INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETIES BYE-LAWS (1998/2003/2008/2018)
In accordance with Article 24 of the FISP Statutes, the Steering Committee shall base its policy on the following Bye-Laws, which have been submitted for the approval of the General Assembly.
CHAPTER I: MEMBERSHIP OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE
Art. 1. Members of the Steering Committee may not vote at General Assemblies, except when this restriction would deprive a country of all representation, and then only when authorised to do so by a vote of the Assembly as a whole. Hence it is recommended that member societies and institutions of FISP do not send to General Assemblies delegates who are members of the Steering Committee.
Art. 2. Proxies within the Steering Committee are accepted only up to two votes. Hence no member of the Steering Committee can dispose of more than three votes at any given meeting of the Committee.
Art. 3. In case of any vacancy which occurs during the period of office of a member of the Steering Committee, the next eligible candidate in descending order of votes from the previous election shall be appointed to serve until the next meeting of the General Assembly.
Art. 4. A member of the Steering Committee who fails to attend two consecutive meetings of that body shall be sent a letter by the President of FISP inquiring whether he or she undertakes to continue in that position. If the answer is negative, if there is no reply, or if the answer is affirmative, but the person fails to attend the next meeting of the Steering Committee, the Steering Committee shall be authorised to replace the member with the next eligible candidate in descending order of votes from the previous election to serve until the next meeting of the General Assembly.
Since failure to attend meetings might depend on financial difficulties, a suitable rotation of the subsidies for travel expenses will be implemented by the Treasurer.
CHAPTER II: ELECTIONS
Art. 5. Nominations for the election of the President of the Federation by the General Assembly, and for the election of the members of the Steering Committee, are made by the societies and institutions which are members of the Federation and by the Steering Committee. However, a member of the Steering Committee, once elected, is not to be considered a representative of any institution or society.
Elections are prepared by the Steering Committee before each General Assembly and nominations must reach the Secretariat in time to be considered. The Secretary General shall invite the member societies and institutions in advance and shall fix the deadline for sending them.
Only candidates who have received at least fifteen votes may be elected to the Steering Committee. However if the total number of members of this Committee should prove to be less than the statutory minimum of twenty-nine (in addition to the President and Secretary General), candidates who have received less than fifteen votes will also be appointed (in descending order of votes received), so that the statutory minimum be reached. They will serve until the next election.
CHAPTER III: POINTS OF PROCEDURE
Art. 6. The Steering Committee shall constitute consultative committees, the members of which need not all be members of the Steering Committee itself.
At present there are seven such committees:
The Committee on General Policy
The Committee on Teaching Philosophy
The Committee on the Ethics of Science and Technologies, especially Bioethics
The Committee on Intercultural Research in Philosophy
The Committee on International Cooperation and Philosophical Encounters
The Committee on Human Rights
The Committee on Gender Issues
These Committees prepare the work of the Steering Committee within their area of responsibility and advise the Secretariat and the Treasury. The President, the Secretary General or the Treasurer, and one of the VicePresidents shall be ex officio voting members of these Committees.
Each consultative Committee shall submit an annual report to the Steering Committee.
The composition of each of these Committees should be reviewed each year by the Steering Committee.
Any member of a FISP Committee who fails to attend two consecutive meetings shall be sent a letter by the President of FISP inquiring whether he or she undertakes to continue in that position. If the answer is negative, or if there is no reply, the Steering Committee shall be authorised to replace the member with someone else to fill the position. If the answer is affirmative, but the person fails to attend the next meeting of the said body, the Steering Committee shall replace the member with someone else to fill the position.
Art. 7. The Bureau meets normally twice a year. However, if the President considers that there are no items sufficiently urgent to merit the financial and organizational burden of a physical meeting, one of these meetings may be replaced by consultation through correspondence.
The Steering Committee meets normally once a year. The Secretary General shall send to all members the agenda and the available documentation regarding the various items two months in advance. Members who will not be able to participate in the meeting are expected to send to the Secretary General a written statement regarding the major issues of the agenda.
CHAPTER IV: ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS
Art. 8. The Secretary General and the Treasurer are responsible, in consultation with the President, for the administration of FISP. They are authorised to use the services of an officer who may act as assistant secretary, sign current documents and co-sign cheques.
In all internal affairs of the Federation the Assistant Secretary can act as a substitute for the Secretary General and the Treasurer when these two are unable to attend.
Decisions of importance must be made with the consent of the Steering Committee or, at least, of the Bureau.
Art. 9. The Secretary General shall present an annual report to the Steering Committee either at a meeting or in writing. A preliminary version of this report shall be presented to the Bureau at its meeting next preceding the meeting of the Steering Committee at which the full report is to be presented, and a version of it shall be sent to all members of the Steering Committee before the latter meeting. The report shall give details of the activities of the officers of the Federation, and of what they have said and done in its name, since the previous report. He or she shall send the minutes of all meetings of the Steering Committee as well as of the General Assemblies in reasonable time as they have been prepared by him or her and the President or under their control.
Art. 10. If the President is not able to attend a meeting of the General Assembly, the Steering Committee, or the Bureau, the Vice-Presidents, in the same order of succession as in the Statutes, will assume the duties of chairing those meetings. Each of the Vice-Presidents will serve as an ex officio member of at least one of the consultative committees specified in these Bye-Laws.
The Vice-Presidents may represent the Federation when the President is unable to do so. In delegating this responsibility the President will rotate it among the three Vice-Presidents, taking into account their geographical proximity to the event and their philosophical and professional interests and commitments.
Art. 11. The President (or his or her nominee) and the Chair of the Committee on Teaching Philosophy will act for FISP in the administration of the International Philosophy Olympiads, for which FISP has assume responsibility in accordance with Article 2(f) of the Statutes.
CHAPTER V: FINANCIAL MATTERS
Art. 12. Membership, fees and voting rights.
In order to qualify for admission to FISP, a society must have been in existence and active for at least two years and have at least one hundred members. It must also satisfy the Steering Committee as to the criteria of admission of its own members, the extent and level of the scholarly work they produce, and number and quality of its publications and/or those of its members.
Corresponding members are entitled to send one delegate to the General Assembly, but without the right to vote.
Annual fees to be contributed to FISP by member societies are set out in the following table:
for Corresponding Members with 0 votes: 80 EUR
for Full Members with 1 vote (societies with 100-500 members): 200 EUR
for Full Members with 2 votes (societies with 501-1500 members): 400 EUR
for Full Members with 3 votes (societies with 1500-3500 members): 600 EUR
for Full Members with 4 votes (societies with over 3500 members): 900 EUR
A reduction of fees may be granted by the FISP Bureau, but only on very exceptional grounds to be duly documented.
Member societies from a single country shall not deploy more than a total of 8 votes. Although they shall have the right to send to the General Assembly as many delegates as the number of votes resulting from the above table, they shall devise an agreement among themselves about the distribution of the votes actually available to them.
Art. 13. Payment of fees shall be made every year before the 15th February. Otherwise a society shall be suspended from membership until it has fully paid its overdue fees. In addition each member society shall submit an annual report of its activities. Failure to submit such a report for three successive years shall be ground for suspension of membership.
As the number of members belonging to a society may change from year to year, the calculation of the rights to vote at the General Assembly shall be made on the basis of the arithmetic average of members declared by that society in the period between the last General Assembly and the year in which the right to vote is exercised.
Academies and similar small institutions shall choose the category according to which they want to be classified.
Art. 14. The basic unit of the annual fees is decided by the General Assembly and shall remain unchanged till the next General Assembly unless a large devaluation renders a revision necessary.
The Treasurer is authorised to make special arrangements with members when money conversion is impossible. These arrangements cannot however absolve a member from payment of fees.
All fees collected shall be used by the Treasurer for purposes proper to the activities of the Federation.
Art. 15. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget. The budget shall be made available to the Bureau and to the Members of the Steering Committee in advance of the meeting at which it is presented. The budget shall be accompanied by a financial report which shall give details of income and expenditure in the year covered by the previous budget. It shall state the sources and purposes of all funds administered by the Federation and shall give an account of steps taken to secure outside funding.
Art. 16. The income of FISP shall be used in the first instance for normal expenses of administration, and after that for the expenses of the members of the Steering Committee at meetings, with priority assigned to the President and the officers of the Federation.
Art. 17. These Bye-Laws have been agreed by the Steering Committee at its meeting on August 9th, 2003, in Istanbul and have been approved by the General Assembly at its meeting on August 13th, 2003, in Istanbul. Some modifications have been made at subsequent meetings of the Steering Committee and have been approved by the General Assembly at its meeting on August 3, 2008, in Seoul.