Version 3 (2015), as agreed by vote of the membership, September 2009 and subsequently amended by vote of the membership in September 2015.
1. The name of the Society will be “The International Society for the Study of Drug Policy”, hereafter referred to as the Society or ISSDP.
2. The object of the ISSDP is to advance education for the public benefit into the effects of drug policy through the undertaking of study and research and the publication and dissemination of the useful results thereof.
3. To fulfil this object, the Society will engage in the following activities:
a) It serves as a medium for international comparative projects on drug policy.
b) It sponsors international seminars on topics of theoretical, methodological or substantive importance.
c) It organizes regular general meetings for the presentation of research papers and discussion of scientific issues in drug policy research.
d) It engages in additional activities approved by the Board with the consent of the membership.
4. ISSDP is an international society, but it will be governed under the laws of England & Wales. The funds of the Society will be held in England & Wales.
MEMBERSHIP AND CONDITIONS OF MEMBERSHIP
5. The membership of the Society shall consist of Regular Members and Affiliate Members.
6. All applicants for regular membership must be scholars or analysts working on problems related to the regulation of psychoactive substances. More detail on the domain of the Society can be found in the appended Statement of Purpose. They will be admitted into the Society by approval from the President and Secretary, on behalf of the Board.
7. The individual will become a member with full voting rights and other privileges of membership upon admittance by the President on behalf of Board and payment of annual dues. Nonpayment of dues will lead to loss of membership six months after the final period paid for, unless special arrangements are made.
Dues are payable to the Secretary-Treasurer, and fall due in March each year, and cover the period 1st March to 28th February. The amount is decided at the Membership Meeting.
8. Persons not eligible for regular membership are eligible to become Affiliate Members by approval from the President on behalf of the Board. Affiliate
Members will have no voting rights. In all other respects they will have the same rights as regular members.
9. The property and business of the Society shall be managed by a Board consisting of a President and a Vice-President and a minimum of five (and maximum of eight) other members. The members shall represent a minimum of four different countries. The President and Vice-President shall be from two different countries. Each member of the Board shall be considered to represent the country of his or her primary institutional affiliation, regardless of country of birth or citizenship. The Board will be elected from and by the membership. They are the Charity Trustees of the Society.
10. The President and Vice-President of the Society shall serve for a two-year term, and may be re-elected only once to the office in which they have served; they may be re-elected after a break in service. The term of office of each other Member of the Board shall be four years. No Member shall serve for more than eight years (not including time served as either President or Vice-President).
11. At the end of the President’s term she/he automatically transfers into a Trustee position (without member election required) for one year (and then subsequently subject to election by members as a regular trustee).
12. At least three months before the end of the current term of office for officers elected directly by the members, the Nominations Committee will issue a call for nominations. In addition to such nominations by members, the Nominations Committee will make nominations, taking note of the requirement for geographical representation of the officers, which shall be distributed to all voting members. Nominations for officers shall be organized into three lists, one for President, one for Vice-President, and one for other Members of the Board.
Each voting member is entitled to vote for candidates on the President and Vice-President lists, and for as many candidates on the Board list as there are seats known to be open for election at the time the ballot is prepared. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in the President and Vice-President lists are elected as President and Vice President respectively, unless these two people are both from the same country, in which case the candidate with the most votes on the Vice President list who is not from the same country as the newly elected President will be elected as Vice President. Candidates on the Members list are elected in order of the number of votes received, except that candidates shall not be elected if their election would violate the provision that Board membership must be drawn from at least four different countries. If positions with different terms are open, candidates receiving higher vote totals will fill the longer-term positions. All Board positions known to be open when the election is counted will be filled at that time, including the position of a newly elected President or Vice-President who would have held a continuing Board seat.
At the Society’s initial election, three Board seats will be filled for 4 years and two for 2 years. In subsequent elections, Terms of office of directly elected officers of the Society will begin at the commencement of the next Membership Meeting following their election. Incumbent officers will remain in office until this time.
13. Meetings of the Board may be held at any time and place to be determined by the Board. A meeting of the Board will be held in conjunction with each Membership Meeting. On the initiative of the President, the Board may make decisions on any matter of business by electronic or postal mail.
A quorum for any decision of the Board will be one-half of the current members of the Board including the President or Vice-President. All decisions of the Board will be by majority vote of those voting.
14. The Board shall take such steps as they may deem requisite to enable the Society to receive donations and benefits for the purpose of furthering the objectives of the Society.
The Board may seek associations with other organizations in order to further the objectives of the Society. Any such association requires majority approval of voting on a ballot to the membership.
15. The Board may appoint from the members of the Society a committee or committees, including the Nominations Committee.
16. The Nominations Committee shall comprise three members. The members shall be appointed by the Board. This committee will be responsible for preparing the lists of nominations for the Board and for conducting the election.
The members of the Nominations Committee will be ineligible for nomination for any election that they conduct.
17. The President, as chief executive of the Society, will preside at the meetings of the Society and its Board.
The President will initiate and carry out policies in conformity with the Society’s purpose as specified by the Board.
18. The Vice-President will assume the duties of the President if the incumbent President resigns or dies and will perform such duties until a new President is elected and assumes office.
19. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected each two years by a majority of Board members voting.
The Secretary-Treasurer is responsible for communicating Society activities and plans to the members no less often that once a year. These include the time and place, as well as the organizers of seminars and workshops sponsored by the Society.
As financial officer of the Society, the Secretary-Treasurer receives the dues of the members and makes disbursements under the supervision of the Board to which he/she presents an annual report, available on request to any member.
Any disbursements over an amount of £2,000.00 made by the Secretary-Treasurer must be agreed by two other members of the Board including either the President or the Vice-President.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare a membership list to be used for election purposes.
The Secretary-Treasurer shall announce to the membership the time and place of the Annual General Meeting of members.
20. An Annual General Meeting of members shall be held at least once a year in conjunction with an international scientific meeting. At the Membership Meeting a discussion will be held of the future activities of the Society.
Announcement of the Annual General Meeting will be made to the members at least three months in advance, together with a tentative agenda of business.
21. The Membership Meeting can, by majority of those voting, institute a ballot [to be executed by email or online survey] to the membership on any issue.
Upon a written petition of twenty members to the President within six months after the Membership Meeting, concerning any issue presented at the general meeting, the issue must be submitted to the members by ballot.
The Board, by majority, can also institute a ballot to the membership at any time.
REVISION OF THE BY-LAWS
22. Upon written petition of twenty members to the President or by a decision of the Board, an article or articles of these By-Laws can be submitted to the membership for revision. Revision requires majority approval of those voting on a ballot.
23 If the members resolve to dissolve the Society, the members of the Board will remain in office as Charity Trustees and be responsible for winding up the affairs of the Society in accordance with this clause.
24. The Trustees must collect in all the assets of the Society and must pay or make provision for all the liabilities of the Society.
25. The Society must apply any remaining property or money:
(a) directly for the object;
(b) by transfer to any Charity or charities for purposes the same as or similar to the Society;
(c) in such other manner as the Charity Commission for England and Wales (“the Commission”) may approve in writing in advance.
(d) The members may pass a resolution before or at the same time as the resolution to dissolve the Society specifying the manner in which the Trustees are to apply the remaining property or assets of the Society.
History of Amendments to By Laws
At the 2007 meeting of the membership in Oslo, the members voted to strike the word “illegal” before the word “drugs” in article 2. This change was made to reflect the society’s interest in legal drugs and the fact that the legality of the same drug may vary across the countries represented by society members.
At the 2008 meeting of the membership in Lisbon, the members voted to change the word “six” to “four” in article 10, to clarify the minimum number of countries that must be represented on the board. This change was made for increasing the feasibility of finding candidates and to rectify a prior apparent contradiction with article 8, which seems to imply a minimum membership standard of 4 countries.
At the 2009 meeting in Vienna, it was agreed to propose changes to the membership, in order to enable the Society to register as a charity in England & Wales. This necessitated clarification of the purpose of the Society, including information on its location, and a section on dissolution.
At the 2015 annual general meeting of members in Ghent, Belgium, it was resolved to amend the By-laws in relation to various issues relating to the membership and election of board members. This was amended by online ballot undertaken in September 2015. In addition the membership were also balloted on whether the trustees should dissolve the ISSDP charity and to set up an ISSDP Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). The membership voted 45-0 in favour of establishing a new CIO.