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FIACAT’s Statutes (December 2015)

January 2016

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Statutes of the INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION of ACAT

(December 2015)

In the light of their faith in Jesus Christ, considering that the dignity of all human beings implies respect for their physical and psychological integrity, having regard to the undertaking in Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, the undersigned, representing their respective organisations, hereby found a non-profit-making association.

Article 1 - Name.

The association shall be called “International Federation of ACAT”, hereafter referred to as “the Federation”; in that name, ACAT is the abbreviation for “Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture”.

The Federation’s acronym shall be FIACAT.

Article 2 - Registered Office.

1. The registered office of the Federation shall be located at: 27 rue de Maubeuge - 75009 Paris (France). 2. It may be transferred by a simple decision of the International Bureau. This decision shall then be submitted to the International Council for ratification.

Article 3 - Object.

The aim of the Federation shall be to campaign for the abolition of torture; it intends to oppose the use of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment, including capital punishment, throughout the world, by using all forms of appropriate action.

1. The Federation shall act as a link between the affiliated associations and shall facilitate communication and co-operation between them.

2. The Federation extends and co-ordinates the action of affiliated ACATs internationally. It provides the ACATs with international representation.

3. The Federation shall enable the affiliated associations jointly to form a non-governmental organisation under national law.

4. In the field of international relations, the Federation shall be more specifically responsible for action aimed at: a) the churches and Christian organisations; b) intergovernmental organisations and other international institutions; c) international public opinion and information agencies.

5. The Federation shall co-operate, as it deems appropriate, with other non-governmental organisations that share some or all of its aims.

6. The Federation shall undertake or support any action conforming to its aims and means, even in countries where it has no affiliated associations.

Article 4 - Membership.

The Federation groups together affiliated national ACATs. The Statutes of member ACATs must be in line with the Statutes of FIACAT.

Article 5 - Admission.

1. The decision to admit an association as an affiliated member shall be taken by the International Council, following consideration of the application by the International Bureau. The International Council’s decision shall be taken by a two-thirds majority of its affiliated members.

2. Affiliated associations shall pay a membership contribution, the amount and details of which shall be established by the International Council.

Article 6 - Termination of membership.

1. Notice of an affiliated association’s voluntary resignation shall be given in writing by its chairman or duly appointed representative.

2. The decision to remove an association from the register of affiliated members shall be taken by the International Bureau which shall make known this decision in writing, either owing to non-payment of the membership contribution within the appointed time, except where a prior exemption has been granted by the Bureau on the basis of an explanatory statement, or because the association in question has been dissolved or has ceased to exist.

3. The decision to exclude an affiliated association shall be taken by the International Council, which shall state its reasons and make known its decision in writing after giving the association’s chairman or duly appointed representative an opportunity to be heard.

Such a decision by the International Council shall be based on serious grounds, such as failure to comply with the conditions of affiliation referred to in Article 4, any act which has jeopardised or is jeopardising the existence or credibility of the Federation or its affiliate associations, or any other reason mentioned in the Rules of Procedure or by the International Council.

The International Council’s decision shall be taken by a two-thirds majority of its affiliated associations.

4. Any association which, for whatever reason, loses its affiliated-member status shall have no claim to the Federation’s assets or paid-up membership contributions.

Article 7 - Executive bodies.

The Federation shall be run by two principal bodies: a) the International Council, b) the International Bureau.

Article 8 - The International Council.

1. The International Council shall be the supreme organ of the Federation. The International Council shall have exclusive responsibility for: • the election of the International President and the other members of the International Bureau; • admission and exclusion of associations; • approval of the activities report, accounts and budget; • approval of the nomination of an Auditor; • amendment of the Statutes; • voluntary dissolution of the Federation.

2. The International Council shall consist of the representatives of the affiliated associations.

“Representative of an affiliated association” shall mean the person appointed as such by that association’s steering committee.

Only the representative(s) of an affiliated association shall have the right to speak and vote.

He or she shall be assisted by a substitute, also appointed by the affiliated association’s steering committee.

The substitute may be delegated by the representative to act on his/her behalf and with his/her authority.

The representative of an affiliated association may authorise the representative of another affiliated association to vote on his behalf; the representative of each affiliated association may hold no more than two proxies.

3. The following may also attend International Council meetings:

a) each representative’s substitute, who then shall have the right to speak but not to vote;

b) delegations from the affiliated associations. An affiliated association’s delegation shall consist of members of that association, up to a maximum of three persons. Delegates from affiliated associations shall have the right to speak but not to vote;

c) representatives and delegations from applicant associations. “Applicant associations” shall mean an association whose application for membership has been accepted by the International Bureau and is being submitted to the International Council for approval. An applicant association’s representative and delegation shall be entitled to attend as observers with the right to speak but not to vote.

4. The International Council shall meet once every year in person, or by correspondence, or by electronic means or any other means. The International Council may be convened for an extraordinary meeting either at the International Bureau’s initiative or at the request of at least one fifth of the affiliated associations.

The International Council may hold an extraordinary meeting in person, or by correspondence, or by electronic means or by any other means.

5. The International Council’s proceedings shall be valid only if more than half of the associated associations are represented.

If this is not the case, a second meeting shall be convened within three months, at which no quorum shall be required for the Council’s proceedings.

Deliberations shall concern items which have been entered on the agenda, drawn up in advance by the International Bureau.

6. The International Council shall act by an absolute majority except in cases where the Statutes require a two-thirds majority of the affiliated associations, namely for the purposes of admission or exclusion of associations, amendments of the Statutes or voluntary dissolution of the Federation.

In the event of a vote count all votes shall be equal.

In the event of a tied vote, a second ballot shall be held; if this ballot results in a tie, the President of the Federation shall have the casting vote.

Article 9 - The International Bureau.

1. The International Bureau shall be the administrative organ of the Federation. The International Bureau shall be responsible for: • management and administration of the Federation’s rights and interests under civil law, • closing the accounts every year and submitting them to the International Council for approval, • proposing every year a forecast budget and submitting it to the International Council for approval, • presenting an annual activity report and submitting it to the International Council for approval, • nominating an Auditor, • implementing the decisions of the International Council and subsequently reporting to it thereon, • carrying out any other duties specified in the Statutes, • appointing and dismissing an International Secretary • delegating responsibility to and withdrawing responsibility from specialised assistants

2. The International Bureau shall consist of at least six members, one of which being the President.

All members of the International Bureau shall have the right to speak and vote on decisions taken by it.

Should the number of members fall below six and should the term of office still have more than six months to run, the International Bureau shall decide to convene an extraordinary meeting of the International Council in order to hold an intermediate election.

3. The International Bureau shall be elected by the International Council for a period of four years. New members elected within that four-year period shall serve until the next International Council meeting is held. A serving member may be dismissed by the International Council on valid grounds. Prior to this the International Bureau may decide, by a two-thirds majority, to suspend that member from his/her duties and notify him/her of that decision in writing. The International Bureau shall then refer the matter to the International Council within six months.

Only the representatives of the associations to the International Council shall be eligible for membership of the International Bureau.

On election to the International Bureau the representative of the association shall be replaced on the International Council by his/her substitute. The substitute shall then become the representative of the association and exercise his/her duties under the terms of Articles 8 et seq. of the Statutes.

4. The International Bureau shall meet at least once every six months in person, or by correspondence, or by electronic means, or by any other means.

The International Bureau may be convened for an extraordinary meeting at the request of at least one quarter of its members and no less than two members.

If the International Bureau has appointed an International Secretary, he or she shall attend its meetings ex officio, with the right to speak but not to vote.

5. The International Bureau’s proceedings shall be valid only if more than half of its members are present or represented. If this is not the case, a second meeting shall be convened within a month, at which no quorum shall be required for the Bureau’s proceedings.

6. The International Bureau shall take its decisions by an absolute majority of its members present or represented.

In the event of a vote count all votes shall be equal. In the event of a tied vote, a second ballot shall be held. If this ballot results in a tie, the President of the Federation shall have the casting vote.

Article 10 - The President.

1. The President of the Federation shall be a member of the International Bureau; he or she shall direct and co-ordinate its activities.

The president shall be responsible for: • convening meetings of the International Council, • reporting to the International Council on the Federation’s activities and policies, • notifying the representatives of the affiliated associations of decisions taken by the International Bureau, • representing the Federation, in agreement with the International Bureau, in all civil matters, • committing expenditure in accordance with the budget adopted by the International Council.

2. The election of the President of the Federation by the International Council shall be held separately from that of the other members of the International Bureau. On election as President, he or she shall be replaced by his/her substitute as representative of their association. The substitute shall then become the representative of the association and exercise his/her duties under the terms of Articles 8 et seq. of the Statutes.

Should the presidency fall vacant before completion of the term of office, the International Bureau shall decide within six months to convene an extraordinary session of the International Council for an early election. In the interim the International Bureau shall appoint from amongst its members an acting president, who shall be responsible for taking those decisions deemed necessary to enable the Federation to function.

Article 11 - Specialised Assistants and International Secretary.

1. In order to carry out the programme of activities incumbent upon the Federation, the International Bureau and the President may call on specialised assistants. A specialised assistant shall, as far as possible, be a member of an association affiliated to the Federation.

2. A specialised assistant shall be given a specific task for a limited period which may be renewed. An appropriate report shall be submitted to the person or body which has commissioned the task.

3. The International Secretary shall be the assistant more specifically responsible for running the Secretariat under the authority of the International Bureau and for assisting the International Bureau and the International Council at and between their meetings.

The International Secretary shall also take an appropriate action in accordance with the decisions and budget adopted by the International Council.

Article 12 - Accounts and Budget.

The International Bureau shall draw up accounts for the year that has elapsed and a budget for the following year. It shall submit them to the International Council for approval.

Article 13 - Funds.

1. The Federation’s funds shall consist of: a) the affiliated associations’ membership contributions, b) donations, c) manuel gifts.

2. The International Council shall fix the amount of membership contributions and decide how these are to be paid.

3. The incorporation of subsidies, donations and legacies into the Federation’s funds shall be submitted to the International Bureau for approval.

4. The Federation’s assets alone shall be liable for commitments contracted by the Federation and convictions against it.

Article 14 - Expenditure.

1. The President of the Federation or a person delegated by him/her shall commit expenditure in accordance with the budget adopted by the International Council and according to requirements.

2. The International Council may take appropriate measures to supervise the administrative and financial running of the Federation.

Article 15 - Rules of Procedure.

The International Council may adopt Rules of Procedure by an absolute majority of its members on a proposal from the International Bureau.

The Rules of Procedure shall complement the Statutes, particularly with regard to the application or interpretation thereof.

Article 16 - Amendment of the Statutes.

1. Any amendment of the Statutes must be proposed by the International Bureau or at least one tenth of the affiliated associations.

2. Once all the affiliated associations have been given advance notification, the International Council shall vote on the amendment, acting by a two-thirds majority of the affiliated associations.

The International Council’s decision shall be valid only if the two-thirds quorum is obtained. If not, a second meeting of the Council shall be convened, at which no quorum shall be required unless the proposed amendment concerns the object of the Federation, in which case the required quorum shall be half of the affiliated associations.

Article 17 - Dissolution.

1. Any proposal to dissolve the Federation must be submitted by the International Bureau or at least one tenth of the affiliated associations.

2. Once all the affiliated associations have been given advance notification, the International Council shall vote on the proposal, acting by a two-thirds majority of the affiliated associations.

The International Council’s decision shall be valid only if the two-thirds quorum is obtained. If not, a second meeting of the Council shall be convened, at which no quorum shall be required.

3. Dissolution of the Federation shall not lead to dissolution of its affiliated associations.

4. The transfer of property shall be assigned by the International Council to trustees appointed by it; assets shall be allocated to one or more associations pursuing similar aims.

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