Constitution of Tasmanian Women Lawyers

1.  Name and Objects

1.1 The name of the Association is “Tasmanian Women Lawyers” (the Association).

1.2  The objects of the Association are –

(a)    to provide a common meeting ground for women lawyers;

(b)   to foster the continuing education and development of women lawyers in all matters of legal interest;

(c)    to encourage and provide for the entry of women into the legal profession and their advancement within the profession;

(d)   to work towards the reform of the law;

(e)    to participate as a body in matters of interest to the legal profession; and

(f)     such other objects as the Association may in General Meeting decide.

2.  Committee

2.1 The conduct of the affairs of the Association are vested in a Committee consisting of a President, a Vic President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Northern Representative, a Membership Officer and at least two (2) general committee members.

2.2 The Committee is to be elected as the Annual General Meeting and its members hold office until the election of a Committee at the next following Annual General Meeting.

2.3 Nominations of candidates for election as officers of the Committee –

(a)   may be made from the floor of the meeting. 

(b)   are to be delivered to the Secretary; or

​2.4 If the number of nominations received is equal to the number of vacancies to be filled, the persons nominated are duly elected. 

2.5 If the number of nominations exceeds the number of vacancies to be filled, a ballot is to be held in such manner as the Committee may directs. 

2.6 The retiring President is an ex officio member of the Committee for the following year. 

2.7 The office of an officer of the Committee becomes vacant if the officer – 

(a) dies; 

(b) becomes bankrupt or applies to take or takes advantage of any law relating to bankrupt or insolvent debtors or compounds with her creditors, or makes any assignment of her estate for their benefit; 

(c) becomes of unsound mind; 

(d) resigns her office by writing addressed to the Committee; 

(e) fails, without leave granted by the Committee, to attend three consecutive meetings of the Committee; or 

(f) ceases to be a member of the Association. 

2.8 If any vacancy on the Committee occurs otherwise than by the effluxion of time, the Committee may fill such vacancy in such manner as it sees fit. 

2.9 The Committee has the power to form such sub-committees as it thinks fit, and co-opt members to such sub-committees. 

2.10 The President is an ex officio member of any sub-committee. 

2.11 At a meeting of a sub-committee two-thirds of the members of that sub-committee constitute a quorum. 

2.12 At a meeting of the Committee, four (4) members constitute a quorum.. 

2.13 If a quorum is nor present within 20 minutes of the notified time of a meeting of the Committee, the members present at the meeting may adjourn the meeting to a convenient future date to be notified to the members not present at that meeting. 

2.14 At a meeting of the Committee or a sub-committee, each member present, including the President, or Chairperson, has one vote on any matter, and in the case of equality of votes, the President or Chairperson has the casting vote. 

2.14A A resolution put at a committee meeting will be passed if and only if a majority of the Committee in attendance cast a vote in favour of the resolution.

2.14B The Committee may pass resolutions other than at a committee meeting by email communication as follows: 

(a) Any office bearer may email all committee members and put a resolution (other than one that relates to amendment of the Constitution) and invite an email reply from all committee members (such reply to be copied in to all members); 

(b) The email referred to in sub-paragraph (a) must, if necessary, specify that the email reply is required within 24 hours; 

(c) If the email responses received from the committee members represent a vote cast in favour of the resolution by at least 50% of the total number of committee members at any one time, then the resolution is passed; 

(d) If the resolution is not passed and remains relevant to the operation of the Association, any member of the Committee may ask the Secretary to put the resolution on the Agenda at the next committee meeting. At such time, a further vote will be taken on the resolution. 

(e) If a resolution is passed in accordance with sub-paragraph (c), the Secretary shall keep a record of the same by maintaining a Register of Resolutions that the Committee passes by email. 

2.15   The Committee may at any time make such by-laws as it thinks conducive to the attainment of any of the objects of the Association or for regulating the business of the Association and may rescind, replace, or amend any of the by-laws. 

2.16 The Secretary of the Association is to – 

(a) conduct and keep copies of all correspondence; 

(b) keep the minutes of any General Meeting and Annual General Meeting and of any meeting of the Committee; 

(c) keep a record of the names and addresses of all members of the Association; and 

(d) keep such other books as the Committee may determine. 

2.17 The Membership Officer of the Association is to – 

  1. a) Maintain the membership records of the Association; 
  2. b) Distribute information and notices to the members as required by the Committee; 
  3. c) Keep an electronic register, to be current at each committee meeting, of the names, addresses, emails and phone contacts of the members; 
  4. d) Report membership numbers to the Committee as required; 
  5. e) Promote membership and renewal of members and payment of subscription fees by them. 

2.18 The Vice-President of the Association is to – 

assist the President generally in conducting and overseeing the operation and activities of the Association as required from time to time.

3. Membership 

3.1 Membership of the Association consists of – 

(a) ordinary members; and 

(b) associate members. 

3.2 A woman is eligible to be an ordinary member of the Association if she is – 

(a) admitted to practice as a barrister or solicitor of the Supreme Court of any State or Territory of the Commonwealth of Australia , or in any part of the British Commonwealth; or 

(b) is a graduate in Law of any University within the Commonwealth of Australia. 

3.3 A woman is eligible to be an associate member of the Association if she is studying in the final year of either a degree in Law or in a degree combining Law and another discipline. 

3.4 The Committee may confer honorary membership on any woman in recognition of meritorious work in the legal field. 

3.5 A person who ceases for any cause to be a member of the Association remains liable for any annual subscription or other money which may be due to the Association at the time of ceasing to be a member, but she dose not have any interest in or claim against the funds of the Association. 

4. Subscription 

4.1 The annual subscription for members is to be fixed at the Annual General Meeting.

4.2 The first subscription is payable upon admission to the Association and covers the period from the date of admission up to and including the date of the next Annual General Meeting. 

4.3 Subsequent subscriptions are due and payable at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting in each year. 

4.4 A member whose annual subscription remains unpaid for a period of 3 months after the Annual General Meeting in any year becomes an unfinancial member. 

4.5 The Committee may cancel the membership of an unfinancial member. 

4.6 An unfinancial ordinary member is not eligible for election to the Committee or any sub-committee. 

4.7 An unfinancial member is not entitled to vote at any election or meeting of the Association. 

5. General Meetings 

5.1 The Committee may convene a General Meeting at such place, date, and hour as the Committee determines. 

5.2 When requested to do so by requisition signed by 5 ordinary members, the Committee is to convene a General Meeting. 

5.3 A requisition for a General Meeting is to state the objects of the meeting proposed to be called. 

5.4 Notice in writing of the place, date, and hour of a General Meeting is to be circulated to members at least 14 days before that meeting. 

5.5 The non-receipt by a member of a notice of a General Meeting does not invalidate proceedings at that meeting. 

5.6 The Annual General Meeting is to be held in the month of November or December, at such place, date, and hour, as the Committee determines. 

5.7 Notice in writing of the place, day and hour of every Annual General Meeting is to be circulated to members at least 14 days before that meeting. 

5.8 The notice of the Annual General Meeting must specify – 

(a) the general nature of the business; and 

(b) if an election of the Committee or any member of the Committee is to form part of the business of the meeting, the last day for the receipt of nominations of candidates. 

5.9 Business is not to be transacted at an Annual General Meeting unless a quorum of one-quarter of the total number of ordinary members of the Association is present at that meeting or has provided a proxy in a form approved by the Association to a member present at that meeting. 

5.9a Members may vote at the Annual General Meeting on any proposed resolution in person or by proxy. 

5.10 If within one-half hour from the time appointed of an Annual General Meeting a quorum of members is not present, the meeting is to be adjourned to the same day in the following week, at the same time and place, or to such day a day and place as the President of the Association may determine. 

5.11 The President is the Chairperson of any Annual General Meeting and General Meeting. 

5.12 In the absence of the President, the ordinary members present at a meeting may elect an ordinary member at the meeting to be the Chairperson of the meeting. 

5.13 At a meeting of the Association, each financial member is entitled to one vote in relation to any one matter, and in the case of an equality of votes, the Chairperson has a second vote. 

5.14 An associate member is not entitled to vote on any matter or to be elected to the Committee or sub-committee. 

6. Income, Property and Accounts 

6.1 The income and property of the Association are to be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects and purposes of the Association and no portion is to be paid or transferred directly or indirectly to any member of the Association except with the authority of the Committee. 

6.2 The Committee is to cause to be opened such bank accounts as it thinks necessary into which all money received is to be paid by the Treasurer. 

6.3 Cheques are to be drawn on the bank account of the Association only for the payment of expenditure that has been authorised by the Committee. 

6.4 The Treasurer is to keep account of – 

(a) all sums of money received and expended by the Association and the matter in respect of which the receipt or expenditure takes place; and 

(b) the property, credits and liabilities of the Association. 

6.5 The accounts are to be open to the inspection of the members of the Association at times fixed by the Committee. 

6.6 The Treasurer is to keep all general records, accounting books and records of receipts and expenditure connected with the operations and business of the Association in such manner as the Committee directs and must present a Treasurer’s Report at each Committee meeting. 

6.7 The Treasurer is to receive all moneys paid to the Association and must issue official receipts. 

6.8 The Committee may provide the Treasurer with a sum to meet urgent expenditure subject to such conditions as the Committee imposes. 

6.9 All cheques, bills of exchange, promissory notes, and other negotiable instruments are to be signed by any 2 members of the Committee. 

6.10 The Committee may receive the cheques drawn by the Association on any f tis accounts with the bank or bankers and may release and indemnify the bank or its bankers from and against all claims, actions, suits, or demands that may be brought against the bank or bankers arising directly or indirectly out of those cheques or the surrender those cheques to the Association. 

6.11 The Committee may pay to a member of the Association – 

(a) remuneration in return for service actually rendered to the Association by the member or for goods supplied to the Association by the member in the ordinary course of business; or 

(b) re-imbursement of expenses incurred by the member on behalf of the Association; or 

(c) interest at a rate not exceeding current bank interest rates on money lent to the Association by the member; or 

(d) a reasonable and proper sum by way of rent for premises let to the Association by the member. 

7. Alteration of the Constitution 

7.1 The Constitution may only be altered by resolution passed by a General Meeting carried by two-thirds of the ordinary members present and voting at the meeting. 

7.2 Notice of a proposed resolution at the meeting to alter the Constitution is to be given in writing to the Secretary. 

7.3 Upon receipt of a proposed resolution, the Secretary is to call a General Meeting to be held within 21 days of such receipt. 

7.4 A notice calling a General Meeting is to set out in full the proposed resolution to alter the Constitution. 

7.5 The Secretary is to supply a copy of the Constitution without charge and upon request to any member. 

8. The Dissolution of Association 

8.1 The Association may only be dissolved – 

(a) by resolution passed by a General Meeting carried by two-thirds of the ordinary members present and voting at a General Meeting; or 

(b) if financial membership drops to 5 or less members. 

8.2 Notice of the proposed resolution to dissolve the Association is to be given in writing to the Secretary. 

8.3 Upon receipt of a proposed resolution, the Secretary is to call a General Meeting. 

8.4 Notice in writing of the General Meeting is to be circulated to members at least 21 days before the date of the meeting. 

8.5 In the event of dissolution, all assets of the Association are to be dealt with as decided by resolution passed by the General Meeting carried by two-thirds of the ordinary members present and voting at the meeting. 

8.6 In the event of the Association being wound up – 

(a) every member of the Association; and 

(b) every person who within the period of 12 months immediately preceding the commencement of the winding up, was a member of the Association, 

is liable to contribute to the assets of the Association for – 

(c) payment of debts or liabilities of the Association; and 

(d) the costs, charges and expenses of the winding up. 

8.7 A contribution from a member under clause 8.6 is not to exceed the amount of the current subscription.