Constitution

1.0 Name
1.1 The network will be officially known as the Muslims in Britain Research Network and abbreviated to MBRN when appropriate.

2.0 Objectives
2.1 The aim of the network will be:-

To encourage and promote the multi-disciplinary study of Islam and Muslims in Britain.
To encourage dialogue and co-operation between academics, scholars and professionals on the topic of Islam and Muslims in Britain.
To facilitate meetings and conferences on the topic of Islam and Muslims in Britain.

2.2 The objective of the MBRN shall be pursued by the usual means of scholarly activity such as the arrangement of conferences, symposia or colloquia, the encouragement of scholarly publications, the exchange of information through electronic or other means, and such other activities as the MBRN or its elected officers shall from time to time determine.

2.3 The MBRN will not be directly affiliated with any university or institution.

3.0 Membership
3.1 Membership of the MBRN shall be open to all students, researchers and others who share its objective, principally: –

research active students, academics and professionals involved in the study of Islam and Muslims in Britain
practising professionals who will benefit from being involved and kept up to date with regards to research on Islam and Muslims in Britain.

3.2 Applications for membership shall be addressed to the appropriate officer of the MBRN and the committee shall have the right to approve or reject such applications.

3.3 The membership of any individual may be terminated by decision of the committee for good and sufficient reason and after an opportunity for representations to the contrary have been extended.

3.4 Individual members may be required to pay an annual subscription, the amount of which shall be determined from time to time by the committee. The rights and privileges of membership will then depend on payment of the membership subscription in advance for the membership period in question. Lapsed membership may be restored with reference to a subsequent membership period without further application.

3.5 Membership will immediately place an individual on the MBRN database – through which they will receive news of MBRN meetings and other important information sent via the General Secretary.

4.0 Discussion List
4.1 The MBRN hosts a discussion list that allows members to communicate to each other directly.

4.2 The address is members@mbrn.org.uk.

4.3 Members will be placed automatically on the discussion list, unless they indicate otherwise.

4.4 Members involved in the discussion list must agree to abide by the following rules:-

All emails sent out should be centrally relevant to the subject of Islam or Muslims in Britain.
The emails should have academic relevance and be of a scholarly nature.
Members should behave and discuss in a manner appropriate and reflective of the scholarly nature of the Network.

5.0 General Assembly
5.1 The governing body of the MBRN shall be the General Assembly of its members, presided over by a Chair.

5.2 The General Assembly shall be convened once in each calendar year. The date may vary, taking account of the programme of meetings which provides the context. The Committee shall convene an extraordinary General Assembly at the request of a minimum of two thirds of the members. The minimum notice for an extraordinary General Assembly shall be 30 days by postmark/e-mail.

5.3 Notice of a meeting of the General Assembly shall be given by the General Secretary. When notice is given not less than 90 days in advance of the General Assembly a widely available form of communication such as a printed bulletin or an electronic medium is sufficient. If the period of notice is shorter, notice must be sent to all members individually in writing. The minimum period of notice is 30 days by postmark. Non-receipt of notice by one or more members shall not invalidate the decisions of the meeting.

5.4 The agenda for the meeting of the General Assembly shall be published in advance when the meeting is called. At the decision of the Committee, or if at least ten members in good standing submit this preference in writing, any issue can be referred for decision to a postal and/or electronic ballot which shall be conducted by the General Secretary. Proposals for additions to the agenda shall be sent to the general secretary not less than three weeks before the meeting. Any additional alterations to the agenda shall require a two thirds majority of those present.

5.5 The minimum number of members required for a meeting of the General Assembly (quorum) shall be ten, including two members of the Executive Committee (one of whom shall either be the Chair or the General Secretary). If the quorum is not achieved, a further meeting shall be called at the earliest reasonable opportunity.

5.6 Decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of those present at a meeting, except for the exceptions stated below. In the case of simple majority votes, abstentions shall be recorded but are not counted as “no” votes. Additions to the published agenda shall require a two thirds majority of all those present. Changes to the constitution or a motion to dissolve the MBRN shall also require a two thirds majority.

5.7 Specific rules of procedure may be adopted by the General Assembly itself. In the absence of such rules concerning any procedural matters that arise or in the event of dispute concerning their interpretation during the course of a validly convened meeting, the decisions of the Chair on procedural questions relating to the conduct of the meeting in question is final. The General Assembly may at the same meeting appoint a procedures committee to consider rules of procedure in detail and make recommendations to a future meeting of the General Assembly.

6.0 Committee
6.1 The business of the MBRN will be conducted by an executive committee of five elected members holding the following positions: – Chair, General Secretary, three general members. The committee may assign additional functions to its members on an ad hoc basis. The duties of the named posts on the executive committee are outlined below.

6.2 Chair
The responsibility of the chair is: –

To ensure the efficient conduct of MBRN business.
To ensure the efficient conduct of executive committee meetings.
To act as the official representative for the network.
To produce an oral or written report at each meeting of the General Assembly.

6.3 General Secretary
The responsibility of the General Secretary is: –

To act as the administrative head of the network.
To keep members up to date about MBRN business.
To maintain databases of members (including the discussion list database).
To be a first point of contact for the network both externally and internally.
To produce an oral or written report at each meeting of the General Assembly.

6.4 The functions of the Chair and General Secretary may be delegated to another committee member, in the event of illness or other incapacitation.

6.5 Specific rules of procedure may be adopted by the Committee itself. In the absence of such rules concerning any procedural matters that arise or in the event of dispute concerning their interpretation during the course of a validly convened meeting, the decisions of the Chair on procedural questions relating to the conduct of the meeting in question is final. The Committee may at the same meeting appoint a procedures committee to consider rules of procedure in detail and make recommendations to a future meeting of the Committee.

6.6 The Committee shall meet at least twice a year, either in person or via electronic/telecommunication means. A special meeting may be called at any time by the General Secretary or Chair upon no less than twenty-one days notice being given to other members of the Committee of the matters to be discussed. A committee meeting must be attended by at least 3 members, including the Chair and General Secretary. Decisions are to be reached as far as possible by consensus and if necessary by simple majority vote. Abstentions may be recorded but do not count as “no” votes.

7.0 Elections
7.1 Individuals can nominate themselves for election for a committee post before a set and known deadline. All members of the MBRN are eligible for nomination.

7.2 Once all nominations have been received a finalised list will be sent to all MBRN members. The members will then be expected to email a vote for each position from the selected nominations by a set and known deadline. If members fail to vote, or vote after the deadline – it will not be counted. The right to vote is strictly limited to individuals with valid current membership. The elections shall be conducted by electronic ballot.

7.3 Responsibility for the conduct of the elections lies with the Committee. More specific rules for the conduct of the elections may be laid down by the General Assembly, provided always that they are consistent with these statutes.

7.4 Should an elected member resign, decline his/her post or fail to take up the post for any reason – the position will go individual who received the second highest number of votes. Should he/she too resign, decline or fail to take up the post for any reason – the position will be opened up for nominations and elections once again.

7.5 The members of the Committee shall be elected for a period of three calendar years running from the date of the annual General Assembly meeting. A member may be re-elected, except that no member shall serve in the same office for more than two terms, and no member shall be elected for a total of more than five terms with or without intervening periods.

8.0 Meetings
8.1 The MBRN will normally meet at least annually. The venue will rotate around locations in the UK and be decided by the executive committee. Venues can be suggested by members of the network.

8.2 A fixed price may be charged for all those who wish to attend to cover cost of venue, food etc.

9.0 Amendments
9.1 Amendments to this constitution may be made by two thirds majority of the General Assembly. Details of proposed amendments must be given to the members in advance and not later than the notice for the convening of the General Assembly. Amendments shall come into force immediately after the conclusion of the meeting at which they are carried.

10.0 Dissolution
10.1 The MBRN can be dissolved only at the recommendation of the Committee and by decision of the General Assembly for which a two thirds majority is required. In the event of dissolution such assets as remain after the settling of all liabilities shall be transferred to a body that has the closest affinity to the objective of the MBRN.

This constitution was agreed upon by MBRN members on 8th January, 2009. Please click here for a pdf version.