Constitution

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Graduate Law Students Association

Association des Étudiants en Droit des Cycles Supérieurs

McGill University

 

CONSTITUTION

 

Association Member: An Association Member is any person registered as a graduate student or post-doc in law at McGill University. They have a right to vote in the General Assembly.

 

Executive Officer: An Executive Officer is a member of the Executive Board of the GLSA, elected to this role by Association Members. They have the right to vote during Executive Board meetings, and to hold one of the Vice- President or President positions.

 

Executive Board: The Executive Board is the working body of the Association composed of all the Executive Members.

 

ARTICLE 1. NAME OF THE ORGANIZATION

 

1.1 The organization established by this Constitution is named the Graduate Law Students Association, and may be referred to as the GLSA in its abbreviated form (hereinafter the “Association”).

1.2 The French language name of the organization is “Association des Étudiants en Droit des Cycles Supérieurs (AEDCS).”

 

ARTICLE 2. OBJECTIVES

 

The objectives of the Association are to:

2.1 Represent, promote, and defend the interests and rights of Association Members, at the Faculty of Law of McGill University, within the Post-Graduate Students’ Society of McGill University (“PGSS”), and within McGill University at large.

2.2 Organize events and services to improve the quality of life of Association Members.

2.3 Disseminate information of interest to Association Members.

2.4 Provide a link between the graduate law students and undergraduate law students through the (undergraduate) Law Students Association (hereinafter the “LSA”).

 

ARTICLE 3. EXECUTIVE BOARD

 

3.1 The Association shall be governed by an Executive Board composed of six (6) Executive Officers, and any Delegate Representative appointed by the President as per Article 5.

3.2 The Executive Officers of the association are as follows:

– President;

– Vice-President Communications;

– Vice-President Finance;

– Vice-President Internal;

– Vice-President Academic;

– Vice-President External.

3.3 The President, together with the Vice-President External, shall act as the external officer of the Association. The President cannot hold any other Executive Officer position concurrently with the presidential position.

3.4 The position of President or Vice-President Academic can in no circumstance be assigned to a Delegate Representative.

3.5 The Executive Board shall reach its decisions, as much as possible, by consensus among its members. In case a consensus cannot be reached, the Executive Board shall make decisions by a majority of votes (50% + 1). For the purposes of votes within the Executive Board, each Executive Officer shall have a vote, and each Delegate Representative shall have a voice but no vote.

3.6 The President shall, on a regular basis, invite Association Members who hold positions as representatives of graduate law students on faculty or university committees, or PGSS bodies, to report on their activities at meetings of the Executive Board.

 

ARTICLE 4 – ROLES OF THE OFFICERS

 

4.1 The President shall:

4.1.1 Oversee the functioning and activities of the Association, and may represent the Association in its external dealings.

4.1.2 Chair GLSA meetings.

4.1.3 Be one (1) of the two (2) required signing officers.

4.1.4 Represent graduate law students at meeting of the Faculty Council.

4.1.5 Represent the Association at meetings of PGSS Council.

4.1.6 Represent the Association at meetings of the LSA Council.

4.1.7 Represent the Association at meetings of the Graduate Studies Committee. The President may delegate this duty to another Executive Officer or to Delegate Representative in order to ensure appropriate representation of Doctor of Civil Law (“DCL”) and Masters of Law (“LLM”) students at meetings of the committee.

4.1.8 Solicit nominations to fill vacant graduate law seats on faculty committees, and PGSS Judicial Board, and submit names to the GLSA Executive Board for approval.

4.1.9 Perform other duties as required by the Executive Board.

4.1.10 Arbitrate all disputes relative to the interpretation of the GLSA Constitution, and refer all persistent issues relative to the GLSA Constitution to the competent authority within PGSS.

 

4.2 The Vice-President Communications shall:

4.2.1 Organize and administer GLSA elections, in accordance with Article 8.

4.2.2 Prepare agendas and publish any requisite notification of the Association.

4.2.3 Coordinate communications amongst members of the Executive Board.

4.2.4 Coordinate communications amongst the GLSA and LSA in regards to joint activities including conferences, orientation week and coffeehouses.

4.2.5 Act as webmaster with duties including maintaining the website and all social network platforms used by the GLSA.

4.2.6 Be responsible for GLSA official e-mail accounts.

4.2.7 Prepare an information letter for newly admitted graduate law students.

4.2.8 Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Board.

 

4.3 The Vice-President Finance shall:

4.3.1 Be the Financial Officer of the Association and be responsible to the Executive Board and the Association for the maintenance of accounts, preparation of an annual budget and financial statements, and the management of funds of the Association.

4.3.2 Be one (1) of two (2) required signing officers.

4.3.3 Publicize and carry out fundraising for events.

4.3.4 Coordinate the collection of membership fees.

4.3.5 Retain all financial records for seven (7) years after the year of initial transaction.

4.3.6 Destroy all financial records after the seven (7) year retention period.

4.3.7 Ensure with the President of the GLSA that all end-of-year accounts are balanced before the official handover of responsibilities and financial statements to the incoming GLSA Executive Board. This includes payment of all outstanding debts that the Association incurred before the 15th of September of each academic year.

4.3.8 Present at the end of Fall and Winter terms a financial report to the GLSA Executive Board.

4.3.9 Prepare and present an end-of-year Financial Report to the GLSA Executive Board.

4.3.10 Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Board.

 

4.4 The Vice-President Academic shall:

4.4.1 Represent the Association at the meetings of the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee.

4.4.2 Represent the Association at Faculty Council meetings.

4.4.3 Represent the Association at the Faculty Examination and Evaluation Committee meetings.

4.4.4 Represent the Association in ad hoc meetings with members of the Faculty regarding academic matters or individual students.

4.4.5 Represent the Association in any other committees or meetings relating to academic matters.

4.4.6 Coordinate the Annual GLSA Conference.

4.4.7 Keep the other Executive Officers informed of developments and decisions taken at meetings described above.

4.4.8 Serve as Pro Tempore President of the Association and therefore discharge the responsibilities and duties of the office of President of the Association when the President: (i) is temporarily or permanently unavailable to discharge his duties and responsibilities; (ii) resigns their position on the Executive Board or (iii) is removed from the office of President of the Association by the General Assembly.

4.4.9 Ensure that the Executive Board remains informed on the activities of Association Members who hold positions as representatives of graduate law students on faculty or university committees, or PGSS bodies.

4.4.10 Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Board.

 

4.5 The Vice-President Internal shall:

4.5.1 Plan and execute social, cultural, and other activities for Association Members.

4.5.2 Plan and execute all social events related to New Students Orientation activities and the Graduate Ball. This includes coordinating GLSA involvement in LSA activities, such as Orientation and Coffee Houses.

4.5.3 Advocate and act as a liaison to Association Members for all non-academic related matters within the Faculty of Law.

4.5.4 Work in coordination with the Vice-President Academic to ensure an inclusive and supportive environment is maintained in all student-life activities.

4.5.5 Promote student involvement in activities that allow for social, academic, and professional networking.

4.5.6 Complete McGill University Server Training Workshop.

4.5.8 Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Board.

 

4.6 The Vice-President External shall:

4.6.1 Represent the Association at meetings of the PGSS Council, and report to the Executive Board on PGSS activities.

4.6.2 Maintain and promote relations with other faculties, student associations, inter-faculty

organizations, and administrative bodies of McGill University in coordination with the President.

4.6.3 Be responsible for GLSA external relations with government and other student advocacy groups.

4.6.4 Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Board.

 

4.7 Other Duties of the Executive Officers:

4.7.1 The duties of the Executive Officers may be divided among the other Executive Officers and Delegate Representative, by consensus, according to their availabilities and interests. This shall not apply to the duties described in the following Articles: 4.1.4, 4.1.10, 4.3.1, 4.3.2, 4.3.8, 4.3.9, 4.3.7, 4.4.6, 4.4.8

4.7.2 In order to achieve an efficient institutional memory, the Executive Officers shall keep sufficient record of all the relevant documents acquired or drafted during the course of their mandate to be passed along to the outgoing Executive Board, and make these records available to the next Executive Board at the end of their mandate.

4.7.3 All the Executive Officers and Delegate Representatives should always make best efforts to sharing their duties in the most equitable way possible.

 

 

ARTICLE 5 – DELEGATE REPRESENTATIVES

 

5.1 The President shall, on the advice of the Executive Board, appoint Delegate Representatives to represent each of the following programs not otherwise represented by an Executive Officer elected to the Executive Board:

– LLM non-thesis;
– LLM thesis;
– Institute of Comparative Law (“ICL”).

Appointment of Delegate Representatives to represent these constituencies shall take place prior to the end of October. Should a Delegate Representative be removed from their position pursuant to Article 5.7, appointment of a new Delegate Representative to fulfill the representative role set out in Article 5.1 shall take place within one (1) month of the said removal.

5.2 There shall also be a Delegate Representative for the Institute of Air and Space Law (”IASL”) when no Executive Officer elected to the Executive Board is affiliated with the IASL. The Delegate Representative for the IASL shall be Association Member elected as per Article 8.2.

5.3 There shall also be a Delegate Representative for the DCL when no Executive Officer elected to the Executive Board is enrolled in the DCL program. The Delegate Representative for the DCL shall be Association Member elected as per Article 8.3.

 

5.4 The President, on the advice of the Executive Board, may depart from the list of constituencies in Article 5.1 in order to reflect significant changes to the structure or population of the graduate programs at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. A decision to leave one of the constituencies listed above unrepresented on the Executive Board shall be communicated to the membership with justifications, and shall be debated by the General Assembly at its next meeting.

5.5 The President may, on the advice of the Executive Board, entrust a Delegate Representative with the fulfillment of certain duties of Executive Officers or the planning and execution of special projects.

5.6 The President shall, in the appointment of Delegate Representatives, give preference to Association Members who have recently manifested their interest in joining the Executive Board, for instance by answering to a call for nominations to fill a position or by seeking election as an Executive Officer.

5.7 The Delegate Representative must be an Association Member.

5.8 The Delegate Representative may be removed at any time by the President on the advice of the Executive Board.

5.9 The Delegate Representative shall provide any support needed by the Executive Officers in the fulfilment of their duties.

 

ARTICLE 6. FINANCES AND MEMBERSHIP FEES

 

6.1 The Association shall conduct fundraising for such programs or activities as it sees fit.

6.2 The Association may seek funding from the PGSS in accordance with the PGSS funding program guidelines.

6.3 There may be a membership fee for Association activities, which shall be requested to be paid for the fall and winter terms by all graduate law students registered at McGill University for the Academic year. Non-opt-outable fees may only be created, renewed, and modified through a referendum in accordance with the applicable McGill University regulations; the quorum for a fee referendum shall be the same as for the General Assembly, as defined in Article 7.4. Optional fees may be created and modified by the Executive Board, who shall determine the amount and methods of collection thereof.

6.4 The financial year of the Association shall start on the 25th day of September and end on the 24th day of September.

6.5 There shall be a bank account under the Association’s name with at least two (2) joint signing officers to comply with PGSS and University requirements.

6.6 An annual budget and an annual financial statement shall be prepared by the Vice-President Finance and approved annually by the Association at its General Assembly.

6.7 If the General Assembly does not approve the annual financial statements, the Vice-President Finance shall take all appropriate steps to address the concerns expressed by the Association Members, including requesting information and action from previous Vice-President Finances, and present a new version of the financial statements no later than at the next meeting of the General Assembly.

 

ARTICLE 7. GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETINGS AND VOTING RIGHTS

 

7.1 There shall be one General Assembly meeting per term, except during the summer term.

7.2 The General Assembly meeting shall be called by decision of the Executive Board.

7.3 Notice of a General Assembly shall be given by posting announcements by all appropriate means at least one (1) week before the meeting.

7.4 Quorum for the General Assembly shall be 15% of the total membership of the Association, or twenty (20) Association Members, whichever is the least.

7.5 Association Members unable to attend the General Assembly Meeting may delegate their vote by way of proxy to any other Association Member. Association Members who received a proxy vote from another Association Member shall present appropriate evidence to the President before the beginning of the General Assembly meeting. Each proxy vote shall have the same weight as the votes of Association Member in attendance. No more than ten (10) proxies may be counted toward meeting the quorum.

7.6 Save for exceptions specified at Article 12.5, motions shall be passed upon a simple majority vote (50% + 1) of those Association Members present and voting.

7.7 Each Association Member has one vote in the General Assembly.

7.8 The President, or any other Association Member elected to chair the General Assembly meeting, may hold any vote during a General Assembly meeting by a show of hands. At the request of any two (2) Association Members present at the meeting, the vote shall be held by secret ballot.

7.9 If required, the GLSA Executive Board may summon one (1) additional General Assembly per term.

7.10 The LSA may appoint a representative to participate in the General Assembly. They shall have a voice in the deliberations but no voting rights.

 

ARTICLE 8. ELECTIONS OF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND DELEGATE REPRESENTATIVES

 

8.1 Elections of Executive Officers

 

8.1.1 Elections of the President, Vice-President Communications, Vice-President Finance, Vice-President Academic, Vice-President Internal, and Vice-President External shall be held once a year prior to the end of September.

8.1.2 Notice of open positions shall be given at least one (1) week in advance of the elections by posting announcements by all appropriate means.

8.1.3 Any Association Member enrolled for both the Fall and Winter terms may seek election for open positions. None may seek election for any position if they have held the same Executive Officer position for two (2) years or more.

8.1.4 All Association Members shall be entitled to vote for all positions.

8.1.5 The outgoing Executive Board may decide, at least two (2) weeks in advance of the elections, to reserve the position Vice-President Academic to Association Members enrolled in the DCL program. The Executive Board shall inform all Association Members with justifications. Only Association Members enrolled in the DCL program may then seek election for the position of President or Vice-President Academic.

8.1.6 Ballots for Executive Officer positions shall be secret. Voting may be carried out by either paper ballot or by e-mail or electronic ballot, as recommended by the Vice-President Communications and decided by the Executive Board.

8.1.7 Assuming that there is a single candidate for an Executive Officer position, the candidate is deemed elected if there is no opposition to their nomination among the Association Members. If this is the case for the President portfolio, the single candidate shall assume the duties of President until the General Assembly is next convened and ratifies their election.

8.1.8 In the event of a tied vote, the otherwise elected Executive Officers shall, by consensus, appoint one of the tied candidates to fill the position until the General Assembly is next convened and holds a vote to attribute the position to one of the tied candidates.

8.1.9 Assuming that the President position could not be filled by elections, the otherwise elected Executive Officers shall decide to attribute the position among themselves by consensus. The General Assembly, during its next meeting, shall confirm the elected Executive Officer chosen to fill the President position by the Executive Board, or elect a different Association Member to the position. If no consensus can be reached among the elected members of the Executive Board, the previous President shall continue to discharge the duties of President until a General Assembly meeting can be convened during which the General Assembly will vote or reach a consensus on who should fill the President position.

8.1.10 Assuming that any Executive Officer position, except for the President, could not be filled by elections, the otherwise elected Executive Officers shall decide by consensus to fill the position with the shortest delay in one of the following ways: (i) By attributing the duties corresponding to the vacant Executive Officer position to one or more Executive Officers until a by-election can be held during the next meeting of the General Assembly; (ii) By appointing a Delegate Representative, who will temporarily discharge the duties corresponding to the vacant Executive Officer position until a by-election can be held during the next meeting of the General Assembly.

8.1.11 The Executive Officers shall hold office from the moment the outgoing GLSA Executive Board performs an official meeting of handover of responsibilities and financial statements until it itself performs such meeting with the incoming Executive Officers of the GLSA.

8.1.12 All Executive Officer who are appointed or elected through a by-election pursuant to Article 8.1.10 shall hold the position only for the remainder of the term of office of the Executive Officer who vacated the position.

 

 

8.2 Election of the IASL Delegate Representative

 

8.2.1 In the event that no Executive Officer elected to the Executive Board is affiliated with the IASL, there shall be an election to designate the Delegate Representative for the IASL.

8.2.2 The election shall be held as soon as possible after the election of the Executive Officers.

8.2.3 Notice of the open position shall be given at least one (1) week in advance of the elections by posting announcements by all appropriate means.

8.2.4 Any Association Member enrolled for both the Fall and Winter terms in the IASL may seek election for position of Delegate Representative for the IASL. None may seek election for any position if they have held the position of Delegate Representative for the IASL for two (2) years or more.

8.2.5 All Association Members enrolled in the IASL shall be entitled to vote in this election.

8.2.6 Ballots for the Delegate Representative for the IASL position shall be secret. Voting may be carried out by either paper ballot or by e-mail or electronic ballot, as recommended by the Vice-President Communications and decided by the Executive Board.

8.2.7 Assuming that there is a single candidate for Delegate Representative for the IASL position, the candidate is deemed elected if there is no opposition to their nomination among the Association Members.

8.2.8 In the event of a tied vote, the President shall, on the advice of the Executive Board, appoint one of the tied candidates to fill the position until a by-election can be organized at the next meeting of the General Assembly.

8.2.9 Assuming that the Delegate Representative for the IASL position could not be filled by elections, the President shall, on the advice of the Executive Board, appoint an Association Members enrolled in the IASL to fill the position until a by-election can be organized at the next meeting of the General Assembly.

 

8.3 Election of the DCL Delegate Representative

 

8.3.1 In the event that no Executive Officer elected to the Executive Board is registered in the DCL program, there shall be an election to designate the Delegate Representative for the DCL.

8.3.2 The election shall be held as soon as possible after the election of the Executive Officers.

8.3.3 Notice of the open position shall be given at least one (1) week in advance of the elections by posting announcements by all appropriate means.

8.3.4 Any Association Member enrolled for both the Fall and Winter terms in the DCL may seek election for open positions. None may seek election for any position if they have held the position of Delegate Representative for the DCL for two (2) years or more.

8.3.5 All Association Members enrolled in the DCL shall be entitled to vote in this election.

8.3.6 Ballots for the Delegate Representative for the DCL position shall be secret. Voting may be carried out by either paper ballot or by e-mail or electronic ballot, as recommended by the Vice-President Communications and decided by the Executive Board.

8.3.7 Assuming that there is a single candidate for Delegate Representative for the DCL position, the candidate is deemed elected if there is no opposition to their nomination among the Association Members.

8.3.8 In the event of a tied vote, the President shall, on the advice of the Executive Board, appoint one of the tied candidates to fill the position until a by-election can be organized at the next meeting of the General Assembly.

8.3.9 Assuming that the Delegate Representative for the DCL position could not be filled by elections, the President shall, on the advice of the Executive Board, appoint an Association Members enrolled in the DCL to fill the position until a by-election can be organized at the next meeting of the General Assembly.

 

ARTICLE 9. ABSENCE AND REMOVAL OF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

 

9.1 When an Executive Officer is absent during the summer term and /or during the month of September, they shall be replaced during their absence by any other Executive Officer or Delegate Representative who is available to take up the additional duties. In the event that more than one member of the Executive Board is interested in assuming the duties, the interested officers may divide the duties among themselves, failing which the President shall assign one of the interested officers to act as a replacement.

9.2 An Executive Officer or Delegate Representative who departs from the Faculty during their term of office, without intention to return, or otherwise publicly announces resigning from their position shall be considered to have vacated their position. The procedure set out in Article 8.8 should be followed if the President vacates their position, and the procedure set out in Article 8.9 should be followed if any other Executive Officer vacates their position.

9.3 The President can be removed in 2 cases:

9.3.1 The President may be removed by the Executive Board, no earlier than one (1) month after their elections, if there is consensus among the other Executive Members regarding the removal. Such removal of the President shall be conducted in the following manner:

1) By motion, circulated at least five (5) days in advance to all the members of the Executive Board, adopted unanimously by the members of the Executive Board;

2) The motion shall clearly specify the grounds for which the removal is being sought;

3) The grounds must be substantive in nature and must involve either the President undermining in any way the interests of the Association or acting outside the scope of the authority that this Constitution vests in the office of the President;

4) The motion shall require consensus among the remaining members of the Executive Board to be approved;

5) After such a motion has passed, the Vice-President Communications shall call a Special General Assembly of the Association within ten days of the passing of the resolution by the Executive Board;

6) At the Special General Assembly, the Vice-President Communications shall present the reasons underlying the Executive Board motion and resolution for removal of the President;

7) The President shall be given a fair hearing before the General Assembly, after which the Association Members will be asked to ratify the removal of the President;

8) Ratification shall require approval by a simple majority of the Association Members present and voting.

9.3.2 The President may be removed by the General Assembly of the Association in the following manner:

1) During a regular meeting of the General Assembly, or during a Special General Assembly meeting to be convened for this purpose if at least five percent (5%) of the Association Members have presented a request to this effect to the Executive Board;

2) The motion shall clearly specify the grounds for which the removal is being sought;

3) The grounds must be substantive in nature and must involve either the President undermining in any way the interests of the Association or acting outside the scope of the authority that this Constitution vests in the office of the President;

4) The President shall be given a fair hearing before the General Assembly, after which the Association Members will be asked to vote for the removal of the President;

5) The President is deemed removed if a simple majority of the Association Members present at the General Assembly votes for their removal;

9.4 A new President shall be elected by the General Assembly immediately after the removal the former President, or through the procedure set out at Article 8.8.

 

ARTICLE 10. AFFILIATION

 

10.1 The Association shall be affiliated with the PGSS of McGill University as outlined in the PGSS Constitution.

12.2 The Association may choose to be affiliated with other bodies as its membership sees fit. Any Association Member may present a motion to ratify such affiliation during a meeting of the General Assembly. If the motion to ratify such affiliation has not been previously approved by the Executive Board, the affiliation may not take effect prior to one (1) month after the vote of the General Assembly.

 

ARTICLE 11. ADOPTION AND AMENDMENTS

 

11.1 Amendments to this Constitution shall be made at a General Assembly meeting.

11.2 Notice of proposed amendments shall be posted at least one (1) week before the general meeting.

11.3 Amendments will be voted on by open ballot, and shall require a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting at the General Assembly meeting to be approved.

11.4 Any Association Member may present a motion to amend the Constitution during a meeting of the General Assembly.

11.5 Unless otherwise specified in the motion amending the Constitution as approved by the General Assembly, changes to the composition of the Executive Board, duties of the Executive Officers, or electoral process shall only come into force at the end of the mandate of the members of the current Executive Board.

 

ARTICLE 12. DISSOLUTION

 

12.1 The Vice-President Communications shall call a Special General Assembly when a decision taken by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Executive Board, or a petition signed by 51% of the Association membership, requests the dissolution of the Association.

12.2 Where the Vice-President Communications has received a request as described in Article 12.1, the Vice-President Communications shall put forth a motion to dissolve the Association on the agenda for the Special General Assembly.

12.3 Notice of the proposed dissolution shall be posted at least one (1) week prior to the Special General Assembly, in the manner stipulated in Article 10 of the Association’s Constitution.

12.4 Quorum for a Special General Assembly at which a motion for dissolution is on the agenda shall be 30% of the Association membership.

12.5 Where quorum is present, a motion for dissolution of the Association shall be voted on by open ballot, and shall require a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting at the Special General Assembly to be approved.

12.6 Upon approving the dissolution of the Association, the General Assembly shall specify the actions to be taken by the Executive Board to pay all pending debts and dispose of all assets of the Association.

 

 

Constitution adopted by the General Assembly of the GLSA on 31 March 2017

Signed on behalf of the GLSA and its Members,

Adrien Habermacher, President of the GLSA

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