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The Constitution of the Liberal International British Group

as adopted 2012

Name

1. The name of the group shall be "The Liberal International British Group" hereinafter referred to as "the Group".

2. The Group is an Associated Organisation of the Liberal Democrats ("the Party") and the term liberal in this Constitution shall be interpreted, wherever appropriate, to include Liberal Democrats.

Objects

3. The Group is an association of people working for the following objects:

a. to affiliate to the Liberal International ("LI") and to support and assist its work;

b. to win general acceptance within the United Kingdom for the principles set out in the Liberal Manifesto formulated at the Oxford Conference, April 1947, the Declaration of Oxford 1967 and the Liberal Appeal of Rome 1981;

c. to assist its members in developing cooperation with liberals and liberal groups abroad;

d. to conduct research into matters which have a bearing on the establishment of liberal institutions, liberal economies and personal freedom throughout the world;

e. to initiate and support activities to promote liberalism internationally together with a greater measure of cooperation between liberals and liberal groups in all countries; and

f. to promote, in furtherance of the preceding objects, the objects of Article 4.5 of the Constitution of the Party.

Membership

4. Membership of the Group shall be open to all those residing in the United Kingdom and British nationals living abroad who accept the above objects.

5. Youth Membership of the Group shall be open to all those, under the age of 26 years, residing in the United Kingdom and British nationals living abroad who accept the above objects.

6. Honorary Associate Membership of the Group shall be open to people of liberal outlook in countries where no section of the Liberal International (World Liberal Union) has been formed. Honorary Associate Members shall be entitled to all benefits of membership save voting rights.

7. Corporate Membership of the Group shall be open to all formally established associations, business firms or limited liability companies which wish to promote the objects set out in Clause 3 above. Corporate Members shall be entitled to all benefits of membership save voting rights.

8. Prospective members shall declare their membership of political parties and shall immediately inform the Secretary if, after joining, they become a member of a political party which has no formal links with Liberal International.

9. Notwithstanding Clauses 4 to 7 above, the Executive Committee of the Group, excluding the President, shall, subject to a two-thirds majority of those present, have power to refuse membership to, or withdraw membership from, any person whose activities are, and/or have been, in its opinion inconsistent with support of the above objects and/or whose actions have been in any other way seriously injurious to the Group. Any such refusal or withdrawal of membership shall be subject to appeal to the President of the Group whose decision shall be final.

Subscriptions

10. Subscriptions shall be due on 1 January in each calendar year. Subscriptions for new members who join between 15 September and 31 December in any year shall be deemed to cover the balance of that year and the following calendar year.

11. The annual subscriptions shall be set by a General Meeting and remain in force until altered.

12. All members shall pay the appropriate subscription as above. Any member who is more than six months in arrears with his subscription shall be deemed to have resigned save that exceptions to this rule may be made by the Executive Committee on a case by case basis.

Officers and Executive Committee

13. As provided in 28 below, the following Officers shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting ("AGM") following a binding postal ballot, as needed, of all Members and Youth Members and such Officers shall serve on the Executive Committee:

a. the President (who shall be the principal public representative of the membership and responsible to the membership for ensuring observance of the Constitution);

b. the Treasurer;

c. the Secretary;

d. the Membership Officer; and

e. the Events Officer.

14. Further, as provided in 28 below, twelve ordinary members of the Executive Committee shall be elected annually at the AGM following a binding postal ballot, as needed, of all Members and Youth Members.

15. Each Regional Committee shall appoint an ordinary member of the Executive Committee and an alternate and shall immediately inform the Secretary of these appointments.

16. At the first meeting of the Executive Committee following each AGM, the Executive Committee shall elect:-

a. from among its number a Chairman and a Deputy Chairman who will ex officio be Officers of the Group;

b. Patrons; and

c. up to ten Vice-Presidents, where practicable including at least one from each of the European Parliament, the House of Lords, the House of Commons, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The immediate past Chairman and the Group's additional representative to LI and the Chairman of the Party's International Relations Committee shall ex officio be additional Vice-Presidents.

17. The Executive Committee may co-opt four additional members provided such persons have already consented in writing to such co-option.

18. The President and Chairman may serve for up to three years consecutively (subject to annual re-election) but shall not be eligible for re-election for a year thereafter.

Representation on Outside Bodies

19. LI Executive: when LI seeks nominations for Vice-Presidents, the Committee should nominate the Group's current Chairman and another member of the Executive Committee as Vice-Presidents to serve for the term specified by LI. If a casual vacancy occurs, the next meeting of the Executive Committee will appoint a successor for the remaining duration of the original term.

20. The Party's International Relations Committee: the Group's representative(s) should be elected for two years from amongst the Executive Committee at the first meeting of the Executive Committee after the appropriate AGM, or if a casual vacancy occurs, at the next meeting of the Executive Committee for the remaining duration of the original term.

21. Representation on other bodies: the procedure in 20 shall be applied except that when representation first arises following the first meeting of the Executive Committee after an AGM, election for that representation shall take effect only until the first meeting of the Executive Committee following the next AGM.

22. The Group's representatives to other bodies will submit regular written reports to the Executive Committee, at a period determined by the Executive Committee .

23. Unless the Executive Committee expressly agrees to the contrary, any person shall on resigning from the Executive Committee be deemed also to resign from any appointment made by the Executive Committee in accordance with 19 to 21 inclusive.

Annual General Meeting

24. A General Meeting of the Group shall be held annually. All Members, Youth Members and Honorary Associate Members shall be entitled to attend. Corporate Members shall be entitled to send one representative.

25. The President or, in his absence, the Chairman will chair the AGM. In the absence of the President and Chairman, the meeting shall elect a chairman of the meeting.

26. The Treasurer shall present to the AGM an audited statement of the Accounts for the previous financial year. The financial year of the Group shall run from 1 January to 31 December.

27. An Auditor shall be appointed by the AGM.

28. Notice of the AGM shall be sent to all members at least 42 days in advance. Proposed and seconded nominations for Officers or for the Committee must be received at the address specified in the notice not less than 28 days before the AGM and must also evidence the consent of nominees and must be in hard copy. In the event of a contested election, ballot papers must be sent out not less than 21 days before the AGM, together with such biographical details as the candidate may have submitted with their consent to nomination, subject to a maximum of 75 words. The ballot papers must be returned not less than 7 days before the AGM and all contested elections must be conducted by Single Transferable Vote. The Executive Committee may appoint a Returning Officer for elections.

29. Written notice of any resolution which a member intends to move at the AGM must reach the Group's office not less than 7 days before the AGM and be signed by at least four members of the Group. The President, or other Chairman of the AGM, will exercise discretion over which will be debated and in what order. In exceptional circumstances a simple majority of members present shall have power to overrule the President's decision.

Regional Committees

30. Regional Committees may be established in any of the English regions of the Party, or any combination thereof, or in any of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

31. The constitution of any regional committee shall be subject to approval by the Executive Committee and such constitution shall accord voting rights at the Annual General Meetings of the regional committee to all members of the Group resident in their respective region or nation. The Executive Committee may arrange financial assistance for each regional committee and annual quota payments from each regional committee by mutual agreement.

Alterations to the Constitution

32. The Constitution of the Group may be altered by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at a General Meeting.

NOTICE

33. Save where this Constitution provides expressly to the contrary, any notice required by this Constitution may be served electronically and/or as hard copy at the discretion of the Executive Committee or relevant Officer. The day on which any notice is sent shall count within the specified period of notice but the day on which the event for which notice is given shall not so count.

Special General Meeting

34. A Special General Meeting (i.e. a General Meeting other than the AGM) may be called by the Executive Committee and shall be called if twenty-five members of the Group so desire and notify the President in writing. At least 28 days' notice shall be given of a Special General Meeting.

This Constitution was adopted at the Annual General Meeting held at the National Liberal Club on 15 May 1990, amended at the Annual General Meetings held in Abbey Gardens, Westminster, on 17 June 1997, the House of Lords on 27 July 1999, the House of Lords on 19 July 2000, the House of Lords on 17 July 2002 and National Liberal Club on 2 July 2012.