Home arrow BACS arrow BACS Constitution
BACS Constitution PDF Print E-mail
BACS Council recently reviewed the Association's Constitution and proposed a number of amendments to be considered at the Annual General Meeting on 12 April 2007 at St Aidan's College. Some of the revisions were relatively minor corrections in wording, others were intended to bring the Constitution up to date or to regularise the position of specialist groups within the Association. With one minor amendment, the changes were agreed at the AGM.



Registered Charity No. 272144
Adopted 1989; Revised 1991, 1995, 1998, 2007


The name of this Association is “The British Association for Canadian Studies” (BACS), hereinafter referred to as “the Association”.


The Association is established with the aims of advancing knowledge and understanding of Canada in the UK through:

a) The encouragement and support of research and teaching concerning Canada across the whole of the educational community in the United Kingdom;

b) The dissemination of knowledge and understanding of Canada to the public throughout the UK.


The Association shall work in co-operation with the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the United Kingdom, the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom, the International Council for Canadian Studies, the European Network for Canadian Studies, the Québec Delegation and other provincial offices in London, and other appropriate agencies.

The Association aims to undertake the following activities, which may be modified or extended, according to circumstances, by the decision of the Council [see Section 9]:

a. The maintenance of a national office for the Association;

b. The organisation of an Annual Conference of the Association and the encouragement and support of other conferences and seminars as approved by the Council;

c. The publication of the British Journal of Canadian Studies [see Section 9d] and the encouragement and support of other publications reflecting the study of Canada in the United Kingdom;

d. The circulation of information to members through the publication of a Newsletter;

e. The accreditation, encouragement and support of specialist groups as provided in Section 13;

f. The identification, classification, and publicising of resources for the study of Canada in the United Kingdom.


Membership shall be divided into the following categories:

a. Regular. Any person with an interest in Canadian Studies irrespective of normal country of residence, may apply to become a Regular Member and pay the appropriate fee [see section 5]

b. Honorary. Any regular member of the Association may nominate to the Annual General Meeting other persons who shall become Honorary Members of the Association if accepted by a majority of members present and voting.

c. Institutional. Any commercial or other institution wishing to express support for the Association and its aims may apply to become an institutional member and pay the appropriate fee. [Rules of Section 4 (a) applicable].

The Council reserves the right not to renew membership as it sees fit.


a. The Council shall determine the appropriate fee for each category of membership. The Council may vary these rates from time to time but shall give three months notice of such variation. The Council may set membership rates both in Sterling and in Canadian dollars, and may charge an additional subscription to members normally resident outside the European Union.

b. The Council shall at its discretion set concessionary rates in regard to regular membership fees for registered students, retired persons and unwaged persons. These rates may be varied under the same conditions described in sub-section 5 (a).

c. Members shall cease to receive the services of the Association as defined in Section 4(a) if their subscription is twelve months in arrears.

d. No member shall be permitted to vote in any election if in arrears in subscription.


a. Regular members shall be entitled to participate in all the activities of the Association, to hold office in it, to vote at elections, to attend and vote at business meetings and to receive the British Journal of Canadian Studies and to be included in the circulation of BACS information on terms laid out by the Council for such members;

b. Members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the aims and objectives of the Association. Members are expected to act in accordance with the rules of this constitution. Failure to do so may result in suspension or expulsion from membership [see Section 8].


a. A member may terminate his or her membership on advising the Secretary of his or her intention to resign or by failing to pay annual subscription fees;

b. Resignation does not require acceptance by the Council.

c. A member who sends a letter of resignation thereupon ceases to be a member and can only be reinstated by re-application;

d. Any person on ceasing to be a member of the Association, shall forfeit all rights under the Constitution.


a. If the Council at any time shall be of the opinion that the interests of the Association so require, it may by letter, invite a Member to withdraw from the Association within a specified time in such a letter, and in default of such withdrawal may submit the question of his or her expulsion to the Council.

b. The Council shall have the power as it sees fit to suspend or to expel any member who shall offend against the rules of the Association and this Constitution or whose conduct shall in the opinion of the Council place the Association in dispute or otherwise render him or her unfit for membership of the Association.


The Council shall consist of the President, the immediate Past-President or the President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, six elected Councillors, the Editor and Review Editor of the British Journal of Canadian Studies, and a postgraduate representative, as defined in Sections 9a - 9f, plus members as provided in Section 13.

a. The President shall hold office for two years. Except as provided in Section 13f, no person shall be eligible to serve as President for two consecutive terms.

The President shall automatically be a member of any committee, sub-committee or working party established by the Council.

The President-Elect shall be elected by the Membership as provided in Section 12 and shall hold office for one year before serving as President.

The retiring President shall hold office for one year.

c. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall each be elected by the Members and shall hold office for two years and may normally be re-elected for one further term.

d. The Editor and Review Editor of the British Journal of Canadian Studies shall be appointed by the Council for a term of two years and may normally be re-appointed for one further consecutive term.

The Editor of the British Journal of Canadian Studies shall have full control over all matters relating to the academic content of the Journal.

The Council may appoint joint or associate editors of the British Journal of Canadian Studies. Any such appointment shall not confer automatic right of Council membership.

e. Councillors. The six councillors shall be elected by the Members, and shall each serve a term of two years, three of their number retiring each year. Except as provided in Section 13g, no Councillor shall serve for more than two consecutive terms.


a. The Association (except as otherwise provided by these rules) shall be managed by the Council. The Council shall have all administrative powers as may be necessary for carrying out the aims and activities of the Association in accordance with these rules.

b. The Council shall meet at least twice a year.

c. The quorum for a Council meeting shall consist of the President, either the President-Elect or the Past President, the Secretary, Treasurer or their designated deputies and three other members.

d. All elected, appointed and co-opted Councillors shall have equal voting rights in Council business.

e. In the event of a tied vote, the President shall exercise an additional casting vote.

f. Observers shall not have voting rights in Council business. At the request of the President, observers shall withdraw from any meeting of the Council, but may at the discretion of the President be invited to state their opinion on any matter under discussion before such withdrawal.

g. The Council shall appoint a Finance and General Purposes Committee to discharge the ordinary business of the association between Council meetings. The Finance and General Purposes Committee shall consist of the President, either the President-Elect or the Past President, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the Editor of the British Journal of Canadian Studies.

h. The Council may open a bank account in the name of the Association.

i. The Council shall have the power to make payment for services as it sees fit.

j. The Council may appoint sub-committees with such members, powers and functions as the Council shall prescribe.


The Association and the Council shall not be responsible for any damage, injury or loss caused by the acts or omissions of any member, patron or observer. Any such member, patron or observer shall indemnify the Association and the Council against any civil or criminal liability for such damage, injury or loss.


Election of Officers and Councillors shall take place by written ballot. The President shall act as Returning Officer for all elections.

The Secretary shall call for a nomination three months before the Annual General Meeting and nominations shall close six weeks before the Annual General Meeting.

In the event of a contested election, a postal ballot shall be conducted in accordance with Schedule A to this Constitution four weeks before the Annual General Meeting.

Elections shall be conducted according to the procedures laid out in Schedule A to this Constitution, which shall be considered a part of this Section.


a. The Council may co-opt up to two further members with a view to better representation of the Regional Centres and accredited groups, but shall be under no obligation to do so.

b. Co-options made in accordance with provisions under sub-sections 13b and 13c shall be for a period of time to be determined by the Council, and shall be renewable at the discretion of Council.

c. Any elected or appointed member of the Council may resign by giving notice in writing to the President or Secretary.

d. In the event of a vacancy occurring between Annual General Meetings in any position described in section 9 the Council shall appoint a successor by majority vote. In the case of an elected officer or elected member of the Council, such appointment shall be made until the next Annual General Meeting, unless the vacancy occurs within three months of an Annual General Meeting. In the event of an election to fill a vacant place, the elected member shall serve the remainder of the term of the person originally elected.

e. In the event of a vacancy occurring in any position described in Section 9 as a direct result of the Association’s annual elections, the Council shall appoint a successor by majority vote. In the event that an appointment creates a further vacancy, and in the event that there has been a contested election for its general membership, the Council shall co-opt the unsuccessful candidate who polled the highest number of votes.

f. Notwithstanding any provision in Sections 9a and 9b, if the office of President becomes vacant the President-Elect shall assume the position of President for the remainder of the previous incumbent’s term and the succeeding two years. If there is no President-Elect the Past President shall resume the position until the next AGM at which time an election will be held for the position of President.

i. Notwithstanding any provision of Section 9e, any person appointed or elected to fill an interim vacancy as Councillor shall be eligible for re-election for up to two further terms.


a. The High Commissioner of Canada in the United Kingdom shall be invited to be the Senior Patron of the Association.

b. The Council may from time to time nominate to the Annual General Meeting other persons to become Patrons of the Association. Nominations under this sub-section must be accepted by a two-thirds majority of those voting at the Annual General Meeting.


a. The High Commissioner of Canada in the United Kingdom shall be invited to appoint an observer to attend Council meetings.

b. Observer status may be granted to representatives of the International Council for Canadian Studies and to any employee of the association.

c. The Council may extend observer status to others as it deems appropriate, but may limit such status to particular meetings or parts of meetings.


a. The Association shall recognise the Centres of Canadian Studies (currently at the Universities of Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds, Queen’s University Belfast, Nottingham, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Institute for the Study of the Americas, Ulster, Hull, Cambridge, Canterbury Christchurch and Leicester) and the regional groupings (such as the London Conference for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Studies in Wales Group) and shall invite their co-operation accordingly,

b. The Association may extend accreditation to specialist groups devoted to some aspect of study of Canada. Such groups must apply to Council for accreditation, submit the name(s) of their organiser(s) or officer(s) and undertake to abide by the provisions of this Constitution.

c. The Convenor and at least two other members of accredited groups must be members of the Association, or representatives of institutional members of the Association. All members of accredited groups shall be invited to become Members of the Association.

d. Accredited groups may apply for funding through the Association, and shall undertake to submit an annual statement of proposed expenditure by a set date to be notified from year to year by the Council. Such budget statements may be endorsed, subject to modification by the Council, in submission to funding agencies.

e. Each accredited group shall submit to Council an annual report relating to its activities and expenditures by a set date to be notified from year to year by the Council.

f. Accredited groups must secure the permission of the Council or the Finance and General Purposes Committee before undertaking any single item of expenditure above £200 if not included in the annual statement of proposed expenditure

g. Any publication by an accredited group must acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada.

h. The accreditation of each group shall be reviewed at intervals of no longer than three years. The Council may at any time give three months’ notice to an accredited group of a request for information respecting its continued entitlement to accreditation.

i. The Council shall from time to time invite representatives of each accredited specialist group and recognised regional Centre or grouping to a consultative meeting for general discussion.


An Annual General Meeting shall be held during the annual Conference of the Association. The Secretary shall give three months’ notice of the date of the Annual General Meeting.

The quorum for Annual General Meetings shall consist of twenty Members.

The Annual General Meeting shall receive written reports from Officers, discuss the business of the Association and consider amendments to the Constitution, as provided in section 19 and nominations for the office of Patron as provided under Section 14b.

During the meeting, the President shall announce the results of elections [see section 12 and Schedule A] and a new Council shall take office at the close of the meeting.


a. The Council may at any time for any purpose call a General Meeting.

b. The Council shall call a General Meeting upon the requisition in writing of any thirty members entitled to vote stating the purposes for which the meeting is required.

c. At least 14 days notice shall be given to members on calling any General Meeting.

d. No business other than that specified in the notice shall be transacted at the General Meeting.


a. This Constitution has been adopted in conformity with Article 7 of the Association Constitution adopted on 11 September 1975 and revised on 3 April 1979.

b. Subsequent proposed amendments shall be made in writing to the Secretary, with the support of four Members of the Association at least six weeks before the Annual General Meeting. Any such proposed amendments shall be circulated to members by the Secretary at least four weeks before the Annual General Meeting, and must be approved by two-thirds of the voting Membership at the Annual General Meeting to become effective, provided that no amendment is made which would have the effect of causing the Association to cease to be a charity in law.


Should the Association be dissolved by general agreement of the membership, any assets remaining after the satisfaction of all proper debts and liabilities shall not be paid to Members but shall be paid to some other charitable organisation or organisations having objectives similar to those of the Association.



[see Section 12]

1. The President shall act as Returning Officer. If unable to act, the President shall designate a deputy.

2. Three months prior to the Annual General Meeting, the Secretary shall call for nominations for vacancies among Officers and Councillors, and supply Members with information of the election timetable and procedure.

3. Any Regular Member may be nominated for election as an Officer or Councillor, but no member may contest more than one position on any round of elections.

4. Candidates for any position shall be nominated by one Member and seconded by two others.

5. Nominations shall close six weeks before the date of the Annual General Meeting.

6. Candidates shall inform the Secretary in writing or by email of their consent to nomination.

7. Candidates may be disqualified by the Council in its discretion for failing to abide by the rules of procedure for the conduct of elections or for engaging in any unfair practices during elections.

8. Candidates may also supply a biographical statement of up to two hundred words. This statement shall be limited to factual information regarding their career and contribution to Canadian Studies, and may be accompanied by passport-sized photograph.

9. The Returning Officer shall have the right to request candidates to amend or clarify statements which in the opinion of the Returning Officer do not meet the requirements of section 7 of this Schedule.

10. Biographical statements, including photographs, and ballot papers shall be circulated to Members at the expense of the Association. No other statement by Candidates shall be circulated to Members.

11. Ballot papers, biographical statements and photographs shall be circulated to Members four weeks before the Annual General Meeting.

12. Ballot papers shall be accompanied by two envelopes. The larger of these shall be pre-addressed to the Returning Officer, and each voter shall enter his or her name and signature on the back of the envelope. The smaller envelope shall be marked “Ballot Paper” and shall be used by the voter to return the completed ballot papers. Neither the ballot paper nor the smaller envelope shall carry any identifying mark.

13. Members eligible to vote shall indicate their preference by placing an “X” against the candidates of their choice, except that no ballot paper shall be valid if the “X” is placed against the names of more candidates than there are vacancies.

14. Ballot papers may be returned up to six hours before the Annual General Meeting.

15. The Returning Officer or deputy shall conduct the count in the presence of at least one other member of the Council. Candidates or their nominated representatives may be present but no count shall be delayed by their absence.

16. The results of each election shall be declared at the Annual General Meeting. The Secretary shall retain all ballot papers for six months after the count.

17. Dates of calls for nominations and issue of ballot papers in this Schedule are to be considered as dates of posting by the Secretary. Dates for receipt of nominations and completed ballot papers are to be considered as dates of receipt by the Secretary or Returning Officer as specified.

Revised 1998, 2007


Conference News

(C) 2008 British Association for Canadian Studies