CONSTITUTION OF THE BAR ASSOCIATION OF BELIZE



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THE ASSOCIATION
OBJECTS
MEMBERSHIP
OFFICE-HOLDERS
THE BAR COMMITTEE
MEETINGS
SPECIAL MEETINGS
QUORUM AND PROCEDURE
THE GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL
CONSTITUTION
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION
THE ASSOCIATION

  1. There shall be an association of persons practicing in the legal profession to be know as “The Bar Association of Belize” (hereinafter called “The Association”)

  2. The Association shall, when so constituted by law, become a body corporate with capacity and powers as the law incorporating it may confer.

OBJECTS
  1. The objects of the Association are:¬-
    1. To deal with matters affecting the interests of the profession and its members and to take such action thereon as may be deemed appropriate:
    2. To take such steps as may be proper and necessary to ensure that adequate rules regulating the etiquette and practice of the profession in the Belize are formulated and enforced;
    3. To prescribe and maintain the highest standards of learning, integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession;
    4. To represent the bar in matters concerning the profession in relation to the courts, the legislature, and the Government of Belize and in any forum where the interests of the profession arise;
    5. To promote, assist and ensure the proper administration of justice and unceasingly to watch over and protect the civil liberties of the people;
    6. To promote and bring about the desired law reform and to take all steps necessary or desirable to develop and maintain a public awareness of the need for a constant review of the law;
    7. To provide legal representation whenever the Bar committee considers that he interests of justice demand it:
    8. To project the views of the Association on matter of public importance;
    9. To promote and foster relations with other professional bodies in Belize and elsewhere for the purpose of better achieving the objects of the Association and to subscribe to and join or associate with regional and international professional organizations whose objects are not inconsistent with those of the Association.

MEMBERSHIP

    1. Any person who is qualified to be enrolled as an attorney-at law or entitled to practice in the Courts of Belize under any law for the time being in force shall be entitled upon payment of the annual subscription payable hereunder to be admitted to membership of the association and to have his name entered on the register of Members.
    2. Any Person who in the opinion of the Bar Committee is a fit and proper person to be admitted to membership of the Association may be so admitted and his name entered on the Register of Members upon such terms as the Bar committee shall determine, but he shall not have the right to vote.
    3. No Person who has been duly expelled from membership shall thereafter be admitted to membership nor shall his name be entered on the Register of Members except by resolution of the association passed at a General Meeting.

OFFICE-HOLDERS

    1. There shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary and a Treasurer of the Association each.to be elected at the first General Meeting of the Association in each year by a simple majority Vote.
    2. No Person who shall have held the office of President for two consecutive terms shall be eligible for election on that office during the term following the expiration of the second of such consecutive terms.
    3. The Secretary shall inter alia keep the Register of Members of the Association and prepare and keep minutes of meetings of the Association and of the Bar Committee.
    4. The Treasurer shall inter alia keep proper books of Accounts with respect to the finances of the Association and prepare and present at the first General Meeting in each year a Statement of Accounts and Financial Report covering the transactions receipts and expenditure of the Association since the first General Meeting in the proceeding year.

THE BAR COMMITTEE

  1. There shall be a Committee of the Association to be know as the Bar Committee which shall be responsible for the management of the business of the Association between first General Meetings in every year subject to such directions as may be given by the Association at any intervening General or Special Meeting.

  1. The Bar Committee shall consist of-
    1. The President of the Association, who shall be Chairman:
    2. The Attorney-General;
    3. The Secretary of the Association;
    4. The Treasurer of the Association;
    5. Three other members of the Association elected at the first General Meeting in each year.


  1. The Bar Committee shall meet as often as may be necessary and shall from time to time make rules to govern its own procedure.

  1. The Bar Committee May, with the approval of the council, make rules prescribing and regulating the remuneration of attorneys in respect of non-contentious business except as otherwise prescribed by statute.

  1. The Bar Committee May –
    1. Reprimand any member whose conduct is considered by the Bar Committee to be unbecoming a member of the Association and derogatory to the character or injurious to the interests of the profession; or
    2. Suspend any member who has failed for 6 months after demand in writing to pay his subscription;
    3. (c) and the Bar Committee shall expel or suspend any member who shall be struck off the roll or suspended from practice for misconduct as a practitioner.

MEETINGS

    1. There shall be convened in every calendar year two General Meetings of the association, the first within eight weeks of the 1st day of January and the other within eight weeks of the 1st day of June. At the first of such meetings the Association shall –

      1. Receive and deal with the Annual Report of the Association ;
      2. Receive and deal with the Annual Report of the Bar Committee;
      3. Deal with any resolution, written notice whereof has been given to the Secretary of the Association not less than 7 days before the meeting;
      4. Elect the Office-holders of the Association;
      5. Elect the members referred to in paragraph 10 (e) hereunder to sit on the Bar Committee
    2. If the Secretary shall fail to convene any of the General Meetings mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) with the period there-in prescribed, any there members of the Association may convene such meeting.
    3. A General Meeting shall be convened be 14 days’ notice in writing at the least.

SPECIAL MEETINGS

    1. The President may on his own initiative at any time summon a Special Meeting.
    2. Within 7 days of receiving an application signed by not less than five members requesting that a Special Meeting be held and stating the precise reason therefore the President shall summon a Special Meeting.
    3. The Secretary shall give 7 days’ notice of a Special Meeting summoned under sub-clause (1) or (2) above; but he may summon a special Meeting on 24 hours’ Notice if the application for such a meeting has been signed by the president and eight other members.
    4. The business of a Special Meeting shall be the consideration and determination of the matters stated in the application requesting that such meeting be summoned.

QUORUM AND PROCEDURE

    1. At any meeting of the Association seven member shall form a quorum and if at the expiration of half an hour from the time appointed for the meeting a quorum of the members is not present the meeting;

      1. If a General Meeting, shall stand adjourned to the same day in the following week at the same time and place when if a quorum is not present within fifteen minutes after the time appointed any five members personally present shall be a quorum and may transact the business for which the meeting was called;
      2. If a Special Meeting, shall be adjourned sine die.
    2. at any meeting of the association every member present shall have one vote and no vote may be cast by proxy.
    3. A resolution other than a resolution to amend the Constitution shall be deemed to be duly passed if signed by not less than three quarters of the Members whose names appear on the Register of Members and who are entitled to vote at the general meeting notwithstanding that no formal meeting summoned for passing such resolution.
    4. The association may prescribe rules to govern its own procedure.

THE GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL

    1. the association shall elect not more than six persons to be members of the General Legal Council established by the legal Profession Ordinance of whom not less than three shall be attorneys of not less than ten years’ standing or persons who have held high judicial Office.
    2. The persons referred to in sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph shall be elected at a General Meeting and shall hold office for two years but shall be eligible for re-election on the expiry of office.
    3. If any person elected under sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph resigns or is unable to act the Bar Committee may nominate another person to act in his place and such other person shall hold office until the next General Meeting.

CONSTITUTION

    1. This Constitution may be amended by a resolution of which 28 days’ notice in writing has been given to the Secretary and 14 days’ notice in writing has been given by the Secretary to members entitled to notices.
    2. A resolution to amend the Constitution shall be effective if it is passed, with or without amendment, by a simple majority at a General or Special Meeting. If, however, at the meeting at which the resolution is passed than half the members on the register are present, written notices of the amendments as passed shall be issued by the Secretary to all the registered= members who were not present at such meeting; and if within 30days of the issue of the said notices the Secretary should receive from the members to whom the said notices were issued written objections to the amendment passed, and if such members together with those who voted against the amendment exceed one-half of the registered members, the amendment shall be null and void.
    3. For the purposes of this Rule, the date on which notice is given to the Secretary, shall be the date it is received by him but the date which notice is given to any other person shall be the date on which it is delivered to him personally or sent to him by post.

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION

    1. There shall be an annual subscription in such amount as shall be fixed from time to time by General Meeting which shall be payable by the 31st day of January in each year.
    2. In fixing the amount of the annual subscription, the Association may divide members into categories, provide that different amounts shall be paid by different categories and extend over different periods and generally regulate and vary the subscriptions payable by members or by the different categories of members, as the Association thinks fit.
    3. Members of the Association who are in arrears in the payment of their subscription shall on the expiration of 30 days after the issue by the Treasurer of a written notice requiring payment of the amount due cease to be eligible to vote at any meeting of the Association or the Bar Committee or to be elected to any office in the Association or to receive any notices or publications from the Association and these disqualifications shall remain in force until the arrears of subscription in respect of which the notice was issued have been duly paid.