Bylaws

ARTICLE 1: NAME

1.1 The name of the Association is the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies / Association canadienne des études sur les réfugiés et la migration forcée (CARFMS/ACERMF)

1.2 The Secretariat of the Association shall be at the Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, in the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, or wherever designated in Canada from time to time by resolution of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE 2: MANDATE

2.1 The mandate of the Association is to foster an independent community of scholars dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of Canadian refugee and forced migration research, establishing active partnerships and collaborations among researchers, teachers, practitioners, policy makers and advocates, and supporting publications, conferences, and other fora that contribute to open and inclusive communication and networking around issues relating to refugee and forced migration studies in Canada and elsewhere.

2.2 The vision of the Association is to create a community for scholars with an interest in issues relating to refugees and forced migration, to facilitate networking and collaboration between scholars, to disseminate research findings, to foster linkages between scholars and governmental and non-governmental actors, to serve as a forum for debate and intellectual exchange on refugee and forced migration issues, and to be a prime resource of Canadian scholarship and academic contacts in the field of refugee and forced migration studies in Canada.

ARTICLE 3: PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES

3.1 The Association promotes and supports excellence in Canadian research and teaching of refugee and forced migration issues.

3.2 The Association promotes inclusive and open exchange, in a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural and globally-oriented setting, among scholars, practitioners, policy makers, advocates, refugees and other displaced persons in Canada and elsewhere.

3.3 The Association actively facilitates the dissemination of refugee and forced migration knowledge.

3.4 The Association seeks to encourage scholarly and public debate in Canada on issues relating to refugees and forced migration.

3.5 The Association seeks to develop more active and constructive linkages between Canadian researchers and between researchers, governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations engaged in refugee and forced migration issues.

3.6 The Association seeks to support the development of emerging scholars in Canada and among emerging Canadian scholars abroad.

ARTICLE 4: ACTIVITIES

4.1 The Association organizes an annual conference, focused around the presentation and discussion of research on themes related to the Mandate, Purposes and Objectives of the Association.

4.2 The Association organizes and supports mentoring and professional development opportunities.

4.3 The Association encourages the development of thematic research groups to bring together members with common research interests.

4.4 The Association maintains an active web-page with an online database of members, including contact details and thematic and geographic research interests.

4.5 The Association publishes a semi-annual electronic newsletter.

4.6 The Association actively liaises with policy-makers, practitioners and advocacy groups to disseminate and discuss research findings and to match research needs of members with counterparts in the policy, practitioner and advocacy communities.

4.7 The Association actively engages with other organizations, associations and groups engaging with similar issues.

4.8 The Association provides pedagogical support to those teaching in the areas of refugee issues and forced migration.

ARTICLE 5: MEMBERSHIP

5.1 MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES. Membership in this Association shall be divided into two categories: individual and institutional affiliate. Only Individual Members shall enjoy voting privileges, or be eligible for nomination, election, or appointment to office.

5.2 INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS. Any individual interested in the purpose of this Association shall be duly accepted into its membership after payment of the annual dues specified for such membership.

5.3 INSTITUTIONAL AFFILIATE MEMBERS. Any organization interested in the purpose of this Association shall be eligible to affiliate with the Association upon payment of the annual dues specified for such membership.

5.4 MEMBERSHIP DUES. The membership dues, along with the membership year, shall be determined from time to time by the Board of Directors in accordance with the Association’s financial needs. In making such determinations, the Board of Directors will make membership in the Association, as well as Association activities, as accessible as possible, requiring only nominal dues and fees for students, postdoctoral fellows, and/or unwaged or low-income researchers. Accessibility may be enhanced through such measures as reduced dues, and financial support to attend conferences and other Association activities.

5.5 Upon the petition of fifteen percent of the Active Members, the Board of Directors must submit to the Active Members for their approval at the Annual Meeting or by mail ballot any decision to change the dues structure. A simple majority of those responding within 45 days shall then decide the issue.

5.6 Failure of a Member to pay dues automatically terminates the individual’s membership in this Association, unless otherwise stipulated by the Board of Directors. Upon the request and payment of tardy and current dues, any person whose membership has been automatically terminated for non-payment of dues may be reinstated by the Secretary or Treasurer of the Association.

5.7 Members of the Association with proof of student status at an educational institution shall also be Members of the Association’s Student Caucus.

ARTICLE 6: OFFICERS, NOMINATIONS, ELECTIONS

6.1 OFFICERS. The Officers of this Association shall be President, Past President (non-voting), Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Annual Conference Coordinator, Communication Officer, Policy Partnerships Officer, Practitioner and Advocacy Partnerships Officer, and Student Affairs Officer.

6.2 TERMS OF OFFICE. 

a) President and Officers of the Association, with the exception of Secretary and Treasurer, and Annual Conference Coordinator shall serve a two year term and may stand for re-election for a maximum of two further two year term.

b) Secretary and Treasurer shall serve a three year term, renewable for one, two or three years. The Annual Conference Coordinator shall serve a one year term.

c) The President upon completion of his or her term shall become Past-President, which shall be a non-voting executive position. The position of Past-President shall be created upon the completion of the term of office of the first President of the Association.

d) A term of office shall begin on the last day of the Association’s Annual Conference. If an emergency prevents the Annual Conference, a term of office shall begin on January 1st of the year following the normal date of the Annual Conference, and shall continue until a successor is entitled and prepared to take office.

e) If an elected Officer is not ready to take office within one month of the initiation of his or her term, the Board of Directors may declare the office temporarily vacant and appoint a temporary substitute or, if the elected Officer is not ready to take office within three months of the initiation of his or her term, the Board of Directors may declare the office vacant and appoint a substitute to complete the unexpired term.

6.3 BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

a) The Board of Directors shall carry out policy as determined by the general meeting of the Association. It shall have the power to approve the budget and to direct and review the general affairs of the Association.

b) The Board of Directors of the Association shall consist of the Officers described at article 6.1, three Directors-at-Large and two Student Directors.

c) Directors-at-Large shall serve three year terms, with the exception of the first elected Directors-at-Large who shall be elected for one, two and three year terms. Following the election of the first Directors-at-Large, one Director-at-Large shall be replaced every year.

d) Student Directors are elected by Members of the Student Caucus for one or two year terms.

e) At least two Directors shall be representatives from the Association’s Secretariat.

f) The Board of Directors shall hold a regular meeting each year prior to the Annual Conference of the Association and may call additional meetings of the Board of Directors as necessary.

g) One-half of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for the official transaction of business. Unless otherwise specified herein, decisions shall be based on a simple majority vote. In the event of a tie, the Past-President shall cast the deciding vote.

h) Special votes by mail, telephone or e-mail may be conducted at the discretion of the President or by petition of the majority of the Board of Directors.

6.4 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. 

a) The Executive Committee of the Association shall consist of the Officers described at article 6.1, including at least two representatives from the Secretariat.

b) The Executive Committee shall implement and enforce the policies and decisions of the Board of Directors, and assist the President in managing the affairs of the Association.

c) All actions taken by the Executive Committee shall be reported regularly to the Board of Directors.

6.5 NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS. 

a) A Nomination Committee, including at least two Directors-at-Large and acting in consultation with the other Directors-at-Large, shall be responsible for proposing nominees for the seats of officers and directors of the Association.

b) At each annual meeting as the terms of office of Officers and Directors expire, the Nominating Committee shall endeavour to present a slate of at least two names each for the offices of the President and other Officers of the Association, and at least four names for two seats of Directors-at-Large. At appropriate times the Nominating Committee shall make nominations for Secretary and Treasurer. The student Directors are nominated and elected by the student caucus according to the procedures established by the caucus.

c) The Nominating Committee shall endeavour to ensure appropriate regional representation and representation of the various academic disciplines.

d) After the Nominating Committee presents its list of candidates, nominations may be made from the floor. If seconded, the name of the person(s) nominated shall be added to the list of candidates for election.

e) When only one candidate stands for office, she or he is proclaimed elected. Otherwise, election shall be by written ballot and the votes shall be counted by the Secretary and a teller chosen by the assembly.

f) Officers and Directors shall be elected by plurality vote. In case of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote.

6.6 VACANCIES. 

a) If a vacancy occurs in the office of the President, the Secretary shall convene the Executive Committee for the purpose of naming an acting President.

b) When a vacancy occurs in the any office or Directorship, the Executive shall fill the vacant position until the next annual election.

6.7 DUTIES OF OFFICERS.

a) The President shall preside at all business meetings of the Association, its Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. The President shall create and appoint such temporary committees as deemed necessary; receive and analyze the annual reports of the officers and committees of the Association preceding the Annual Conference; submit an annual report of the status, program and needs of the Association; actively promote the Association’s public relations; represent the Association, or be represented by the appropriate Officer of the Association, at meetings of other educational and professional organizations when possible; and perform those duties usually associated with this office.

b) The Past-President and Officers of the Association shall assist the President when requested. The Past-President shall assume whatever duties are deemed appropriate by the President as approved by the Executive Committee.

c) The Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President in the event of the latter’s absence, disability, or request. The Vice-President will be assigned special assignments by the President that will further the purposes and objectives of the Association. 

d) The Secretary shall act as recording secretary for all general meetings, meetings of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. She or he shall carry on all routine correspondence in the name of the Association or as directed by the Officers of the Board. The Secretary shall receive and circulate reports of committees, and prepare and present an annual report of the Executive Committee and the Board for the Annual Meeting. The Secretary shall also be responsible for the future development of the Association, including thematic groups.

e) The Treasurer of the Association shall collect all membership dues and maintains the official and current membership file of the Association. The Treasurer shall submit an annual financial report to the Board of Directors and to the Association’s Membership. The Treasurer shall also be responsible for fundraising on behalf of the Association.

f) The Policy Partnerships Officer shall be responsible for developing links between the Association, its Members, and the policy community in Canada.

g) The Practitioner and Advocacy Partnerships Officer shall be responsible for developing links between the Association, its Members, and the practitioner and advocacy community in Canada, including the Canadian Council for Refugees.

h) The Communication Officer shall be responsible for coordinating the Association’s communications with members and non-members through the Association’s web-page, newsletter and listservs.

i) The Annual Conference Coordinator shall be responsible for coordinating the Association’s Annual Conference, including, convening and chairing an Annual Conference Planning Committee, and reporting to the Executive on the activities of the Annual Conference Planning Committee. The membership of the Annual Conference Planning Committee shall include at least the Annual Conference Coordinator, President, and two additional members of the Executive Committee. 

j) The Student Affairs Officer shall be responsible for the promotion of the Association among students, the inclusion of students in the business and activities of the Association, and coordinating the activities of the Association’s student caucus.

6.8 An INTERIM EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, selected on the occasion of the founding of the organization, shall consist of eight members elected without portfolio and shall serve until the occasion of the first annual meeting. Nominations shall be accepted from the floor. The first Board of Directors shall be elected on the occasion of the first annual meeting according to special election procedures determined by the Interim Executive. The Interim Executive will be disbanded following the election of the first Board of Directors.

ARTICLE 7: PUBLICATIONS

7.1 The Association shall engage in the preparation, production, sale and distribution of such occasional or regular publications as the Board of Directors shall determine.

7.2 NEWSLETTER. Published half-yearly, the Newsletter is a communication link between Members and with the academic, policy, practitioner and advocacy communities as well as other organizations. It circulates news from the Association, opinions and viewpoints of members, and information on work in progress, recent publications, recent and forthcoming conferences, research centre activities and research support, and also teaching and pedagogy related to refugee issues and forced migration.

ARTICLE 8: FINANCES

8.1 The Treasurer shall receive dues and other payments, keep accounts, authorize outgoing cheques, and render reports as provided in Article 6.7 (d) above.

8.2 An Auditor shall be appointed by the Members of the Association at each Annual Meeting. The Auditor shall:

a) Examine annually the financial statement of the Treasurer, including such tests of accounting records and other information as will enable him or her to give an opinion on the financial statements.

b) File reports with the Treasurer not less than eight weeks before the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors. The report shall be submitted to the Annual Meeting at which time it shall be read and shall be opened to inspection by all Members of the Association. The report of the Auditor shall also be included in the Annual Report to Members of the proceedings of the Board of Directors.

c) Examine and report on other financial affairs of the Association at any time during the year upon request of the Board of Directors.

d) Remuneration of the Auditor shall be fixed by the Board of Directors.

8.3 Funds received by the Association shall be handled by the Treasurer and deposited in an appropriate financial institution approved by the Board of Directors.

8.4 By affirmative vote of a simple majority of voting members of the Board of Directors, the Treasurer shall invest in approved trustee investments stated amounts of the funds of the Association as directed from time to time.

8.5 All revenue derived from dues, assessments, sale of publications, grants or any other source shall be used exclusively for the work of the Association. Such funds shall be expended in accordance with Association purposes consistent with its budget, or with the special terms of a grant or bequest consistent with Association purposes. No part of the incomes of the Association shall be paid to any Member as a share or dividend; but Officers, committee members and employees may be reimbursed for necessary expenses related to their duties; and employees may be paid wages and salaries as authorized by the Board of Directors.

8.6 The Board of Directors shall present to the Association at its Annual Business Meeting the budget adopted for the next fiscal year.

8.7 No Member or group of Members shall commit the funds or other assets and resources of the Association in any way except as stipulated in these Bylaws.

8.8 DISPOSAL OF ASSETS

a) In the event the Association is dissolved, the Board of Directors shall remain in existence for not more than 12 months to terminate the affairs of the Association in accordance with the provisions of this section.

b) After payment of debts and obligations, the Board of Directors shall reimburse the Centre for Refugee Studies, as well as other institutions and/or research groups, for funds expended on behalf of the Association in proportion of such expenses.

c) After such payments and reimbursements, any remaining assets of the Association shall be transferred to a national refugee advocacy organization.

d) Should the authorized transfer of funds not have been completed by the end of the twelfth month after dissolution of the Association, a majority of the Members of the last Executive Committee of the Association shall have authority to complete the provisions of this section.

8.9 No Member or group of Members other than a duly established committee of the Association shall use the name of the Association or its logo in an activity without the prior written permission of the Secretary-Treasurer acting with the advice and consent of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE 9: MEETINGS AND REPORTS

9.1 Except for sufficient reason, there shall be an Annual Conference of the Association. One general session of the Annual Conference shall be arranged for and designated as the Annual Business Meeting for the purposes of making policy, reporting and reviewing all decisions of the Board of Directors. All decisions of the Board of Directors shall be reported to the Association Membership at the Annual Business Meeting of the Association.

9.2 The Board of Directors of the Association shall have the authority to set the time, place, and registration fees of the meetings of the entire Association. On the petition of ten percent of the Active Members, however, the Board of Directors must call a meeting to be held within three months from the date of the petition.

9.3 Announcement of the time and place of any meeting of the entire Association shall be made as far ahead as is reasonably possible; in every case, notice shall be sent in time to reach Active Members at least 30 days in advance of the meeting date.

9.4 Individual Members of the Association may vote on matters referred to the Association at the Annual Business Meeting, and may initiate business at such meetings. Motions passed at the Annual Business Meeting shall be acted upon by the Board of Directors.

9.5 Items of business requiring the vote of Active Members may be transacted by telephone, mail or e-mail when the Board of Directors considers such action desirable.

9.6 At the Annual Business Meeting the Active Members by a simple majority vote may refer any business other than constitutional amendments to the entire Active Membership for a vote by mail. A summary of pertinent discussion on the floor will be included in the materials sent to the Members.

9.7 Minutes of the preceding Annual Business Meeting, with a summary of any other material which concerns a program of the Association for its membership, shall be included in the annual report by the Secretary-Treasurer.

9.8 A copy of the budget as approved by the Board of Directors shall be available at the Annual Business Meeting.

9.9 The financial year of the Association shall extend from January 1st to December 31st.

ARTICLE 10: AMENDMENTS AND REVISIONS

10.1 INITIATION OF CHANGE. Amendments to, or other changes in, these Bylaws may be initiated in any of the following ways:

a) The Board of Directors or the Interim Executive may formulate proposals for amendment of these Bylaws and submit them, with any arguments it chooses, to the Active Membership for vote.

b) The President may appoint a Committee to consider revising the Bylaws in general or in particular, and subsequently submit to the Membership of the Association the Committee report, together with recommendations of the Board of Directors for or against the proposals.

c) Fifteen Active Members of the Association may submit to the Board of Directors a proposed amendment or amendments in writing and signed by the sponsors. The Board of Directors shall then submit the proposed amendment(s) with any arguments advanced by its sponsors, and with the Board of Directors’ recommendation for or against the proposed change, to the Members of the Association for action. An amendment formulated in this manner may not be submitted to the Board of Directors within a period of 60 days preceding and 60 days following the date of the Annual Business Meeting.

d) Any defeated amendment shall not be reconsidered before the next Annual Meeting of the Association.

10.2 Amendments or revisions to this document may be considered formally by the Active Members of the Association at the annual meeting. An affirmative vote of at least two thirds of those voting shall be required for acceptance of an amendment. Members may designate a proxy vote by written notification to the Secretary-Treasurer or the President, 30 days in advance of the Annual Meeting.

10.3 Unless otherwise specified, an amendment approved by the Active Members becomes effective on the date selected by official action of the Board of Directors, but in no case later than the next Annual Business Meeting.

ARTICLE 11: PARLIAMENTARY RULES

11.1 In the absence of any provision to the contrary in these Bylaws, all business meetings of the Association and its various components shall be governed by the Parliamentary rules and usages contained in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Revised.