Vice-Presidents. The President and the Secretary-General have joint power of signature for the Society. For payments to cover the current administration of the Society, each of them has the power of signature.
- The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection of the contributions from National Members, Institutional Members, and Individual Members, for the administration of the assets of the Society, and for presenting a financial report at each meeting of the Executive Committee.
- The Treasurer is authorized to make payments to cover the current administration and expenses of the Society, and for that purpose has the power of signature for the Society.
The Executive Committee shall grant discharge from liability for their administration to the President, the Secretary-General and the Treasurer upon a report of one or more auditors appointed by the Executive Committee. If a vote is taken pursuant to this provision the President, the Secretary General and the Treasurer will not vote.
The Society shall meet in a World Congress every three years or at such longer or shorter intervals as the Executive Committee may find convenient.
- The President and the Secretary-General shall organize various activities for the promotion of the aims of the Society such as organizing conferences of experts for the exchange of ideas on specific subjects and encouraging and facilitating the creation of study groups.
- National Members will be encouraged to arrange regional congresses and to invite members from other countries to attend national meetings.
- The Society and its organs will do the utmost to promote the establishment of national associations of labour and social security law in countries where there is none and to assist them in their development and their participation in the activities of the Society.
- The resources of the Society are its assets, dues from its members, gifts, legacies and grants.
- The Executive Committee shall determine the amount which each member shall pay annually by way of contribution to the Society. The Executive Committee shall have the power to decide upon such reductions of the ordinary contributions which may be justified because of the situation in each case. Payments of contributions shall be made to the Treasurer.
- The decisions of the Executive Committee to increase dues shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval.
Amendments of the Statutes
The Statutes of the Society may be amended at any General Assembly by a vote of two thirds of members present and entitled to vote.
Proposals for changes in these statutes must be adopted first by the Executive Committee.
Coming into Force and Interim Arrangements
- These Statutes will come into force immediately.
- The Officers in consultation with the Vice-presidents are instructed to propose a list of the associations that meet the criteria for being recognized as National Members pursuant to article 3.1 above, which list shall be submitted to the approval of the Executive Committee at its next meeting, in 2011, Seville.