These bylaws first became effective on October 31 1999, having
been modified since then, and should be read in conjunction with the
Articles and Memorandum of Association.
PART 1. DEFINITIONS
PART 2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
- The procedures defined in these bylaws are subject to the principles
defined in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of IVU, and
may not in any way exceed or overrule those documents.
- The Bylaws of IVU constitute an agreement between the Members of
IVU and are not subject to the laws of any country.
- 'Members' or 'membership' in these Bylaws refers to Full Member
Organisations unless stated otherwise.
PART 3. MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS
- The International Council may pursue any objectives that it considers,
from time to time, to be appropriate, but these may not take priority
over the objectives defined in Section 4 of the Memorandum of Association.
PART 4. ORGANISATION
- The IVU shall consist of all members and supporters as defined in
Section 2 of the Articles of Association.
- Full or Associate Membership becomes effective upon payment of an
annual subscription, and acceptance of the application, and subject to ratification, if required, by the International Council.
- New applicants for membership may be required to supply a copy of
their constitution, or their rules, which
may be subject to the approval of the International Council.
- Any society concern, commission, or corporate body which is in sympathy
with the aims and objectives of IVU, including animal welfare, humanitarian,
health or similar relevant objectives and which shall be acceptable
to the International Council, may become an Associate Member or a Supporter of IVU. Individuals
and families may become Supporters of IVU.
- Supporters shall receive all the rights of membership and any other
benefits considered appropriate by the International Council but shall
have no voting rights unless as a delegate representing a Member organisation.
- Fellows of IVU shall be individuals who may be elected for life by IC in
recognition of their services to IVU. Such positions shall be non-executive
and non-voting. They shall have no other rights than those given to
individual supporters. The number of Fellows at any one time shall normally
be limited to 12, but may be temporarily varied at the discretion of IC.
- Patrons shall make a minimum donation to IVU, of such amount as
shall be from time to time decided by the International Council. They shall be classed as lifetime
supporters for the purposes of Section 2.3 of the Articles of Association.
- Any proposed changes in the IVU Subscription Rates for any category
of members or supporters shall be sent by the IC to all Member Organisations
by email. A minimum of one month shall be allowed for members to make
their views known before any changes become effective. Full details
of all subscriptions, and the benefits available to each type of subscription,
shall be recorded in Appendix E of these Bylaws.
- Non-payment of subscriptions for a period of 3 months shall result
in the deletion of the society from the membership list and the loss
of voting and other rights. At its full discretion the International
Council may accept late subscription.
- All members and supporters of IVU shall abide by the Memorandum
and Articles of Association and the Bylaws of IVU.
- Members or supporters may be removed for conduct contrary to the
aims and objectives of the IVU by an affirmative vote of 2/3 of all
the members of the International Council, following a minimum of two
months' notice of the charges and the opportunity to present their
defence at a meeting of the International Council, either in person
or by email.
4.2 General Meetings and Ballots
- IVU shall coordinate an annual event combining features of congresses and
- All matters appertaining to the organisation of Congresses/Vegfests shall be agreed by the International Council in accordance with the guidance document 'Guidelines for IVU World Vegfest' which shall form Appendix A of these Bylaws.
- At each World Vegfest a General Meeting shall be held to discuss the current state of the vegetarian movement and IVU's role in promoting that movement.
- Email ballots of members may be called
by the International Council, either from its own initiative or on the demand of ten member organisations.
- IVU shall conduct all communications with member organisations using email. It is the responsibilty of member organisations to provide IVU with a valid email address to take part in IVU discussions and voting, and to notify IVU of any changes to this email address.
- The General Meeting shall carry out an agenda as has been requested by the International Council or Member Societies
at least one month prior to the commencement of the meeting. Items
submitted on the day may be accepted at the discretion of the General
- Email ballots shall only be valid if a minimum of 25% of members
respond to the call for a vote within 28 days of the ballot papers
- A chairperson as shall be decided by the International Council or
the General Meeting shall take the chair at all General Meetings.
- The International Council (IC) shall be elected by email ballot, with voting from April 1-30 of each even numbered year. The
results to be announced by emaiI during the first week of May.
- Member Organisations shall be invited to send nominations from January 1 to March 15 of each even numbered year. Candidates must be vegetarian, and a current
Board Member or Senior Employee of a Member Organisation, and nominated by that same organisation. Nominations must be sent by someone other than the candidate. Existing IC members may be re-nominated without restriction or time limit, provided they continue to meet the above criteria.
- On or shortly before April 1, of each election year, all full member organisations shall be sent, electronically, full details of all candidates, including position statements submitted
by the candidates, of a length and format prescribed by IC. (see Appendix I for the format)
shall be by a confidential ballot of member organisations. Votes shall be sent to persons nominated by IC who are not standing for election, and kept confidential
until the result is announced. Leaders of Member Organisations shall be encouraged, but not required, to disclose to their own members how they voted.
- The eight candidates receiving the most votes shall be elected for a term of office expiring when the next council is announced during the first week of May, two years later.
- IC may fill an interim vacancy of the eight elected members, by a 2/3 majority vote of all IC, to expire when the next IC is elected.
4.4 International Council
PART 5. REGIONS
- The International Council (IC) shall be responsible to the membership
of IVU for the running of the affairs of IVU.
- Email ballots of the IC may be called by the Chairperson or
by the request of 1/3 of all the International Council members. Two
weeks shall be allowed for replies before the final result is announced. Anyone
not replying within that time shall be deemed to have abstained. Seven members shall constitute a quorum.
- The business of IC shall be discussed via email. It shall be expected that anyone elected to the IC shall arrange
to be reasonably contactable by email. Any councillor not contactable
by this means may be deemed have excluded themselves from discussions
- IC shall elect a Chairperson and other IC members shall be elected to any roles as required. The detailed list of roles and responsibilities shall
form Appendix B of
- IC may co-opt,
by a 2/3 majority vote of all IC members, up to three additional members who shall
have full voting rights. All such positions shall be valid until
the next IC is elected, or such earlier date as IC shall determine at the time of co-option.
- All decisions of the IC shall be by majority vote, except where 2/3 majority is mandated elsewhere. Where
there is even voting the Chairperson of the meeting shall have a casting
- Representatives of member organisations may be allowed read-only access to IC email discussions on request.
- The IVU shall have no headquarters or central office. Responsibilities
shall be divided amongst all members of the International Council and any staff in different parts of the world.
- Council members may be removed from office for conduct contrary
to the aims and objectives of the IVU by an affirmative vote of 2/3
of all Council members, following a minimum of two months' notice
of the charges and the opportunity to present their defence .
- Any council member who fails to communicate by email, phone or other means
for a period of three months shall be removed from IC unless 2/3 of all IC
members vote to keep her/him on the council.
PART 6. FINANCES
- Regional Organisations (ROs) may become partners of IVU as defined
in Section 4 of the Articles of Association.
- The International Council (IC) shall conduct discussions with any
RO interested in forming a partnership in a defined geographic region.
Any such partnership shall be subject to ratification by the IVU Members
at the earliest opportunity.
- The IC and the RO shall negotiate and agree a contract which is
appropriate to the circumstances of each region. The contract may
not conflict with the IVU Memorandum or Articles of Association or
Bylaws but may add any matters of relevance to the needs of the region.
- Each RO shall determine its own constitution which may not conflict
with any of the clauses contained within the Memorandum or Articles
of Association or Bylaws of IVU. Any such contradiction shall invalidate
- Each RO shall nominate a Representative to the IC who shall be
agreeable to the IC. In the event that the Representative is unable
to attend an IC meeting then the RO may nominate a temporary replacement,
subject to agreement by the IC.
- IC may define regions according to current circumstances. Where an RO does not exist for a defined
region, a 2/3 majority vote of all IC members may appoint a Regional Representative who shall be a full voting member of IC. All such positions
shall expire when the next IC is elected, and the new IC shall appoint (or re-appoint) Regional Representaives at the earliest opportunity.
- Regional representatives shall be responsible for regular contact
between the IC and all IVU Members in the defined region. S/he shall
encourage the formation of local/national societies within the region,
and shall encourage the establishment of a suitable regional organisation
to form a partnership with IVU.
- Termination of a partnership with a RO shall be decided by the IVU
Members, to which the IC may make recommendations.
- Each of the
ROs shall be encouraged to hold Regional Vegetarian Congresses or
support others holding such events. IVU shall endeavour to assist
in any way considered appropriate by the RO.
PART 7. ALTERATIONS
- The fiscal year of the IVU shall begin and end on dates to be determined
the IC subject to advice from the treasurer.
- IVU shall open or authorise to be opened banking accounts
in the name of the IVU in such country or countries as the IC shall
decide. The IC shall determine the signatories for IVU accounts.
- A budget shall be proposed to the IC, for the following
financial year, not less than three months before the start of the
financial year. The IC shall determine the budget not less than one
month before the start of the financial year. Any alterations to the
budget during the course of the year shall require the vote of a majority
of the IC.
- A statement of IVU accounts shall be preparedfor
each year, and these shall be presented for approval by the IC within
three months of the end of the financial year. IC may arrange interim reports as required.
- Auditors shall be appointed by each new IC by the end of July in the even numbered years. Audited annual accounts for each financial year shall be made available on the website by the end of the following September, for access by IC, Member Organisations, and by the public on request.
- The Memorandum or Articles of Association may only be altered by email ballot of all Full Member Organisations (as per 4.2.f. above). Proposed alterations shall be reviewed by IC which may make a recommendation to the members.
- Bylaw alterations may be proposed and seconded by the authorised representatives
of any two member societies of IVU, or by any two members of the IC. The IC
shall schedule a vote on proposed amendments within one month of receipt of said proposals.
- from the Articles of Association: The bylaws may be altered by a two-thirds (66%) majority of all
International Council members.
- Appendices to these Bylaws may be altered by a simple majority decision
of the International Council.