Statutes

 

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES

 

STATUTES

 

CHAPTER I

NAME, SEAT, DURATION 

 

Article 1 - Name

 

1.1 The Association shall be called “l’Association Internationale des Magistrats de la Jeunesse et de la Famille” (AIMJF) — “The International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates” (IAYFJM) — “Asociación Internacional de Magistrados de la Juventud y de la Familia” (AIMJF). Hereafter referred to as “The Association”.

1.2 The Association is an international non-profit making organisation established under the Belgian law of 27 June 1921 on international non-profit making organisations.

 

Article 2 - Seat

 

The Association has its seat at Palais de Justice de Bruxelles, Place Poelaert, 1, à 1000 Bruxelles, Belgique. The seat may be transferred to any other place in Belgium following a decision of the Council by a simple majority and published in the annexes of Moniteur belge.

 

Article 3Duration

 

The Association is established for an indefinite period.

 

CHAPTER II

OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES OF THE ASSOCIATION

 

Article 4Definition and raîson dêtre of the Association

 

The Association is a world-wide organisation, principally of specialised Judges and Magistrates, dedicated to the study and exchange of information on issues concerning children and young people in need of care and protection and/or in conflict with the law and their families. It aims to identify, publicise and promote best practice in these fields. The languages of the Association are French, English and Spanish.

 

Article 5Objectives

 

The objectives of the Association are:

 

5.1. to establish and maintain networks and links between judges, magistrates and specialists all over the world who are attached to a judicial authority of whatever nature or who are concerned with the protection of children and young people or with the family;

5.2. to study, at international level, all problems raised by the functioning of judicial authorities and organisations for the protection of children and young people and the family; 

5.3. to promote the application of national and international principles and conventions governing those authorities in Article 5.2 and to make them more widely known;

5.4. to examine legislation designed for the protection of children and young people and the family and the various systems existing for the protection of those at risk with a view to improving such systems both nationally and internationally; 

5.5. to promote the awareness and application of children’s rights; 

5.6. to assist collaboration between nations and competent authorities with regard to foreign minors and their family;

5.7. to encourage research into the causes of the criminal behaviour or maladjustment of children and young people to combat their effects and to seek permanent prevention, reparation and rehabilitation programmes; 

5.8 to concern itself with the moral and material improvement of children and young people’s lives and, in particular, with the future of children and young people at risk;

5.9. to collaborate with international associations concerned with the protection of children and young people and with the family.

 

Article 6--Activities

 

The Association aims to make its voice effective through:

a. The twice-yearly publication of a journal—the Chronicle—in English, French and Spanish for electronic distribution to members initially and subsequently world wide through the Association’s website. The Chronicle seeks contributions from all qualified professionals in order to present upto-date analysis from all relevant disciplines.

b. Holding a World Congress (normally every four years) for members and other professionals to examine, discuss and publicise developments in the fields of youth and family justice.

c. Promoting International conventions relevant to the aims of the Association, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and liaising with the corresponding UN committee.

d. Involvement in seminars, conferences and congresses around the world as designers, speakers, round-table discussants, moderators, drafters of communiqués and participants.

e. Drafting and delivering training materials concerning domestic law and international conventions to reflect the specialisation of youth and family courts.

f. Supporting programmes at the Institute for the Rights of the Child in Sion, Switzerland of which IAYFJM is a joint founder.

g. Making relevant case law from different countries available through the Association’s website.

h. Working with NGOs and other agencies operating in the fields of youth and family justice.

i. Bringing together those who have specific knowledge about youth and family courts and those who are seeking that knowledge.

j. Providing consultancy advice to governments on policy and legislation for children, young people and families.

k. Regularly reviewing the activities of the Association to reflect the pursuit of the objectives in Article 5 above.

 

CHAPTER III

MEMBERSHIP, REGIONAL SECTIONS

 

Article 7 - Membership

 

Members of the Association may be:

a. Ordinary members;

b. Affiliated National Associations;

c. Associate Members;

d. Honorary Members.

 

Article 8 - Ordinary members

 

8.1. Ordinary Membership may be granted only to judges and magistrates and other persons who hold or have held office in a youth or family court or are performing similar functions. 

8.2. Ordinary Members may be admitted by the Secretary-General or other officer to whom s/he may have delegated his/her powers; they may be required to give proof of their eligibility. In case of refusal an appeal may be made to the Executive.

8.3. Ordinary Members shall pay an annual subscription at a rate to be fixed by the Council within limits determined by a General Assembly.

 

Article 9 - National Associations

 

9.1. Membership may be granted to National Associations of judges, magistrates and other persons who have wholly or in part the same objects as the Association provided they have a minimum of five persons. 

9.2 They are admitted by the Executive. In case of refusal an appeal may be made to the Council.

9.3 They may organise themselves in the form they think best, though they remain bound by these statutes. 

9.4. Members of national associations are affiliated collectively to the Association and pay their subscriptions through their Association at the prescribed rate. 

9.5. National associations constitute bodies which are distinct from the Association and their property is distinct from that of the Association; they cannot commit the Association in any way vis-a-vis their members or third parties.

 

Article 10 - Associate Members.


10.1. Organisations, specialist groups or persons who, by their qualifications in the fields as defined in article 5, their competence and their achievements, can contribute to the work of the Association may be granted associate membership. 

10.2. They are admitted by the Secretary-General. In case of refusal an appeal may be made to the Executive.

10.3. Associate Members may take part in the work of the Association. They shall pay an annual subscription at a rate to be fixed by the Council within limits determined by a General Assembly. 

10.4. They have the right to vote. 

10.5. Associate members—with the exception of organisations and specialist groups—may be candidates for elections for the Council within the provisions of article 22.

 

Article 11--Honorary Members.

 

Persons who have rendered notable service to the Association may be made honorary members by a General Assembly.

They do not pay any subscription. Honorary membership confers the right to vote at General Assemblies.

 

Article 12--Application and Appeal.

 

12.1 Ordinary or Associate membership may be requested in writing to the Secretary-General or the Treasurer. Applications for membership by national associations are made in writing to the Executive. 

12.2 In case of refusal an appeal in writing should be submitted to the Secretary General three months before the date of the next meeting of the Executive (for ordinary or associate members) or the Council (for national associations). 

12.3 If the Executive or Council refuses membership, a final appeal may be made to the General Assembly. The appeal must be made in writing to the Secretary General three months before the meeting of the General Assembly.

 

Article 13 - Loss of membership.

 

13.1. Membership is lost:

a. by resignation in writing addressed to the Secretary-General or the Executive Committee,

b. by being struck off the list of members by the Council for non-payment of the subscription,

or

c. by exclusion, following a decision made by a two-thirds majority of members at a General Assembly, for damaging the prestige, good name or interests of the Association. 

13.2. A person who has, for whatever reason, ceased to be a member and the heirs or personal representatives of a deceased member shall have no claim on the property of the Association.

13.3. The Council may, by a two-thirds majority of its members, suspend a member pending a decision of the next General Assembly to which a report shall be made.

 

Article 14--Regional Sections.

 

Ordinary members and/or any national association whose objectives, goals and programmes are in accordance with those of the Association may apply to the Council for authorization to create a regional section

 

Article 15 - Membership subscriptions

 

15.1 Ordinary members, associate members and national associations pay an annual subscription to the Association determined by the General Assembly or by the Council within limits set by the General Assembly.

15.2 Members of national associations and institutions are collectively affiliated to the Association; they pay their dues through their association / institution 

15.3 Membership does not become effective until payment of the subscription.

15.4 In the case of resignation, striking off or exclusion, the subscription is not refundable.

 

CHAPTER IV

STRUCTURE OF THE ASSOCIATION 

 

Article 16:Administrative structure

 

The administrative structure comprises: 

a. The General Assembly

b. The Council

c. The Executive Committee

d. The General Committee.

 

PART 1: GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

Article 17: General Assembly.

 

17.1 The General Assembly comprises all members of the Association. Each ordinary, associate and honorary member has one vote. Each national association and associate member organization has a number of votes equal to the average number of annual subscriptions paid each year since the previous General Assembly, but not exceeding 30 votes.

17.2 The General Assembly meets every four years convened by the President at the venue of the Association’s congress. The General Assembly is chaired by the current President or, in the President’s absence, by the Deputy President. 

17.3. Convocation and all notices concerning General Assemblies shall be sent by the Secretary General to members at least three months before the date of the meeting 

17.4 The agenda shall be prepared by the Council and distributed three months before the meeting. 

17.5. Members who wish an item placed on the agenda must advise the Secretary-General at least three months before the meeting. The Council may accept or reject any such application. 

17.6. If the Council rejects any such application the member making it may bring the matter directly before the General Assembly, provided that not less than twenty members have signed a petition in support thereof.

 

Article 18: Extraordinary General Assembly

 

18.1 An Extraordinary General Assembly may be convened by the Council or by a written petition submitted to the Secretary-General and signed by no fewer than fifty members representing no fewer than five countries. 

18.2 Convocations and all notices convening such meetings shall be sent by the Secretary-General to members at least three months before the meeting.

 

Article 19: Power of the General Assembly.

 

General Assemblies shall have power to make decisions for the carrying out of the objects of the Association and, in particular, may:

a. elect the President, the Deputy-President, the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General and the Treasurer; the president and at least two other members of the Executive must be ordinary members;

b. elect the other members of the Council, a majority of them must be ordinary members;

c. elect Honorary Members;

d. hear and decide appeals on decisions of the Council and the Executive Committee regarding admission to membership;

e. expel members of the Association;

f. receive and approve the accounts;

g. fix the annual subscription or determine the limits within which the Council may prescribe the subscription;

h. receive reports on all the activities of the Association;

i. approve Association bye-laws presented by the Executive or Council

j. decide upon proposals to amend the Statutes in accordance with Article 31;

k. discuss all items on the agenda and other items which conform with these Statutes with the Chairman’s permission;

l. decide upon a resolution to dissolve the Association made in accordance with Article 32.2.

 

Article 20: Votes.

 

20.1 The General Assembly is chaired by the current President or, in the President’s absence, by the Deputy President 

20.2. Save as otherwise provided in these Statutes, decisions shall be reached by a simple majority of voting members present or holding written and signed proxies. No such voting member may act as proxy for more than three absent members.

20.3. Decisions shall be reached by show of hands but members of the Council are elected by secret ballot if requested. 

20.4. National Association and associate organisations shall be represented by one person designated in writing by such association or associate organisation; this representative shall have all the votes of this association or organisation. Disputes concerning representation of national associations or associate organizations at the General Assembly are decided by the Council. 

20.5. Members whose subscriptions are paid up-to-date shall have a right to vote.

20.6. In case of equality of votes, the Chairman shall have a casting vote. 

20.7. Minutes of General Assemblies, recorded by the Secretary-General and signed by the President, shall be sent to members of the Council and shall be held in the register kept by the Secretary General and available to members on request.

 

Article 21: General Assembly decisions by written procedure

 

Between its statutory four-yearly meetings, the General Assembly may take decisions on any matter within its power based on proposals made by the Council and submitted to General Assembly members in writing by the Executive Committee using electronic means. The following rules apply:

a. Proposals and any accompanying documents will be sent to the latest email addresses of General Assembly members held by the Executive Committee; Members of the General Assembly are responsible for ensuring that the Executive Committee holds their current email address.

b. The proposal documents will indicate that a decision of the General Assembly is to be made under the written procedure;

c. Members of the General Assembly will be given a specific deadline to respond, which must be at least three weeks after the date of despatch;

d. The proposal(s) will be considered to have been agreed by the General Assembly if no more than ten (10) dissenting replies are received before the deadline;

e. The Executive Committee will inform members of the General Assembly and the Council of the decision(s) taken within three weeks of the deadline in c. above;

 

PART 2: THE COUNCIL

 

Article 22: The Council.

 

22.1. The Council shall administer and promote the activities of the Association. The Council enjoys all the powers necessary to pursue the Association’s objectives and to manage, administer and arrange its affairs,except as otherwise specified by law or where reserved to the General Assembly under these statutes. 

22.2. It shall be composed of a minimum of seven and a maximum of twenty persons. It shall not comprise more than three persons from the same country. 

22.3. The Council shall include:

a. the President,

b. the Deputy-President,

c. the Secretary-General

d. the Deputy Secretary-General,

e. the Treasurer

f. Members. 

22.4 A majority of members of Council must be ordinary members 

22.5. The immediate past president participates in the Council meetings in an advisory capacity. 

22.6. The members of the Council are elected by the General Assembly, by secret ballot if requested. They shall hold office until the next ordinary General Assembly. They shall be eligible for re-election. Vacancies may be filled by co-option and this shall remain effective until the next ordinary General Assembly. 

22.7. Members of the Council may be removed from office or suspended by a General Assembly, as provided in Article 13. The Council may also replace a member of the Council or Bureau if they have not attended meetings for a period of two years without giving a reason.

22.8. The Council shall meet at least once a year. A member may be represented at a meeting by another member but no member may act as proxy for more than one absent member. The Council attends the meetings of the General Committee.

22.9. A Council meeting may be called by the President, the Secretary-General or by two members of Council. Unless the meeting is urgent, notice shall be sent at least two months in advance.

22.10. Decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of members present or represented by a proxy. The Chairman shall have a casting vote. Decisions shall be entered in the minutes of the meetings, which will be made available to the members of the Association on request.

22.11. The Council shall have power to establish committees or working groups as it shall deem necessary. The membership and activities of these committees and working groups shall be under the control of the Council.

22.12. The Council shall be represented in legal actions by the Secretary-General or by another member nominated by the Council.

22.13. The Council attends meetings of the General Committee.

22.14. The Council may accept or refuse gifts and legacies. 

22.15. The Council may authorize the creation of a Regional Section. It then issues a certificate which sets the geographic area of the new regional section.

 

Article 23: Representation of the Association

 

23.1. The Association is validly engaged with third parties either by the President and two other members of the Executive acting all together or two members of the Council acting jointly and with the specific authority of the Council. 

23.2. The Association is represented in legal actions, either as plaintiff or defendant, by the Secretary-General or by another member designated by the Council.

 

PART 3: EXECUTIVE, PRESIDENT, SECRETARY-GENERAL,

TREASURER AND GENERAL COMMITTEE

 

Article 24--The Executive Committee.

 

24.1. The president, the deputy president, the secretary-general, the deputy secretary-general and the treasurer form the Executive Committee. 

24.2. The Council delegates the day-to-day management to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee administers the Association in accordance with the decisions and directions of the Council. 

24.3. The Executive Committee shall meet at least twice a year.

 

Article 25--The President.

 

25.1. The President shall direct all the activities of the Association and shall take the chair at General Assemblies, the meetings of the Council and the General Committee. He shall be assisted by a Deputy-President to whom he may delegate temporarily all or any of his functions.

25.2. He shall not commit the Association, without prior approval of Council, as regards expenditure or the management of the Association’s assets.

 

Article 26--The Secretary-General.

 

Under the direction of the Council the Secretary General shall:

a. represent the Association in all legal proceedings;

b. maintain an up-to-date list of members, record and retain the minutes of meetings, attend to correspondence, convene meetings and maintain the archives;

c. not commit the Association, without prior approval of the Council, as regards expenditure or the management of the Association’s assets;

d. be assisted by a Deputy Secretary-General.

 

Article 27--The Treasurer

 

1. The Treasurer shall manage the Association’s finances. He shall receive subscriptions, settle accounts and keep documents justifying his expenditure and revenue. 

2. He shall prepare the budget and, together with the President and Secretary-General, prepare annual reports for submission to the Council and the General Assembly. 

3. He shall not commit the Association without the prior approval of the Council. 

4. Annual accounts shall be kept and shall be closed on 31 December each year: they shall be presented to the Council at its first meeting in the following year. 

5. Accounts for the preceding four years shall be presented to Ordinary General Assemblies.

 

Article 28--The General Committee.

 

28.1. The General Committee shall consist of the representatives of the national associations, the members of the Council and the honorary members. 

28.2. Each national association shall designate at every congress its representative for the next four years as well as a substitute, who replaces him/her when unable to attend. 

28.3. It meets at least once every two years on the invitation and under the direction of the president of the Association.

28.4. It shall make proposals regarding the venues, dates and themes of Congresses and shall formulate all its wishes and suggestions to the Council that will discuss and decide thereupon.

28.5. It stimulates contact between national associations and promotes the establishment of new national associations. 

28.6. It shall initiate and direct the Association’s scientific activities.

 

CHAPTER V

MEETINGS HELD BY ELECTRONIC MEANS

 

Article 29-- Meetings held by electronic means

 

29.1. The Executive Committee may hold meetings by electronic means. The following rules are then applied:

a. For teleconferencing or other electronic means (e.g. Internet or other) so long as 80% of officers proposed consent and have similar ease of access to means of communication identified.

b. The notice to officers to obtain consents to such a meeting is 10 days unless all officers waive the notice.

c. The quorum for the meeting is a simple majority, which is observed and recorded in the minutes by the secretary of the meeting.

d. To be valid, the decisions of the Executive Committee must be recorded in minutes which are transmitted to the Council. 

29.2. The Council is authorized to hold meetings by electronic means (e.g, the Internet or other) according to the following rules:

a. For meetings of the Council as long as 40% of Council members agree on the proposed electronic meeting and they have similar ease of access to the electronic medium identified.

b. The quorum shall be as laid down in the statutes of the Association for Council meetings. The secretary of the meeting should be seen and recorded in the minutes.

c. To be valid, the decisions of the Council shall also be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

d. The notice for obtaining the consent of the Council members to such a meeting is 10 days. 

29.3. Notices by the Secretary-General sent to the most recent email addresses of members of the Executive or Council are assumed to be validly transmitted and received. Members are responsible for informing the Secretary General of their current email addresses

 

CHAPTER VI

BUDGETS AND ACCOUNTS

 

Article 30 Budgets and accounts

 

30.1 Accounts are opened on January 1st and closed on December 31st of the same year.

30.2 Every four years the Council submits for the approval of the General Assembly an account of economic activity undertaken and the corresponding budget.

 

CHAPTER VII

AMENDMENT OF THE STATUTES

 

Article 31--Amendment of the Statutes.

 

31.1. No proposal to amend the Statutes shall be considered unless it is made by:

a. the Council, or

b. a national association, or

c. in writing, signed by at least twenty members, submitted so as to reach the Council at least three months before a General Assembly.

Any such proposal must be sent to all voting members at least three months in advance of the General Assembly.

31.2. Proposals to amend the Statutes shall be submitted to a General Assembly and shall be approved only by a two-thirds majority of Members present or holding proxies. 

31.3. The Council shall have the power to convene an Extraordinary General Assembly for the purpose of considering proposals for amending the Statutes but shall give at least three months’ notice of any such meeting and shall send to all voting members a copy of the proposed amendments.

31.4. The Council may also seek the agreement of the General Assembly using the written procedure in Article 21.

 

CHAPTER VIII

DISSOLUTION

 

Article 32--Dissolution of the Association.

 

32.1 The General Assembly shall decide the method of dissolution of the Association and the distribution of its assets. 

32.2 The Association can only be dissolved on a proposal by the Executive or Council which must be submitted to a General Assembly and be approved by a simple majority of members present or represented according to Article 20 of the statutes. 

32.3 In case of dissolution the General Assembly appoints a liquidator and decides the liquidator’s powers. 

32.4 Any net assets remaining after dissolution may be handed over to associations which follow similar activities to those of the Association.

 

CHAPTER IX

GENERAL PROVISIONS 

 

Article 33 Bye-laws

 

On a recommendation of the Council the General Assembly may adopt one or more bye-laws consistent with the present statutes for the smooth running of the Association. These bye-laws apply provided they are adopted by a twothirds majority of votes cast at a General Assembly. No account is taken of abstentions.

 

Article 34--Applicable law

 

Anything which is not provided for in these Statutes shall be settled in accordance with the provisions of Chapter III of the Belgian law of 27th June 1921 on associations, as amended.

 

Article 35 Interpretation

 

Any difficulty over the interpretation of these statutes shall be resolved by reference to the French text thereof.

 

 

Adopted by an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Association in Brussels on 11.12.2017

 

To see the PDF version of Statues clik here.