THE JUSTICE AND THE LAW SOCIETY CONSTITUTION

This constitution is enacted on Monday May 8 2017.

1 Name

The Society shall be called the Justice and the Law Society (JATL), hereafter referred to as the Society.

2 Associated Body with The University of Queensland Union

The Society shall be an associated body with the University of Queensland Union in the TC Beirne School of Law.

3 Aims and Objectives

The Society is a student society that aims to promote discussion about the intersection between the law and social justice, and other legal issues, whilst providing opportunities for professional networking and career development.

(1)  The aims of the Society are to:

(a)  Publicise and provide information about legal and social justice issues affecting the community;

(b)  Increase awareness of the social implications of laws and policies and ensure that legal education is situated within a social context;

(c)  Provide networks among members, students, and the legal profession (locally, nationally and internationally);

(d)  Represent, address, and improve social justice issues and concerns, including gender equality and discrimination issues;

(e)  Celebrate achievements in the law and other areas;

(f)  Be a forum for members and others to raise concerns, whether these be directly related to educational matters or to broader community issues;

(g)  Advocate on behalf of University of Queensland law students for a high quality, fair, and equitable legal education.

(2)  The assets and income of the Society shall be applied solely in furtherance of its above-mentioned objects, and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the Society except as bona fide compensation for services rendered to or expenses incurred on behalf of the Society.

(3)  The society prides itself on contribution from a diverse membership base and promotes equality of opportunity, especially with respect to gender equality within the Society, the legal profession and the wider community.

(4)  The Society shall not adopt aims or objectives, which would bring it under the jurisdiction of the University of Queensland Sports Association (UQ Sport).

4  Membership

(1)  Membership is open to: 

(a)  Any student of The University of Queensland;

(b)  Any academic staff member of The University of Queensland; and 

(c)  Any members of the wider community interested in the Society’s activities. 

(2) The Society shall not have less than
            (a) Thirty (30) financial members in case of a subsidised club;

 (b) Fifteen (15) financial members in the case of a publications club; 

 (c) Ten (10) financial members in the case of an Ipswich based club.                                                                        

(3)  At least seventy per cent (70%) of the Society’s membership must be comprised of students of The University of the Queensland. 

5  Membership Fees

(1)  Membership fees shall be such a sum as the Executive shall from time to time so determine at any Executive Meeting, but shall not be less than two (2) dollars per member per annum.

(2)  Membership fees shall be payable upon joining the Society. 

6  Termination of Membership

(1) A member may resign from the Society at any time by giving written notice to the Secretary.

(1)  Such resignation in (1) shall take effect at the time such notice is received by the Secretary unless a later date is specified in the notice, in which case it shall take effect on that later date.

(2)  The Executive shall consider whether membership shall be terminated if a member:

(a)  Fails to comply with any of the provisions in this Constitution;

(b)  Has membership fees in arrears; or

(c)  Conducts themselves in a manner considered to be injurious or prejudicial to the character or interests of the Society.

(3)  The member concerned must be given a full and fair opportunity of presenting the member’s case. If the Executive resolves to terminate the membership, it shall instruct the Secretary to advise the member in writing accordingly.

7  Register of Members

(1)  The Executive shall keep a register of the name, student number and year of study (for student members), and contact details, for all members of the Society.

(2)  Particulars shall also be entered into the register of resignations, terminations and reinstatement of membership, in addition to any further particulars as the Executive or the members at any Annual General Meeting (AGM) or Special General Meeting (SGM) may require.

(3)  The register shall be open for inspection at all reasonable times by any member who previously applies to the Secretary for such inspection and a copy shall be provided for the Clubs and Societies Administration Officer each semester.

8  Membership of Executive

(1)  Core Executive Roles

The Executive of the Society shall consist of a President, Vice-President (Administration), Secretary and Treasurer, all of whom shall be members of the Society, elected by other members of the Society at any AGM or SGM, and enrolled as students within the TC Beirne School of Law at the time of being elected.

(2)  Other Executive Roles
The Executive of the Society shall also include the following office bearers. Office bearers in this role shall be a member of the Society, elected by other members of the Society at any AGM or SGM, and enrolled as a student within the TC Beirne School of Law at the time of being elected:

(a)  Vice-President (Careers)

(b)  Vice-President (Social Justice)

(c)  Careers Officers x 2

(d)  Social Justice Officers x 2

(e)  Marketing Officers x 2

(f)  Pandora’s Box Editors x 2

(g)  Pandora’s Blog Editors x 2

(h)  Sponsorship and Fundraising Officer x 1

(i)  Committee Members x 4

(3)  Membership of the Executive shall not be subjected to discrimination on any grounds. 

(4)  The election of members of the Executive shall take place in the following manner: 

(a) Any member of the Society shall be at liberty to nominate themselves to be elected as a member of the Executive;
(b) A written nomination must be lodged with the Secretary, either in hard copy or by email, at least three (3) hours before the AGM or SGM at which the relevant election is to occur; 

(c) Non-written nominations will also be taken from the floor at the AGM or SGM;

(d)  Balloting lists shall be prepared containing the names of the candidates in alphabetical order by surname;

(e)  A majority of members present at the AGM or SGM must vote to select a returning officer, who shall be responsible for counting the votes;

(f)  Each member present at an AGM or SGM shall be entitled to vote, provided that they were a member of the Society on the calendar day the AGM or SGM was called;

(g)  Members shall vote by indicating their preferences on the ballot in numerical order, with one (1) indicating their first preference;

(h)  The vote shall be conducted as a secret ballet at an AGM or SGM;

(i)  In the event of a position being uncontested, no election is to take place and the candidate will be deemed to have been elected by default.

9  Resignation or Removal from Office of Executive Member

(1)  Any member of the Executive may resign from membership of the Executive at any time by giving written notice to the Secretary. Such resignations shall take effect at the time such notice is received by the Secretary unless a later date is specified in the notice, in which case it shall take effect on that later date.

(2)  Any member of the Executive may be removed from office at a meeting of the Executive, where the member must be given the opportunity to fully present the member’s case.

(3)  The question of removal shall be determined by the vote of a sixty percent (60%) majority of Executive members present at the meeting.

10  Vacancies on Executive

(1)  The Executive shall have the power to appoint any member of the Society to fill any vacancy on the Executive caused either by a failure to be filled at the last AGM or SGM or by vacation under section 9, until the next AGM or SGM.

(2)  In the event that the number of Executive members falls below the Executive quorum, a SGM shall be called as soon as practicable to elect sufficient Executive members to meet the aforementioned quorum.

11  Functions of the Executive

(1)  Except as otherwise provided by this Constitution and subject to resolutions

of the members of the Society carried at any AGM or SGM, the Executive shall have general control and management of the administration of the affairs and funds of the Society.

(2)  The Executive shall, in the case of genuine ambiguity as to meaning, have the authority, subject to this sub-section and section 13, to interpret the meaning of this Constitution, other than this sub-section and section 13, and any matter relating to the Society on which this Constitution is silent.

(3)  The Executive shall take full responsibility for all publications produced by the Society.

12  Meetings of the Executive

(1)  The Executive shall meet a minimum of twice per semester to exercise its functions.

(2)  Meetings of the Executive shall be called by the Secretary with three (3) days' notice.

(3)  The Secretary and/or the nominee for the meeting must keep an accurate record of attendances and resolutions passed at all Executive meetings. 

(4)  At every meeting of the Executive, one (1) more than fifty percent (50%) of the Executive, rounded up to the nearest whole number, shall constitute a quorum.

(5)  Any question arising at a meeting of the Executive shall be decided by a vote.

(6)  A member of the Executive may not vote in respect of any matter in which the member is financially interested.

(7)  The President shall preside as chairperson at every meeting of the Executive. If there is no President, or if at any meeting the President is not present within ten (10) minutes after the time appointed for holding the meeting, then the members shall choose one (1) of their number to be chairperson of the meeting.

(8)  If a quorum is not present within half an hour from the time appointed for the commencement of a meeting of the Executive, the meeting will be adjourned to such time and place as the Executive may determine, even in the absence of quorum. If, at the adjourned meeting, a quorum is not present within half an hour from the time appointed for the meeting, the meeting shall lapse.

13 Dispute as to meaning of this Constitution

If, at any time, a dispute arises as to the meaning of this Constitution or the powers of the Executive on a matter where this Constitution is silent, the Executive shall vote on the question of whether or not to refer the question to an AGM or SGM. This should follow the procedure specified in section 12(5) except that if there is an equality of votes, the matter shall be referred to an AGM or SGM.

14 Resolutions of Executive without Meeting

A written record signed or otherwise consented to by a majority of members of the Executive shall be valid and effectual as if it had been passed at a meeting of the Executive duly convened and held.

15 Annual General Meetings

Each AGM must be held -  

(a)   at least once each calendar year; and

(b)  within three (3) months after the end of the Society’s previous financial year.

16 Business to be Transacted at Annual General Meeting

(1) The following business must be transacted at every AGM

(a)  The receiving of the statement of income and expenditure, assets and

liabilities for the last financial year, prepared by the Treasurer;

(b)  The receiving of reports from the President and the Secretary;

(c)  The receiving of the auditor’s report on the financial affairs of the Society for the last financial year;

(d)  The presenting of the audited statement of the meeting for adoption; and

(e)  The election of members to the Executive;

(f)  The minutes of the AGM shall be submitted to the Clubs and Societies Administration Officer within seven (7) days of the AGM.

17 Special General Meeting
(1) The Secretary shall convene a SGM by sending out notice of the meeting within fourteen (14) days of:

(a)   Being directed to do so by a resolution of the Executive; or 

(b) Being given a written requisition signed by not less than one-third (1/3) of the members of the Society; or

(c)   Being given notice in writing of an intention to appeal against the decision of the Executive to reject an application for membership or to terminate the membership of any person. 

(2) A requisition mentioned in sub-section 17(b) shall clearly state the reasons why such SGM is being convened and the nature of the business to be transacted.

18 Quorum at Annual General Meetings or Special General Meeting

At any AGM or SGM, the number of members required to constitute a quorum shall be 15% of the membership to the nearest whole number, or 13 members, whichever is fewer.

19  Notice of General Meeting

(1)  The Secretary must convene at least one general meeting of the Society per calendar year by giving not fewer than fourteen (14) days notice of any such meeting to the members of the Society.

(2)  Notice of such a general meeting shall, at the very least, be by email distributed to all members of the Society and by the posting of a notice on the Society’s noticeboard.

(3)  Notice of the general meeting shall clearly state the nature of all business to be discussed.

20  Procedure at Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting

(1)  The President shall preside as chairperson or, if there is no President, the President is not present within fifteen (15) minutes after the time appointed for the holding of the meeting, or the President is unwilling to act, then the members present shall elect one (1) of their number to be the chairperson of the meeting.

(2)  The chairperson shall maintain order and conduct the meeting in a proper and orderly manner.

(3) Every question, matter or resolution, other than the election of members of the Executive, shall be decided by an absolute majority in an open vote of the members present at the general meeting, pursuant to the procedure outlined in section 8(4)(e).

(4) The members present at the general meeting may resolve to conduct a vote by secret ballot, pursuant to the procedure outlined in section 8(4)(e).

(5) Every resolution must be minuted.

21  Alteration of Rules

(1)  This Constitution may be amended or added to by a special resolution carried at any AGM or SGM.

(2)  However, any amendment or addition is only valid if it is registered by the President and approved by the Clubs and Societies committee.

(3)  A special resolution is passed at the meeting if not less than two thirds of the members of the Society who vote in person or, if proxies are allowed by proxy at the meeting, vote in favour of the resolution.

(4)  A resolution is not to be considered to have been passed as a special resolution under sub-section (2) unless not less than fourteen (14) days notice has been given in accordance with the rules to all members of the Society specifying the intention to propose the resolution as a special resolution.

22  Funds and Accounts

(1) The funds of the Society must be kept in the name of the Society in theUniversity branch of the Commonwealth Bank. The Society shall operate one (1) account only. Exceptions to this can only occur with the specific approval of the Clubs and Societies Committee. 

(2)  Proper books and accounts shall be kept and maintained either in written or printed form, in the English language, showing correctly the financial affairs of the Society and the particulars usually shown in the books of a like nature. 

(3)  All monies shall be deposited in total as soon as practicable after receipt thereof. 

(4)  Cheques shall be crossed ‘not negotiable’. 

(5)  The Executive shall determine the amount of petty cash that shall be kept. 

(6)  All expenditure shall be approved or ratified at a meeting of the Executive. 

(7)  As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year the Treasurer shall cause to be prepared a statement containing the particulars of: 

(a) The income and expenditure for the financial year just ended; and (b) The assets and liabilities at the close of that year. 

(8)  The accounts of the Society must be audited one month prior to the AGM. 

(9)  The auditor must examine the statement prepared by the Treasurer and present a report on it to the Secretary before the next AGM following the financial year for which the audit was made.

(10) The income and property of the Society must be used solely in promoting theSociety’s objectives and exercising the Society’s powers. 

23 Dissolution

(1)  The Society shall not be dissolved (other than by the University of Queensland Union) other than in accordance with the following procedure:

(a)  A minimum of six (6) months' written notice must be provided of any proposal to hold a vote on the question of dissolution to all members of the Society, the University of Queensland, and the TC Beirne School of Law.

(b)  A reasonable effort must also be made to give a minimum of six (6) months' written notice to all persons who had been members of the Society's Executive in the previous five (5) years.

(c)  Each person mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this sub-section must be given a reasonable opportunity to present their opinion on the proposed dissolution, and such opinion must be genuinely considered.

(d)  No vote on the question of dissolution shall take place without the unanimous consent of the Executive and the consent of the University of Queensland Union.

(e)  The question of dissolution shall be determined at an AGM, and shall be deemed to have been resolved in the negative (ie. against dissolution) unless supported by 90% of the membership.

(2)  In the event of the Society being dissolved, the amount that remains after the dissolution and the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be transferred to any non-profit organisation with similar purposes.

24 Documents

The Executive shall provide for the safe custody of books, documents, instruments of title, and securities of the Society.

25 Financial Year

The financial year of the Society shall close on 31 August in each year.

26 Justice and the Law Privacy Policy

(1)  The Executive shall abide by the provisions of the JATL Privacy Policy (JPP)

(2)  A copy of the JPP will be available on the Society’s website, noticeboard, or other appropriate public avenue.

(3)  The JPP may be amended by the general members at either an AGM or SGM.

 (a) Amendments to the JPP must occur by the procedure outlined in section 21.