About the Scottish Paralegal Association

Constitution

Name

1. The name of the Association shall be "The Scottish Paralegal Association" (hereinafter referred to as "the Association". The registered office of the Association shall be 95 Bothwell Street, Glasgow.*

* first changed to 2 Muirfield Place, Arbroath DD11 3HJ
thereafter 21 Ross Street, Kinross KY13 8EF
and currently 26 Drumsheugh Gardens Edinburgh EH3 7YR

Objects

2. The objects of the Association are to prepare, collect, tabulate and disseminate information on matters of professional interest to its members; to represent their collective opinions and views in any appropriate quarter; to act as a consultative body and to promote the interests of the Association and Paralegals in Scotland; to provide opportunities for social contacts among paralegals and to take such action as may be deemed desirable in relation to any subjects in which the Association and members are concerned or which affect their interests.

Membership

3. The Association shall be open to persons who support the objects of the Association and shall consist of those Paralegals who meet the requirements for membership and such other paralegals or persons as the committee shall from time to time deem fit to be admitted as members of the Association.

4. Every application for admission as member must be in the requisite form or such other form as the committee shall from time to time stipulate. Any such form shall include all particulars of the applicant's qualifications and experience. Each applicant shall have such qualifications and/or experience as the committee shall from time to time decide appropriate for admission as a member of the Association.

5. Any application for membership shall be decided at the discretion of the committee or a person or persons duly authorised by the committee to decide on such applications.

6. Any member wishing to withdraw from the Association may do so by giving notice in writing to the committee. On receiving such a notice the committee or person(s) duly authorised by them shall confirm the withdrawal in writing and the members name shall be removed from the membership list forthwith.

Subscriptions

7. The annual subscription from each member shall be such sum as may be determined from time to time by the Committee. The subscriptions shall be payable on or by the date of the Annual General Meeting. Any member not paying the required subscription by the due date shall receive a reminder in writing from the committee within 6 weeks of the subscription falling due. Any members whose subscription remains outstanding at the end of that 6 week period shall receive one further reminder. Failure to pay the dues within 21 days of receiving such reminder shall result in that member being deleted from the membership list and they will no longer be regarded as a member of the association unless with the approval of the association and upon payment of the required membership fee. Payment of the membership fee is due every February regardless of date of joining.

Committee

8. The association and its finances shall be under the management of a committee, consisting of a minimum of eight members of the association The Committee shall meet as often as they may deem expedient. Four members of the Committee shall be a quorum. The Committee shall have power to co-opt members from time to time for such purposes as it deems fit. Committee members should not miss 3 meetings in any one year (unless due to long term ill-health).  Committee members wherever possible should confirm attendance at a meeting by the Monday before the meeting is taking place.  Committee members should be working as paralegals under the supervision of a Solicitor.  Committee members should not be unemployed for a period of more than three months failing which they will have to step down from the Committee.

9. The members of the committee shall serve for a minimum of five consecutive years except with the consent of the members.

Office Bearers

10. The first duty of the Committee after the Annual General Meeting shall be to elect (or confirm) from its own number a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer (hereinafter referred to as "the office bearers"). Office Bearers shall serve for no more than two consecutive years except with the consent of the committee.

Annual General Meeting

11. The Association shall in each financial year hold a general meeting as its Annual General Meeting for the purpose of receiving the Report of the Committee, the accounts of the association, appointing an Auditor and for carrying through any other competent business. The Annual General Meeting shall be held not later than 31st May each year. The Secretary shall give at least fourteen dear days notice of such meeting and of the agenda therefor to the members of the Association. In the event of any member not receiving intimation of the meeting through an accidental omission shall not invalidate the proceedings of the meeting.

Agenda

12. No business shall be transacted at a meeting of the Association other that that specified in the Agenda relating thereto, save any matter that may by the votes of at least three quarters of the members present be declared to be urgent'.

Special Meetings

13. Special meetings of the Association shall be held a) at any time the committee deem desirable or b) In the event that not less than ten members desire a special meeting of the association to consider any matter of urgency or of immediate importance. In the event of a special meeting being desired by such members notice signed by the requisitionists of the said special meeting shall be given to the secretary, who if directed by President or Vice President shall call such special meeting. The President or Vice President shall be entitled to decide whether the matter is urgent or important. The secretary shall give at least fourteen days notice of such special meeting together with the Agenda therefor to the members of the Association. Ten shall be a quorum for such special meeting.

Elections

14. Vacancies on the Committee shall be filled by election at the Annual General Meeting of the Association every year The elections shall be by ballot amongst the members present at the meeting.

Property

15. So much of the property and funds of the Association as the Committee may determine shall be vested in the President, Vice-President and Treasurer for the time being as Trustees of the Association. The secretary of the Association shall maintain a record of the property of the association (with the exception of standard stationery items) and shall detail where such property is held and by whom.

Chairmanship of Meetings

16. Meetings of the Committee and of the Association shall be presided over by the President or in his/her absence the vice President. In the absence of both, the other members shall elect a Chairman from amongst the other members of the Committee present whom failing from among their own number (in the case of a general meeting).

Sub-committees

17. The Committee shall have power to appoint Sub- Committees, either permanently or temporarily, to deal with special subjects as they may think fit and to make rules for the transaction of business connected therewith. Such Sub- Committee shall have power to appoint their own office bearers. Any such sub-committee shall have power to co- opt members from time to time and for such purposes as it may deem appropriate.

Reports

18. The Committee shall present to the Annual General Meeting a Report on the proceedings of the Association and of the Committee together with an audited Statement of Accounts for the preceding year.

Minutes

19. Minutes of the proceedings of every meeting of the Association and Committees and of the attendance of members thereat respectively, shall be recorded by the secretary. Minutes must be approved by two members of the Committee attending such meeting. Every such minute `when approved shall in the absence of proof of error therein be considered as a correct record.

Voting

20. Every question at meetings of the association, other than that provided for in Clause 27 of the Constitution, shall be determined by a majority on the votes of members of the Committee with every member being entitled to one vote.

21. In the case of equality of votes the President shall have a casting vote in addition to his vote as a member. In the event of the President not being present the chairman of that meeting shall have the casting vote.

Business at the Meeting

22. Any member of the Association may give notice of any motion to be made at an Annual General Meeting or special meeting but such notice must be given to the secretary at least seven clear days before the meeting. The Secretary shall forthwith send a copy of such Notice/Motion to all members of the Association.

Adjournment of Meetings

23. A meeting of the Association other than the Annual General Meeting may adjourn and for such time and to such place as it may decide.

Finance

24. The financial year shall commence on the 1st day of April in each year and close on the 31st day of March following.

25. All monies raised by or on behalf of the Association shall be applied to further the objects of the Association and for no other purposes. The committee shall have the power to pay on request an attendance fee to be determined from time to time by the Committee together with actual out of pocket expenses incurred by an office bearer or member whilst performing duties on behalf of the Association. The committee shall be entitled to make an ex-gratia payment to any of its office bearers which payment will be paid at the end of the financial year, provided that the decision to make such payment is agreed by a majority of it's office bearers.

26. The committee shall open and operate such Bank Accounts with such a bank as it deems appropriate as it requires for the conduct of the Association's business. The Bank Accounts are to be operated by the signatures of two of the office bearers.

Alteration of Constitution

27. The Constitution of the Association may from time to time be altered. Amendments to the Constitution may be made at any general meeting of the Association provided that not less than two-thirds of the members of the Association present at such meeting and voting, vote in favour of the Motion.

Notices

28. All notices required hereby may be sent by post, Document Exchange, Legal Post or e-mail and shall be deemed to be served twenty four hours after posting. Any accidental failure or omission in connection with the issue of such a notice to any member shall not invalidate the proceedings to which the notice relates.

Removal

29. In the event of any member acting contrary to the interests or in such manner as to bring discredit upon the Association, the Committee shall have power to expel such members. That member will thereupon cease to be a member or to have any right, interest or concerns with the Association provided that:-

(a) when the Committee proposes to expel a member they shall give him written intimation of their intention to do so;
(b) upon receiving such intimation the member shall be entitled within twenty one days of service of such notice to make written representations to the Committee against proposed expulsion or;
(c) to apply to be heard in that regard by the Committee and he shall accordingly be heard by the committee who shall report their findings in writing within 14 days of such a meeting Any such hearing as required by (c) above shall be constituted by a panel of three committee members including either the President or Vice-President. Any member attending the hearing shall be entitled to have one independent person in attendance with them.

Winding Up

30. The Association may resolve at an Annual General Meeting or special meeting called for the purpose by a majority of two thirds of the members attending and voting at such meeting that the association shall be wound-up. On settlement of all debts and liabilities of the Association, any surplus then remaining shall be either divided equally among the paid-up members of the Association or paid to such charity as the Association shall determine.

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