About ECLA(UK)

ECLA brings together academics, government and private criminal law practitioners and anyone interested in the wider emerging concept of a European criminal law. Our objects include promotion of the study of European criminal law and procedure; awareness of economic crime in Europe (including in particular fraud and corruption in relation to the Budget of the European Union) and we aim to provide a forum for practitioners, academics and professionals to discuss policies and developments in relation to European criminal law and procedure.

We are unashamedly a “network”; an unincorporated association with close links to the Commission’s anti fraud unit (OLAF) in Brussels, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and, through our current President, Professor Dr John Spencer, to the Centre for European Legal Studies at Cambridge University.

There are sister Associations in each of the 27 EU member states and in most of the remaining EU candidate countries, in whose work and research we are often involved. From time to time we attend each other’s conferences and seminars, many of which are held with financial support from the Hercule Programme of the European Commission. However, we are independent both of the EU and our own governments and when we express our opinions we do so as private persons.

The Associations in Europe produce a quarterly publication, EUCRIM, which contains the written views and opinions of members.  It is edited and distributed by the Max Planck Institute, with financial support from the Commission. It is free from Eucrim@mpicc.de.

The Association has existed in one form or another since 1990. Over the last decade we have organised formal international conferences in Cambridge, London and Edinburgh as well as holding numerous smaller meetings, workshops and seminars on relevant subjects such as International Mutual Legal Assistance, the work of the European Court of Auditors, OLAF, harmonisation of European criminal law & procedure, the European Judicial Network, The European Arrest Warrant, Framework Decisions on criminal law and comparative criminal law in Europe. We have also contributed papers and evidence to the House of Lords EU Committee and to the European Commission’s Committee on Budgetary Control.

Meetings and lectures are normally held at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) in Russell Square, London WC1.

 

Constitution of the UK European Criminal Law Association (ECLA)

1. The Association shall be an unincorporated association of its members.

Objects

2. The objects for which the Association is established are:

(a) to promote the study of European criminal law and procedure

(b) to provide a forum for practitioners, academics and professionals to discuss policies and developments in relation to European criminal law and procedure

(c) to co-operate with and assist other bodies engaged in research and evaluation of such policies and developments

(d) without prejudice to the generality of the above, to promote awareness of economic crime, including in particular fraud and corruption in relation to the Budget of the European Union and to contribute to and support the work of the other European Associations and bodies engaged in the protection of the financial interests of the European Union.

(e) in pursuance of the aforesaid objectives to extend membership to professionals of all disciplines in the public, private or academic sectors who have an interest in European criminal law and procedure and in preventing or combating economic crime and corruption within the EU; to provide training and information on relevant topics; to hold meetings, seminars and conferences for the purpose of sharing expertise, developing skills or promoting debate on topics of interest to members; to assist with research into relevant matters; to liaise with other bodies and promoting contacts with those involved in similar activities in different legal jurisdictions; and to contribute papers and advice in any appropriate form to government or non government organisations within the EU and elsewhere on relevant topics.

Income, etc

3. The receipts income and property of the Association shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects of the Association and no portion shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend bonus or otherwise by way of profit or distribution to the persons why are any time are or have been members of the Association or to any of them or to any person claiming through any of them; provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent the payment or reimbursement in good faith of the expenses incurred by any officer in performing his or her functions as such officer or the remuneration of any servant of the Association.

Members

4. The persons who are members of the Association at the date of the adoption of this constitution and such other professionals as shall be elected members in accordance with the constitution for the time being of the Association and no other persons shall be members of the Association.

Officers

5. There shall be a president, a vice president, a treasurer, a secretary and a librarian (the officers) who shall be elected by members of the Association at the first general meeting and thereafter at the annual general meeting and shall hold office until the day after the next annual general meeting but shall be eligible for re-election.

Committees

6. There shall be a standing committee of the elected officers for the time being, the ex president during the year next after he or she has vacated office, not more than three members elected at the annual general meeting and not more than two members co-opted by the standing committee, such co-opted members shall hold office until the next annual general meeting but may be co-opted again.

7. Elected members of the standing committee shall be elected at the annual general meeting for three years, but shall be eligible for re-election.

Meetings

8. The Association shall in each year hold an annual general meeting in addition to any other meetings in that year and shall specify the meeting as such in a notice calling it; no more than eighteen months shall elapse between the date of one annual general meeting and the next.

9. At the first annual general meeting of the Association the officers and standing committee shall be elected and at each subsequent annual general meeting the report of the standing committee and the accounts for the previous year shall be considered; the officers and other elected members of the standing committee for the following year shall be elected and such other business shall be transacted as are in pursuance of the objectives of the Association. In particular, members of the Association voting at the annual general meeting may ratify errors omissions or departures from the constitution occurring in good faith during the previous year and amend the annual subscription rate.

Powers, Notices etc

10. This constitution may be altered and amended and this Association may be wound up or dissolved at any annual general meeting or extraordinary general meeting of the Association upon notice of such alteration amendment winding up or dissolution being given in accordance with clause 12 hereof and upon the same being passed by a majority of not less than two thirds of those present and voting.

11. The standing committee may whenever it thinks fit and upon a requisition made in writing by not less than five members or not less than ten per centum of the members at the date of the requisition convene an extraordinary general meeting. Any such requisition shall express the object, place and date of the meeting proposed to be called and not less than twenty one clear days notice shall be sent to all members of the Association, inviting them to attend.

12. At least twenty one clear days notice of every annual general meeting and at least fourteen clear days notice of every general meeting shall be given. The notice shall specify the place, day and hour of the meeting and the general nature of the business and may be sent by pre paid post, fax or other electronic transmission to each member but a failure to send such notice to each and every member shall not invalidate such meeting.

13. A copy of the proceedings of all annual and extraordinary general meetings may be circulated to all members and shall be furnished to any member on request.

Voting

14. At every general meeting, seven members shall form a quorum. At every annual general or extraordinary meeting at which the alteration amendment winding up or dissolution of the constitution is to be considered ten per centum of the members of the Association for the time being shall form a quorum and proposed alterations amendments winding up or dissolution shall be decided by no less than two thirds of the members present and voting. Save as aforesaid, each member shall have one vote, all questions shall be decided by a majority of the members present and voting and the president or chairman of the meeting in case of equality shall have a second or casting vote.

Management

15. The management of the Association shall be entrusted to the standing committee, which may regulate its own proceedings, fix the quorum necessary for transaction of business at its meetings, delegate any of its powers to sub committees or special committees consisting of members of the standing committee or of other members of the Association; and generally exercise all such powers of the Association as are not by this constitution required to be exercised by the Association in general meeting. The standing committee shall make a report to every annual general meeting.

Subscriptions

16. Each member shall pay an annual subscription to the Association which in the case of members of less than ten years call, admission or standing in their profession shall be £10 and in the case of all other members shall be £20 and which in each case shall fall due on the 1st January each year and shall be payable to the Treasurer.

Election to membership

17. Any person wishing to be admitted as a member of this Association shall be proposed in writing by at least one member and recorded by the Secretary. Every proposal for membership shall be considered by the standing committee at the meeting next following receipt by the secretary of such proposal. A candidate for election shall be elected by a majority of members present and voting and voting shall be by ballot if so desired by any member of the standing committee.

18. The rights of each member shall be personal and shall not be capable of transfer or transmission. Any member may resign his membership on giving notice in writing to the secretary.

19. If any member of the Association is the subject of a bankruptcy order any other order having similar effect, or enters into any arrangement or composition with his or her creditors or is suspended from practising any profession of which he or she is a member, or is convicted by a criminal court of any indictable offence; he or she shall immediately be cease to be a member of the Association.

Accounts

20. The Treasurer shall prepare a balance sheet for the Association covering income expenditure and banking statements during the previous year for presentation to and approval by each annual general meeting.

21. The receipt of the Treasurer for the time being shall be a good and sufficient discharge to the person making any payment or transfer to the Association in respect of any such payment or transfer.

22. If on the winding up or dissolution of the Association there remains after the satisfaction of all its debts any property such property shall not be paid or distributed amongst the members of the Association but shall be given or transferred to some other institution, charity or association having objects similar to the objects of the Association at or before the time of dissolution; and in default of such gift or transfer a sum not exceeding five thousand pounds or if less the remainder of the property of the Association shall be transferred to the Commission of the European Union.

Address, communications

23. The office of the Association shall be the address of the Secretary for the time being of the Association or such other address as shall be determined at a general meeting of the Association.

24. A notice may be served by the Association upon any member or by any member upon the Association either by sending it by pre-paid post or by any form of electronic transmission which the Association or the member shall have designated. For this purpose the secretary for the time being of the Association will maintain records of the email and personal addresses of members and a member’s application for membership shall be taken to include permission for his or her address to be retained by the secretary.

25. Every member shall from time to time notify the secretary of a place of business or residence as his address and if preferred an e mail and such place and e mail shall for the purposes of this constitution be deemed his preferred addresses for communication.

[22.9.2009]