Constitution

Interpretation

 

‘Disabled’ means people who self-defines as disabled, people with mental health experiences and/or people who have long-term health conditions that meet the definition in section 6(1) of the Equality Act 2010. This definition includes any person with a long term or fluctuating physical or mental impairment which is capable of having a substantial and adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

 

‘Lawyer’ means people involved in the law and legal professions.

 

Name

 

The Association shall be known as the Association of Disabled Lawyers (‘the Association’ hereafter).

 

Objects

 

The objects of the Association are:

 

To provide a supportive group for lawyers and students of law who are a disabled people;

 

To campaign for more inclusive and supportive legal professions; 

 

To promote the effective legal protection of the rights of disabled people in the United Kingdom;

 

To further research, education and training into best practice for creating supportive and nurturing professions for disabled lawyers; and

 

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.

 

Membership

 

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:

 

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;

 

Self-defining disabled pupil barristers, trainee solicitors or students of law;

 

Self-defining disabled persons who are or have been teachers of law;

 

Self-defining disabled Fellows, Members or Associates of the Institute of Legal Executives;

 

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;

 

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;

 

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.

 

An eligible person who wishes to become a member of the Association shall submit to the Secretary a completed membership form 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 organisations rather than individuals.  The Committee may in its discretion refuse to admit any applicant to membership.

 

Membership shall terminate:

 

Upon the member ceasing to be eligible for membership;

 

Upon receipt by the Secretary of the member’s written notice of resignation;

 

If the member’s subscription shall be six months in arrears;

 

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.

 

Appointing Officers and Executive Committee

 

The Officers of the Association shall be: Chair; Vice-Chair; Treasurer; Academics’ Representative; Barristers’ Representative; Solicitors’ Representative; Legal Executives’ Representative; Students’ Representative; and Secretary.

The Chair will be the Association’s founder, Daniel Paul Holt, for three years from 2020 in order to settle the direction of the Association and the Executive Committee. The role of Chair will then be open in elections held at an appropriate time after 1st January 2023. 

 

The Academics’ Representative must be a professional teacher and/or researcher of law.

 

The Barristers’ Representative must be a member of the Bar or the equivalent.

 

 The Solicitors’ Representative must be admitted as a solicitor or the equivalent.

 

 Legal Executives’ representative must be a Fellows, Members or Associates of the Institute of Legal Executives.

 

The Students’ Representative must be a pupil barrister, trainee solicitor or registered student of law.

 

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers, Daniel Paul Holt and up to four other members. Only members of the Association, who are over the age of 16, can join the Executive Committee and serve as Officers. No less than 75% of the Executive Committee Members, at any time (rounded up to the nearest whole number), shall be a disabled person.

 

Members of the Executive Committee have control of the Association and its property and funds and shall comply with the law and protocols/ policies laid down by the Executive Committee.

 

The minimum number of Executive Committee members shall be six and the maximum number shall be fourteen unless otherwise determined by an ordinary resolution of the Members of the Association.

 

Nominations are to be made annually, unless rule 6(a) applies, by completing the required forms and relevant processes.

 

In order to form the first Executive Committee, members will be invited to deliver nominations, by way of application process, to Daniel Paul Holt, before the set deadline. Part 4 of the nominations will then be sent to the membership by email so that the members can vote for by who they want to be represented. There are thirteen places available on the Executive Committee (in light of rule 6(a)), but this should include those who intend to fill Officer roles. The thirteen nominees with the most votes will be elected.

 

Thereafter, nominations for election of any member to the Executive Committee, by way of an agreed process, shall be delivered to the Secretary not fewer than twenty-one days before the Annual General Meeting. Retiring Officers and members of the Committee shall be eligible for re-election.

 

For contested elections for membership of the Committee, the candidates who receive the most votes shall be declared elected.

 

All elections for an Officer role shall be conducted by ballot of the members of the Executive Committee. For contested elections for office, the candidate who receives the most votes shall be declared elected.

 

The Executive Committee can seek individuals to join the Association as members and be invited onto the Executive Committee, through the processes set out in rules 12 and 14, if there are vacancies.

 

General Meetings

 

Committee members are expected to attend 75% of general meetings or Executive Committee communications and participate actively in the work of the Executive Committee. Members of the Executive Committee may be removed by a vote of two thirds of the members of the Executive Committee present and voting at a meeting who comprise, in addition, not less than half the members of the Executive Committee.

 

Any Committee members who fail to attend three consecutive Committee meetings without reasonable excuse will be deemed by the Committee to have resigned, and the member notified accordingly.

 

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.

 

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.

 

The Chair of the Association (or in their 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 Executive Committee member to take the minutes of the meeting.

 

The quorum of any General Meeting shall be six members of the Association.

 

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.

 

Annual General Meetings

 

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.

 

The business to be conducted at the Annual General Meeting shall be such as may be 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.

 

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.

 

Special General Meetings

 

A Special General Meeting shall be held:

 

if requisitioned by the Committee; or

 

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.

 

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.

 

Accidental failure to give or send an agenda to any member in due time or at all shall not invalidate the proceedings at the Special General Meeting.

 

 

Committee Powers and Meetings

 

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 a General Meeting, the affairs of the Association shall be controlled and directed by the Committee in accordance with its objects.

 

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.

 

The quorum at any meeting of the Executive Committee shall be six.

 

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 they are unable to attend.

 

The chair of the meeting shall have a casting vote in the event of equality of votes.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

The subscriptions shall be free of charge for individuals.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 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.

 

The Treasurer shall be responsible (under the supervision of the Executive 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

 

These Rules can be altered only by at least two thirds of the Executive Committee present and voting thereon.

 

Branches

 

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.

 

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.

 

Notice

 

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.

 

Social Model of Disability

 

The Association subscribes to the social model of disability.

 

 

Updated: 2nd March 2020

 

Association of Disabled Lawyers

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