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Societas Ethica - Statutes (updated 23/08/2015)

Please note: this translation is for reference only; the legally authoritative text is the German original.

§ 1 Name
The name of the research society is Societas Ethica. It is a society according to the Swiss Civil Code of Law, Art. 60ff.


§ 2 Purpose
The purpose of the research society is to organise regular meetings of teachers and researchers at universities and higher education institutions in order to discuss contemporary ethical issues. The discussion should deal with fundamental problems in philosophical and theological ethics as well as with questions of applied ethics.


§ 3 Location
The research society is based in Basel, Switzerland.


§ 4 Membership
Membership is open to teachers and researchers in ethics and related disciplines. Membership is granted by the board with the approval of the President. Observing a six month term, membership can be terminated at the end of the current calendar year.
Members who, notwithstanding repeated admonition, have not paid their subscriptions for three years can be excluded.


§ 5 Organisation
The bodies of the society are:
1.     The General Assembly
2.     The Board
3.     The Praesidium

§ 6 The General Assembly
The General Assembly is the supreme body of the society.
A meeting of the General Assembly is normally called annually and also whenever at least one fifth of the membership so demand.

The General Assembly approves the annual report and the annual accounts, decides on changes of the statutes and also on proposals from the Board and individual members, and determines the amount of the annual subscription.

The General Assembly elects the members of the Board and the auditors of the accounts.
Each member is entitled to propose members for election to the Board. In making proposals, the criterion that the composition of the Board be representative of the membership (§7) should be taken into account.

Proposals should be submitted to the Board in writing (at the latest 48 hours before the General Assembly) and announced by the Board to the members (at the latest 24 hours before the General Assembly) by means of a notice posted at the meeting place of the General Assembly.
In the General Assembly, decisions are made by a simple majority of the valid votes cast. The voting procedure is regulated by the voting rules. Changes to the statutes can only be agreed by a two-thirds majority of the members present who are entitled to vote.


§ 7 Board
The Board consists of at least five and at most nine members; this does not include the President-Elect (cf. §8). At the election, adequate representation of the membership should be taken into account, particularly with regards to the various regions and professional backgrounds. The members of the Board are elected for a period of four years. They are eligible for re-election only once.
The Board is chaired by the President.

§ 8 Praesidium
The President is elected for a period of three (3) years. S/he is not eligible for re-election as President for the period immediately following. Elections for the future President are held one (1) year before the end of the term of office; the elected person becomes President-Elect and becomes as such a member of the Board.

The President and the Board together can elect a Vice-President from among their number; this cannot be the President-Elect.

The President runs the day-to-day activities of Societas Ethica with the assistance of the Executive Secretary and the Treasurer, who are proposed by the President when his/her three year period begins and confirmed by the General Assembly.

These three [President, Executive Secretary, Treasurer], or four [President, Executive Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President] constitute the Praesidium of the Society.

§ 9 Finances
The revenues of the Society consist of the membership subscriptions, subsidies and donations.
The accounting year is the calendar year.
The liability of the members with regard to the debts of the Society is limited to any membership subscriptions agreed upon but not yet collected.


§ 10 Archive
The archive of the Society is located in the State Archive of Basel. Access to the archive is open to the Praesidium and persons who have been approved for access by the President.


§ 11 Dissolution of the Society
Dissolution of the Society can only be decided upon by a two-thirds majority of all the members present entitled to vote. The proposal for dissolution must have been sent to the members six months beforehand. In the case of dissolution of the Society, the assets of the Society must be transferred to the research department of the ecumenical World Council of Churches in Geneva.


Revised at the annual conferences of 1976 (Balantonfüred), 1995 (Brixen), 1997 (Gdansk-Oliwa), 2004 (Ljubljana), 2015 (Linköping)