‘Disabled’ means anyone who self-defines as disabled, meets the definition in section 6(1) of the Equality Act 2010, people with mental health experiences and/or people who have long-term health conditions.
‘Lawyer’ means people involved in the law and legal professions.
1. The Association shall be known as the Association of Disabled Lawyers.
2. The objects of the Association are:
(a) To provide a supportive group for lawyers and students of law who identify as a disabled person or have mental health experiences and/or have a long-term health condition;
(b) To campaign for more inclusive and supportive legal professions;
(c) to promote the effective legal protection of the rights of disabled people, people with mental health experiences or have a long-term health condition in the United Kingdom;
(d) to further research, education and training into best practice for creating supportive and nurturing professions for disabled lawyers and lawyers with mental health experiences and/or have a long-term health condition; and
(e) to co-operate with other organisations whose objects are similar to those of the Association and those who seek to improve the professions for disabled lawyers and lawyers with mental health experiences and/or have a long-term health condition.
3. Persons shall be eligible to be members of the Association if they support its objects and fall within one or more of the following categories:
(a) self-defining disabled members of the Bar or admitted solicitors in England and Wales or Northern Ireland or members of the Faculty of Advocates, Writers to the Signet or solicitors in Scotland;
(b) self-defining disabled pupil barristers, trainee solicitors or students of law;
(c) self-defining disabled persons who are or have been teachers of law;
(d) Self-defining disabled Fellows, Members or Associates of the Institute of Legal Executives;
(e) Self-defining disabled persons resident in the United Kingdom who have acquired professional status as lawyers in other Member States of the Council of Europe or the Commonwealth;
(f) Self-defining disabled current or retired members of the United Kingdom judiciary or the judiciary of other Member States of the Council of Europe or the Commonwealth;
(g) Self-defining disabled persons having connections with the teaching, practice or administration of the law who, in the opinion of the Committee, would be likely to make a valuable contribution to the work of the Association.
4. An eligible person who wishes to become a member of the Association shall submit to the Secretary a signed application in writing, together with payment in the form and amount specified by the Committee from time to time and shall notify the Secretary of his or her postal and e-mail addresses. The Committee may also consider applications for membership from organizations rather than individuals. The Committee may in its discretion refuse to admit any applicant to membership.
5. Membership shall terminate:
(a) upon the member ceasing to be eligible for membership;
(b) upon receipt by the Secretary of the member’s written notice of resignation;
(c) if the member’s subscription shall be six months in arrears;
(d) if the member shall be expelled by a vote of two thirds of the members present and voting at a general meeting on a resolution for that purpose.
6. The Association in General Meeting may on the recommendation of the Committee elect any person an Honorary Vice-President or Honorary Member of the Association.
Officers and Committee
7.The Officers of the Association shall be: a Chair; a Vice-Chair; a Treasurer; and a Secretary.
8.The Committee shall consist of the Officers, and up to eight other members.
9. An Annual General Meeting shall be held at least once in every year. It shall be held on such day as may be appointed by the Committee, being not more than fifteen months after the previous Annual General Meeting.
10. The business to be conducted at the Annual General Meeting shall be such as may required by the Rules or directed by the Committee together with any resolution of which notice in writing to the Secretary signed by two members of the Association has been given not less than twenty-one days before the meeting. Any other matters may in the discretion of the Chair of the Meeting be raised without notice for purposes of discussion only.
11. The Secretary shall give to each member of the Association not less than thirty days’ written notice of the date, time and place of the Annual General Meeting. The Secretary shall, not less than ten days before the date of the Meeting, send to each member of the Association an agenda specifying the business to be conducted at the meeting and the names of candidates for election.
12. A Special General Meeting shall be held:
(a) if requisitioned by the Committee; or
(b) on the requisition of not less than ten members of the Association. Such requisition shall be made in writing to the Secretary and shall specify the business for which the Special General Meeting is to be requisitioned, and no other business shall be transacted at the Meeting.
13. The Secretary shall give to each member of the Association not less than fourteen days’ written notice of any Special General Meeting, specifying the date, time and place of the Meeting and the business to be transacted.
14. Accidental failure to give notice of a General Meeting or send an agenda to any member in due time or at all shall not invalidate the proceedings at the General Meeting.
15. Voting at a General Meeting shall be by show any indication of a vote. In the event of equality of votes the Chair of the Meeting shall have a casting vote.
16. The Chair of the Association (or in his or her absence the Vice-Chair) shall take the chair at any General Meeting. In the absence of both the Chair and the Vice-Chair, the members present at the Meeting shall elect a chair. In the absence of the Secretary, the chair of the Meeting shall appoint some member to take the minutes of the meeting.
17. The quorum of any General Meeting shall be five members of the Association.
18. If the business of a General Meeting is not concluded within the time available,
the Meeting shall be adjourned to such time and place as the chair of the Meeting shall direct.
Committee Powers and Meetings
19. So far as not otherwise provided in these Rules and subject to any directions which may be given by a resolution of the Association in General Meeting, the affairs of the Association shall be controlled and directed by the Committee.
20. The Chair of the Association (or in his or her absence the Vice-Chair) shall take the chair at any meeting of the Committee. In the absence of both the Chair and the Vice-Chair, the members present at the meeting shall elect a chair.
21. The quorum at any meeting of the Committee shall be five.
22. Any member of the Committee may send an alternate who is a member of the Association to act and vote in his or her place at any meeting of the Committee which he or she is unable to attend.
23. The chair of the meeting shall have a casting vote in the event of equality of votes.
24. Meetings of the Committee shall be convened at such times and places as shall agreed by the Committee and may also be convened on the requisition of any of the Officers or any three members of the Committee. The Secretary shall give to each member of the Committee not less than seven days’ notice of any meeting, but the period of notice may be abridged in case of urgency. Accidental failure to give notice to any members in due time or at all shall not invalidate the proceedings.
25. The Committee may appoint sub-committees for specific purposes and may co-opt any persons (whether or not members of the Association) to such sub-committees.
26. The Committee shall at each Annual General Meeting report to the members of the Association on its conduct of the affairs of the Association since the previous Annual General Meeting.
Subscriptions and Finance
(a) The subscriptions for the year shall be free of charge.
(b) subscriptions start on joining the Association and thereafter on 1 August of each year (“the renewal date”).
(c) Members who wish to renew their membership shall inform the Secretary (or one of the Secretaries) in writing not less than 21 days before the renewal date.
(d) At the discretion of the Committee, group membership may be granted to organisations on payment of a subscription in such amount as the Committee decides is appropriate in each case for each year, having regard to the number of individuals within that organisation who are expected to make use of the membership.
28. The amount of the annual subscription may (with effect from the beginning of the next year) be altered by a resolution at a meeting of the Committee.
29. The Association shall open and maintain an account at a bank (to be selected from time to time by the Committee) into which the subscriptions and other receipts of the Association shall be paid. Money not for the time being required for the purposes of the Association may be placed on deposit account or invested in any other manner approved by the Committee.
38. The Treasurer shall be responsible (under the supervision of the Committee) for the management of the finances of the Association. The Treasurer shall cause accounts to be prepared in respect of each year and such accounts shall be laid before the Annual General Meeting in the following year.
Amendments to the Rules
30. Subject to Rule 27 these Rules can be altered only by at least two thirds of the Executive Committee present and voting thereon.
31. Members of the Association may form branches in any of the countries, regions or localities of the United Kingdom and members of any such branch may make such regulations as they think fit for the conduct of its activities: provided that any such branch shall have the same objects as the Association and that its regulations shall not be inconsistent with the Rules of the Association.
32. The Committee of the Association may provide assistance for branches out of the funds of the Association. The Committee shall consult with any relevant branch on matters of particular concern to the country, region or locality in question.
33. Any written notice shall be deemed to be given to a member if it has been sent by post or delivered or sent by electronic mail to a member’s address last notified in writing by such member to the Secretary.