By-Laws

Article 1.  NAME

The name of the confederative association shall be the “International Confederation of ATOD Research Associations” or briefly, ICARA and the office will be located in Helsinki, Finland. The acronym ATOD stands here for alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and behavioral addictions.

 

Article 2.  MISSION AND OBJECTIVES

Mission: ICARA is an international, nongovernmental, multidisciplinary and civil society organization bringing together ATOD societies on a global level to promote, support and enhance ATOD science locally and globally through professional exchange, collaboration and other activities. An ATOD society means a society whose members are mostly scientists, academics, clinicians, or administrators and where the scientific study of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, or behavioral addictions is one core activity.

The Confederation shall be organized and operated exclusively for scientific and educational purposes and shall not be operated for profit.

To help and meet the needs of our members, the ICARA objectives are:

a) To facilitate collaboration between ATOD societies and serve as a global forum for exchange of information (e.g., fund raising; relations with government authorities, media, and industry; sponsorship of scientific journals).

b) To promote the development of ATOD societies especially in low or middle income countries and in countries with emerging ATOD problems.

c) To support the advancement of scientific knowledge concerning the health and social consequences of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, as well as the treatment and prevention of ATOD problems in individuals and society.

d) To strengthen scientific integrity and publication ethics in ATOD research.

e) To advocate on both national and international levels for the use of scientific evidence in public policy and clinical practice.

 

Article 3.  ACTIVITIES

ICARA as an organization for mutual support among ATOD societies will organize meetings that will provide a global forum for Confederation members to work together in priority areas and activities based on the needs and suggestions of the member organizations. Between meetings, exchange between members will be coordinated by a representative governing Board and committees, appointed by the Board or by the General Assembly.

ICARA will support member associations/societies through the following activities:

a) Information Exchange. Through its delegate meetings, website and other communications media, ICARA will facilitate the sharing of information and experience regarding the management of ATOD societies, including fundraising, organizational management, relations to media and decision makers, journal sponsorship, scientific meetings, newsletters, and working with media.

b) Support for ATOD research. Through advocacy, information dissemination and other activities, ICARA will support the international infrastructure of scientists, research centers and funding bodies devoted to the development of basic and applied knowledge on topics related to alcohol, tobacco, drugs as well as problem gambling and other behavioral addictions.

 

Article 4.  MEMBERSHIP

The membership for the Confederation shall consist of Full and voting members and Affiliated members.

Full membership is open to legally capable ATOD societies that pay appropriate membership dues, where research is a core activity, and which are based on personal membership. Full membership is also open to legally capable regional addiction societies with such associations as members. Full Members have the right to vote.

Affiliate membership is open to legally capable organizations and institutions and to individuals that support the objectives of ICARA and who pay appropriate membership dues to ICARA. A Transparency Declaration of Competing Interest must be completed for all affiliate members. Affiliate members will have no voting rights. In all other respects they will have the same rights as regular members.

All members will be accepted by a majority decision of the Board. The ATOD society will become a full member with full voting rights and other privileges of membership upon admittance by the Board and payment of annual dues.

Dues are payable to the Secretary-Treasurer.

The amount of the annual dues is decided separately for the two membership categories at the General Assembly (membership meeting).

Membership may be terminated by resignation and any member whose annual subscription is more than one year in arrears shall be deemed to have resigned, provided that at least two reminders have been sent after the original request, unless otherwise decided by the Board.

The Board can exclude a member by a majority decision if the member is perceived to act in conflict with the objectives of the confederation.

 

Article 5.  GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The affairs of the Confederation shall be administered by the General Assembly and, on behalf of the General Assembly, by the Board.

If the Board and the General Assembly so decide, it is also possible to take part in the meetings of the Society via postal mail, electronically or with any other technical support, before or during the meetings.

The General Assembly is the highest authority of the Confederation. The General Assembly shall be held every second year, and preferably no meeting shall take place on the same continent as the previous General Assembly.

Announcement of the General Assembly, which is a membership meeting, will be made to the members by letter or email at least 60 days in advance, together with an agenda of business and a notification of the place and time of the meeting.

At the General Assembly a discussion will be held of the future activities of the Confederation. Transactions of the General Assembly shall include:

  1. Affirmation that the meeting has been called according to the bylaws and forms a quorum.
  2. Reports of activities and economic situation from the Officers and the Board, who, for the term of their election to Board, shall be Directors of the Confederation, and the presentation of audited accounts with a written report from the auditors.
  3. Acceptance of the accounts and granting of freedom from liability for the board.
  4. Reports from committees and working groups and from persons to whom special tasks have been entrusted by the Board or General Assembly.
  5. Presentation and discussion about activity plan.
  6. Decision about membership fee.
  7. When called for, presentation of and voting on amendments, if any, to the by-laws.
  8. Election of Officers and Board and two Auditors plus one substitute.
  9. Any other business: communicated to the members in a notice of agenda.

All members have the right to attend and to participate at the General Assembly. Each voting member, with membership fees fully paid has one vote, and may appoint a proxy by completing the appropriate Form of Proxy, which must be submitted for approval by Board in advance of the General Assembly.

Decisions of the General Assembly shall be by simple majority of votes, except for those on amendments to the bylaws and on the dissolution of the Association which shall be transacted as determined by Articles 8 and 9.

If requested by at least one-third of the members present or by the Board voting shall be by ballot. The President of the Confederation, or in his/her absence, the Vice-President shall act as Chairman of the General Meeting.

The term “audited” in the above, shall be taken as referring to an independent review by an appropriately qualified persons.

An Extraordinary General Assembly to transact business of the Confederation may be called at any time by the Board, and one shall be called if the President receives a requisition for such an assembly from a total of at least on tenth of the voting members.

At a General Assembly or an Extraordinary General Assembly no matter can be decided upon that has not been specifically mentioned in the agenda of the meeting.

The Board shall appoint an organizing committee to be responsible for all arrangements in connection with General Assemblies, apart from the proceedings.

 

Article 6.  BOARD

The Board consists of a President, the immediate Past President, one Vice-President (who is president-elect), a Secretary and a Treasurer, which last two offices may be held by the same person and 1-2 other members. The number of elected members of the Board shall not exceed six.

The President, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-President shall be the Officers of the Confederation.

It is preferable that the members of the Board represent at least three different continents and the President and Vice-President two different countries. It is preferable that the members of the Board cover alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and dependencies, rather than be concentrated on any one substance, and that the Board retain a gender balance. The Board will be elected from and by the membership.

The Board conducts the business of the Confederation between General Assemblies in accordance with the by-laws and recommendations of the General Assembly.

In the event of the President’s office becoming vacant between two meetings of the General Assembly, his or her duties are automatically taken over by the Vice-President.

The Secretary shall maintain the records of the Confederation and its Board, shall call meetings of the Confederation and Board as provided for in the by-laws, shall keep the minutes of such meetings and shall be responsible for all secretarial duties required by the activities of the Confederation. The Treasurer shall collect and disburse the funds of the Confederation and shall be responsible for its accounts and the annual presentation of audited accounts.

Members of the Board are elected for two years periods. The President can only be re-elected once for a new two year period. No officer shall serve for more than eight years without a break in service.

Meetings of the Board may be held at any time and place to be determined by the Board provided that 10 days’ notice of such meetings shall be sent in writing to each member of the Board. No formal notice shall be necessary if all members are present at the meeting and waive notice thereof in writing. A meeting of the Board will be held without further notice in conjunction with each General Assembly. On the initiative of the President, the Board may make decisions on any matter of business by mail.

A quorum for any decision of the Board will be one-half of the current members of the Board including the President or Vice-President. All decisions of the Board will be by majority vote of those voting.

The Board may appoint from the members of the Society a committee or committees, including the Nominations Committee.

The Nominations Committee shall comprise three members. The members shall be appointed by the Board. This committee will be responsible for preparing the list of nominations for the Board.
The members of the Nominations Committee will be ineligible for nomination for any election that they conduct.

The President, Vice President and Treasurer have the right to sign documents in the name of the Society.

 

Article 7.  COLLABORATION WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

The Confederation may cooperate with organizations with similar purposes. Such cooperation may take the form of joint meetings, joint committees, delegation of observers, etc. Persons with special talents, interests or experience appropriate to the agenda may be invited to attend meetings of the Confederation. The Board shall have full power to invite observers to attend meetings of the Board or the Confederation.

 

Article 8.  AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS

The Bylaws and Regulations of the Confederation can be amended only at a General Assembly Proposals for amendments must be received at least 60 days before a General Assembly by the Secretary, who shall send them to members not later than twenty days before the General Assembly. The amendments shall take effect immediately on ratification by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast and when the change has been registered in the Finnish Patent- and Registration Office’s register of associations.

 

Article 9.  DISSOLUTION

The Confederation shall be dissolved only by a a two-thirds majority of the votes cast at a meeting of the Society.

Upon dissolution the assets and accrued income of the Confederation shall be given to one or more legally capable non-profit organizations with objects akin to the Confederation in accordance with the decision of the meeting that dissolved the Society.

 

Article 10.  FINANCES

The annual membership fee shall be decided by the General Assembly. The dues are payable on 1 January each year. The accounts of the Confederation shall be balanced as at 31 December each year.

The Confederation has power to request and receive funds from organizations or individuals. The funds of the Confederation shall be held in custody by the Board and the Treasurer who shall present audited accounts annually.

 

Article 11.  REPRESENTATION AND SIGNATURE

The official representative of the Confederation shall be the President or a person appointed by the Board. All contracts involving the Confederation shall be signed by the President or the Vice-president or the Secretary by a member of the Board

 

ATTACHMENT: Not part of bylaws
ELECTION PROCEDURES.

At least six months before the end of the current term of office for officers elected directly by the members, the Nominations Committee, appointed by the Board, will issue a call for nominations. In addition to such nominations by members, the Nominations Committee will make nominations, taking note of the requirement for geographical representation of the officers, which shall be distributed to all voting members.

Nominations for officers shall be organized into two lists, one for President and Vice-President, and one for other Members of Board.

Each voting member is entitled to vote for two candidates on the President and Vice-President list, and for as many candidates on the Board list as there are seats known to be open for election at the time the ballot is prepared. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes on the President and Vice-President list is elected as President. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes from the remaining candidates who are not from the same country as the President is elected as Vice-President. Candidates on the Members list are elected in order of the number of votes received.