Constitution

As ratified by the ISASR AGM held at UCD, 10 May 2013.

1. Main object
The main object for which the Society is established is to advance education through the academic study of religions by providing a forum for scholarly activity, and to foster a variety of academic activities such as conferences, seminars, workshops and publications.

2. Subsidiary object
The Society is a forum for the critical, analytical and cross-cultural study of religions, past and present. It is not a forum for confessional, apologetical, interfaith or other similar concerns.

3. Structure
a. The affairs of the Society will be directed by a committee elected by members of the Society.
b. The principal officers of the Society shall be Chair/President, General Secretary, Treasurer, Publications Officer and Website Officer.
4. Membership
a. Membership of the Society shall be open to individuals (researchers, students and others) who support the aims and work of the Society, who accept the regulations set out in the constitution and who have paid the annual subscription.
b. The Committee has the right to approve or reject applications having regard to any rules of eligibility for membership adopted from time to time by the General Meeting.
5. Termination of membership
The Society may by a two-thirds majority of a General Meeting, for good and sufficient reason, terminate the membership of any individual, provided that the individual member concerned shall have the right to be heard before a final decision is made.

6. General Meeting
a. The governing body of the Society is the General Meeting of members.
b. A General Meeting shall be convened at least once annually.
c. Not less than 28 days notice of a General Meeting shall be provided in writing for all members.
d. The proceedings of a General Meeting shall not be invalidated by the nonreceipt by one or more members of notification.
e. Five members shall constitute a quorum.
f. Elections and matters put to the vote shall be determined by a simple majority of those voting with the exception of termination of membership and dissolution as specified in this Constitution.
7. Subscription
a. All members shall pay an annual subscription determined by the General Meeting, save that a General Meeting shall have the power in exceptional cases to confer Honorary Membership of the Society.
b. Categories of membership and subscription level shall be determined from time to time by the General Meeting.

8. Officers
The officers of the Society shall be:
a. A President who shall be elected for three years only.
b. A Secretary, who shall serve for three years and shall be eligible for re-election for one further consecutive term.
c. A Treasurer, who shall serve for three years and shall be eligible for re-election. The Treasurer shall present annually to the General Meeting a statement of accounts that have been independently examined in accordance with relevant legislation.
d. A Publications Officer, who shall serve for three years and be eligible for re-election.
e. A Website Officer, who shall serve for three years and be eligible for re-election.
f. In all cases, re-election to the same officer post is permitted after the lapse of at least three years.
9. Committee
a. The general conduct of the affairs of the Society shall be in the hands of the Committee consisting of the officers and two other members elected at the General meeting for a term of three years.
b. The Committee shall normally include at least one postgraduate student member.
c. The notification of any General Meeting shall include intimation of any vacancies among the officers or members of the Committee occurring through expiry of their term of office, and shall call for nominations of members to fill those vacancies.
d. Nominations shall be in the hands of the Secretary before the commencement of the General Meeting at which the vacancy falls to be considered.
e. In the event of there being more valid nominations than places to be filled, a ballot shall be held of members present at the meeting.
f. In the event of a casual vacancy, the Committee shall be empowered, at their discretion, to co-opt a member until the next general meeting with the assent of that member.
10. Amendments

a. Amendments to this Constitution shall require a majority of no less than two-thirds of those members present and voting at a General Meeting, and not less than 28 days notice of the amendment having been sent in writing to all members.
b. No addition, alteration or amendments shall be made to or in the provisions of the Governing Instrument for the time being in force unless the same shall have been previously submitted to and approved in writing by the Revenue Commissioners.

11. Dissolution
a. If the Committee by a simple majority decide at any time that on the ground of expense or otherwise it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Society, it shall call a meeting of all members of the Society who have the power to vote, of which meeting no less than 21 days notice (stating the terms of the Resolution to be proposed thereat) shall be given.
b. If such a decision shall be confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at such meeting the Committee shall provide formal notification of the dissolution of the Society to any bodies with which it is associated or affiliated.
c. On such dissolution, the Committee will have power to dispose of any assets held by or on behalf of the Society.
d. If upon the winding up or dissolution of the charitable body there remains, after satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, it shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the charitable body. Instead, such property shall be given or transferred to some other charitable institution or institutions having main objects similar to the main objects of the charitable body. The institution or institutions to which the property is to be given or transferred shall prohibit the distribution of its or their income and property among its or their members to an extent at least as great as is imposed on the charitable body under or by virtue of the Income and Property Clause hereof. Members of the charitable body shall select the relevant institution or institutions at or before the time of dissolution, and if and so far as effect cannot be given to such provisions, then the property shall be given or transferred to some charitable object.

12. Income, Property and Accounts
a. The income and property of the charitable body shall be applied solely towards the promotion of its main object(s) as set forth in this Governing Instrument. No portion of the charitable body’s income and property shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise howsoever by way of profit to members of the charitable body. No Director/Trustee/Officer shall be appointed to any office of the Charitable body paid by salary or fees, or receive any remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth from the charitable body. However, nothing shall prevent any payment in good faith by the charitable body of:

  • reasonable and proper remuneration to any member or servant of the charitable body (not being a Director/Trustee/Officer) for any services rendered to the charitable body;
  • interest at a rate not exceeding 5% per annum on money lent by Directors/Trustees/Officers or other members of the charitable body to the charitable body;
  • reasonable and proper rent for premises demised and let by any member of the charitable body (including any Director/ Trustee/ Officer) to the charitable body;
  • reasonable and proper out-of-pocket expenses incurred by any Director/Trustee/Officer in connection with their attendance to any matter affecting the charitable body;
  • fees, remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth to any Company of which a Director/Trustee/Officer may be a member holding not more than one hundredth part of the issued capital of such Company.

b. Annual accounts shall be kept and made available to the Revenue Commissioners on request.

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