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Constitution
Constitution

Berkhamsted Bridge Club

Constitution

September 2012

RULES OF BERKHAMSTED BRIDGE CLUB
                   
1.  NAME  Berkhamsted Bridge Club

2  OBJECTIVE  The promotion of Contract Bridge

3  AFFILIATION  The Club shall be affiliated to the English Bridge Union via a County Association

4  MEMBERSHIP 

4a  Every candidate for membership shall be proposed by one member of the Club and seconded by another member, not the husband or wife of the proposer nor any member of the committee.  The proposer and seconder shall be members of the Club of at least three years standing.

4b  A Proposal Form duly completed shall be placed on the Notice Board and the prospective member must play three times as a visitor whilst the form is on display so as to enable members to advise the Hon Sec of any objections.  The Managing Committee shall then decide if the proposed member is acceptable

4c  New members joining part way through a membership year may pay a reduced subscription for that year at the discretion of the Managing Committee.

4d  Former members may rejoin, at the discretion of the Managing Committee, without being proposed or seconded, on making written application to the Hon Sec.

4e  The Managing Committee shall have the right to refuse a prospective member.

5. MEMBERS BEHAVIOUR

5.1 Each member of the club shall be required in connection with the game of Duplicate Contract Bridge, to conform to the standards of fair play, courtesy and personal deportment prescribed by the Bye-laws and regulations for the time being of the EBU.

5.2 The Club shall have the powers and procedures for the enforcement of the requirements in clause 5.1. They are set out in the Schedule of the Constitution Appendix 1 and shall stand as part of the Constitution and be subject to the same provisions of the Constitution for its amendment.


6.  SUBSCRIPTION 

The annual subscription shall be recommended by the Managing Committee and agreed at the AGM.  The subscription is due within one month of the AGM and any member who has not renewed their subscription within this period shall cease to be a member, subject to the discretion of the Managing Committee.

7  VISITORS 

Visitors are not limited as to their number of attendances but they have no status whatsoever in Club competitions.

8  ACCOUNTS 

The accounts shall be made up annually to 31 July, and shall be audited by an auditor appointed at the AGM.  The accounts shall be signed by the Chairman and Hon Treasurer and circulated to the members with the notice calling the AGM.

 9  ALTERATION OF RULES 

No rule of the Club shall be added, rescinded or altered except by resolution of an AGM or a Special General Meeting called for the purpose.  Such changes must be passed by the votes of two thirds of the members present.  Any proposed alteration of the Rules must be sent to the Hon Sec not less than 21 days before the date of any meeting at which it is to be considered

10  MANAGING COMMITTEE 

10a  The Managing Committee shall consist of: 

i The Officers, being the Chairman, Hon Sec and Hon Treasurer 

ii  Not more than 7 and not less than 4 other members A quorum shall consist of 2 Executive Officers and 3 other committee members 

10b  All officers and members shall retire annually at the AGM but be eligible for re-election without further nomination, except where co-opted during the year.  Other members may be nominated, with their prior consent, such nominations in writing to reach the Hon Sec not less than 7 days before the date fixed for the AGM.  Vacancies arising more than 3 months before the AGM may be filled by the committee.

10c  The Committee shall have the power to form such sub-committees as are required for the efficient running of the Club.  The Chairman shall be an ex-officio member of all such sub-committees.

10d  The committee shall have power to make bye-laws for regulating the conduct and affairs of the Club, providing the same are not inconsistent with these Rules.  These bye-laws shall be exhibited on the Club notice board for 28 days after passing by the Managing Committee, and thereafter included in a book of bye-laws in the Club Room.

11  GENERAL MEETINGS 

11a  The AGM of the Club shall be held on such a date as the Managing Committee shall direct, but not later than 15 October.  At least 14 days notice thereof shall be given to members stating time, place and business to be transacted.

11b  A Special General Meeting of the Club shall be called either at the direction of the Managing Committee or within 14 days of the reception by the Hon Sec of a requisition signed by at least 10 members stating the reason for which the meeting shall be given.  No other business may be conducted except that for which the meeting is called

11c  A quorum at any General Meeting shall be 20 members 

12 PROPERTY 

The property of the Club shall be vested in the Chairman, Hon Sec and Hon Treasurer as Trustees of the Club

13  LIFE MEMBERS 

The Club may honour any members for services to the Club by electing them to Life Membership.  Such elections shall be carried out at the AGM

 14 WINDING UP 

In the event of the winding-up of the Club the assets, including trophies, shall be disposed of by the Managing Committee in its absolute discretion and the proceeds after meeting all liabilities shall be shared equally by the members at the date of winding-up.

(Last revised 18 September 2012) 


Appendix 1 

Schedule of Disciplinary Procedures

A. Requirements of the Schedule

This schedule is referred to under clause 5.2 of the Constitution of the Berkhamsted Bridge Club (hereafter referred to as the Club) and prescribes the powers and procedures for enforcement.  It will comply with and follow the EBU disciplinary procedures and any variations thereof that are made from time to time.  The Club shall act through its Conduct and Disciplinary Committees for the enforcement of standards prescribed in clause 5.1 of the Constitution.  The Club shall have additional powers as set out in the clauses below.

B. Receipt of the Allegation

Complaints against one or more members of the Club may be referred to the Conduct Committee under the terms of clause 5.1 of the Constitution as a written complaint either from a member or from the Club’s committee secretary following a minuted committee meeting.

C. Conduct Committee

The Committee of the Club shall appoint its Conduct Committee through its powers to appoint sub committees under clause 10c of the Constitution.  The Conduct Committee shall be responsible for investigating complaints against the Club’s members and to determine whether a disciplinary offence should be referred to the Club’s Disciplinary Committee.

The Conduct Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Club and no more than five.  A quorum for any meeting shall be three of its members.  It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairman, or whomsoever in his absence the Conduct Committee shall select to chair its meeting, shall have a second, or casting vote in the event that there is parity of voting.

D. Disciplinary Committee

The Committee of the Club shall appoint the Disciplinary Committee through its powers to appoint sub committees under clause 10c of the Constitution.  The Disciplinary Committee shall, determine sanctions for offences admitted by the defendant, hear charges of offences and determine whether those charges are proved and if proved, to determine the sanction imposed.

The Disciplinary Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Club and no more than five.  At least three of its members must be present when it makes a decision to uphold a complaint and impose sanctions on the offending member.  It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairman, or whomsoever in his absence the Disciplinary Committee shall select to chair its meeting shall have a second, or casting vote in the event that there is parity of voting.

E. Conflicts of Interest and Independence of the Conduct and Disciplinary Committees

Any member of either the Conduct or Disciplinary Committee who is in any way personally involved in the allegations within a complaint will be disqualified from participating in either Committee’s handling of the complaint. 

A member of the Club cannot be a member of both the Conduct and Disciplinary Committees.

F. The Complaints Process

F.1 Notice of Meetings

Where a written complaint is made, or a matter otherwise comes to the attention of the Conduct Committee, it shall first consider whether such complaint or matter falls within the scope of the Disciplinary Rules and whether further action is warranted.  If it does the Conduct Committee secretary shall first write to the Defendant, seeking the Defendant’s comments on the substance of the complaint or matter that has been raised.  The Conduct Committee shall also be entitled to make such further investigations and enquiries as it in its absolute discretion considers appropriate.  The Conduct Committee shall also be entitled to seek advice both from within the Club and from the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee, and to obtain external legal advice.

F.2 Complaint not justified.

If the Conduct Committee decides that the complaint is not justified, all parties shall be notified and the matter ended.

F.3 Complaint justified.

If the Conduct Committee decides that the complaint is justified, it may, in its absolute discretion, offer a verbal caution to the offending member, which if accepted, ends the matter.

If the caution is not accepted by the offending member, or the Conduct Committee does not feel a caution is appropriate, it shall refer the case to a hearing by the Disciplinary Committee.  The Defendant shall be notified, in writing, within two weeks of this decision and of his right to make a written submission to the Disciplinary Committee and to attend the hearing.  The Defendant shall have the right to be represented by legal counsel of his choice or may be accompanied by a person to speak on his behalf.  The Disciplinary Committee shall give at least two weeks notice of the hearing to the Defendant.

F.4 Disciplinary Committees Sanctions

If after the hearing the complaint is upheld, the Disciplinary Committee may in its absolute discretion:

(a) Give a written reprimand to the offending member(s), or
(b) Suspend the offending member(s) from all or some of the competitions sponsored or licensed by the Club for such period as it shall determine.
(c) Expel the offending member(s) from the Club.

If the complaint is against a member of the Committee then in addition to any other sanctions applied, the Disciplinary Committee shall have the power to suspend such member from the Club’s Committee and any of its sub committees for such a period that it shall determine.

Any sanctions imposed by the Disciplinary Committee must be communicated to the offending member(s) in writing within twenty one days of the hearing.

Any sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Committee shall take effect as soon as time for appeal has elapsed except that if the Defendant has filed Notice of Appeal within the time allowed the sanction shall not take effect until such Appeal has been determined.

F.5 Appeal

Every Defendant found guilty of an offence by the Club Disciplinary Committee has the right to appeal to the County Disciplinary Committee.  Appeals must be in writing and lodged with the Secretary of the Association within twenty one days of the written communication of the Club’s Disciplinary Committee’s decision to the Defendant.

F.6 Referral to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee

At any time the County Disciplinary Committee may refer a complaint to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee for its consideration.  In doing so the County Disciplinary Committee shall have fully discharged its responsibilities under this Schedule.