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Statutes of the SIEPM

The International Society for the Study of Medieval Philosophy (SIEPM) was founded in Leuven in Belgium on 2 September 1958. Statutes were approved by the General Assembly at Köln on 5 September 1961. Some modifications and additions have been made by subsequent General Assemblies. This text presents the statutes as emended in 2002.

I. Seat

SIEPM has its seat in Louvain-la-Neuve in the town of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium.

II. Aims

The Society aims to promote the study of medieval thought and collaboration among institutions and scholars concerned with it.

The Society endeavours especially:

  1. to provide effective representation for those institutions and scholars on national and international bodies which give academic and financial support for philosophical study and research ;
  2. to promote and support meetings of scholars and to foster exchanges of information on current projects and on new instruments of research
  3. to organise every five years an International Congress in which all members of the Society may participate ;
  4. to publish an annual Bulletin with information concerning the activities of the Society and its members.

III. Members

  1. The Society comprises titular members and institutional members.
  2. Titular members are persons who are recognised through their work as qualified researchers in the field of medieval thought.
  3. Institutional members are institutions (such as national societies, re-search centres, institutes) that promote the study of medieval thought.
  4. The following conditions must be met in order for one to be admitted as a titular or an institutional member:
    1. a request for admission must be submitted, having the support of a least two titular members of the Society (or ten titular members in case of institutional membership).
    2. acceptance by the Bureau as qualified researcher or institution in the field of medieval thought.
    3. payment of the annual dues, the amount of which is determined by the General Assembly.
  5. A member who, having received annually an invitation to pay the dues, fails to pay them during a period of five consecutive years will be deemed to have resigned. Such a member may apply for readmission to the Society. The Bureau will determine the conditions on which re-admission may be made.

IV. The General Assembly

  1. The titular members as well as the institutional members represented by their Director (or his delegate), having paid their dues for the current year, form the General Assembly. The President will convene a meeting of the General Assembly at least once in every five years. An extra-ordinary General Assembly will be convened by the President or his replacement within a period of three months if one third of the members of the Society make a written request. The Agenda of an extraordinary General Assembly must be proposed in advance.
  2. A titular member who has paid the current dues but who is absent may nominate in writing another member who will be present to serve as proxy. No member may act as proxy for more than five members.
  3. Decisions of an ordinary General Assembly are valid if one third of the titular members who have paid their current dues are present or are represented.
    Decisions of an extraordinary General Assembly are valid if an absolute majority (half plus one) of the titular members who have paid their current dues are present or are represented.
  4. The ordinary General Assembly will receive a report from the Bureau on the academic and financial activities of the Society. Decisions of the General Assembly regarding the affairs of the Society are final.
  5. Following a proposal made by the Bureau, the General Assembly may create Commissions for promoting and coordinating initiatives in particular fields, such as the editions of texts or the history of science.

V. The Bureau

  1. The Society is administered by a Bureau which consists of a President, three Vice-Presidents and eight Assessors.
    Only titular members may be elected to the Bureau. They are chosen by the General Assembly on a majority of the votes cast. If the votes are equal, the older of two candidates will be elected. Not more than two members of one nation may be elected to the above posts. To provide for continuity in the government of the Society, members of the Bureau hold office during two consecutive intervals between ordinary General Assemblies. But, to provide for the rejuvenation of the Bureau, the six longest-serving members will be replaced by six newly elected members at every ordinary General Assembly.
    The General Assembly will choose three reserve assessors. Any of the eight assessors, in the event of death or resignation, may be replaced by them during the interval between two ordinary General Assemblies. The three reserve assessors are those who, during the election of the assessors receive the highest number of votes after the assessors who are elected. Whether they become assessors or not, the position of the reserve assessors lapses at the ordinary General Assembly which follows their election.
    The President should be elected from among the current or previous members of the Bureau. His term of office may be renewed once. Retiring Presidents by right become Honorary Presidents. The General Assembly may, in addition, elect one or more Honorary Presidents. All Honorary Presidents are invited to meetings of the Bureau but they have no right to vote. When voting, members are especially urged to favour a balanced representation on the Bureau of the major geo-graphical areas: America (north and south), Africa and Asia (near and far east), Europe (east and west).
  2. Nominations for the presidency must be submitted to the Secretary before the opening of the Congress. If no candidate is proposed, the Bureau itself will nominate candidates.
  3. If the President or any of the Vice Presidents dies or resigns or becomes permanently unable to attend meetings, the Bureau may provisionally entrust one of its members with the vacant office and may also fill the resultant vacancy in its membership.
  4. From the titular members, the Bureau will choose a Secretary General, who also holds the office of Treasurer, and an Editor of Publications. The Bureau determines the nature and the term of their appointment, which is renewable. The Secretary and Editor become co-opted to membership of the Bureau.
  5. To ensure continuity, a retiring Secretary General is invited to meetings of the Bureau for five years following retirement without, however, having the right to vote.
  6. The Bureau shall appoint two of its former members to review the financial report presented annually by the Secretary General.
  7. The Bureau meets at least once a year at the request of the President or of the Vice-Presidents acting together. In addition, the President or, failing the President, the Vice-Presidents are required to convene the Bureau whenever four members of the Bureau present a written request to him (or them) for a meeting.
  8. The Bureau formulates, and may modify, standing orders for the conduct of its business. It takes all appropriate steps to achieve the aims of the Society and is responsible for their implementation. The Bureau reports on its activities to the ordinary General Assembly.

VI. Assets

The Society may receive and allocate to appropriate uses subscriptions, subventions and gifts. The Bureau manages the assets of the Society. It draws up an annual statement of accounts and a budget for the coming year.

VII. Alterations to Statutes

Proposals to alter the statutes must always be submitted to the Bureau and to the vote of the General Assembly. To alter the statutes a majority of two thirds of the votes cast is required.

VIII. Dissolution of the Society

The Society can only be dissolved by a decision of the ordinary General Assembly, following a vote wherein there is a majority of two thirds of the votes cast. In the event of dissolution, the assets of the Society will be dispersed by the General Assembly to institutions which concern themselves with medieval thought.