Updated on 26 April 2009
There is hereby established a Council of all Khoja Shia Ithna-asheri Muslim Communities in Europe, to be called The Council of European Jamaats hereinafter referred to as 'CoEJ'.
2.1 Any Khoja Shia Ithna-asheri Community or any Khoja Shia Ithna-asheri organisation having such constitution and established in Europe shall be eligible to membership of CoEJ.
2.2 Any application for membership of CoEJ shall be approved upon the said application receiving the approval of two-thirds in number of the member Jamaats.
2.3 Any member may withdraw its membership of CoEJ by giving written notice to the Secretary General.
3.0 AIMS AND OBJECTS
The aims and objects of CoEJ shall be:
3.1 To promote the Shia Ithna-asheri faith;
3.2 To relieve poverty;
3.3 The advancement of education;
3.4 The relieve of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage; and
3.5 To do all such other things anywhere in the world that may benefit the community in a way recognised as charitable.
4.1 Each member Jamaat shall pay such annual subscription determined by Conference from time to time.
4.2 Such subscription shall be paid to the Hon. Treasurer on 1 January of each year.
4.3 Members failing to pay their subscription by 31 March shall forfeit their voting rights as members of CoEJ until such time as the arrears are settled in full.
5.0 POWERS OF COEJ
5.1 CoEJ shall have the power to take all lawful steps in furtherance of the aims and objects set out above and in particular the power to:
5.1.1 Ratify bye-laws presented by the Executive Council, which are not inconsistent with the constitution.
5.1.2 To create, receive, raise and invest funds, and to buy, sell, build and own properties in furtherance of the said aims and objects.
5.1.3 To raise funds (but not by means of taxable trading);
5.1.4 To borrow money and give security for loans (but only in accordance with the restrictions imposed by the Charities Acts);
5.1.5 To make grants or loans of money and to give guarantees;
5.1.6 To establish or acquire subsidiary companies to assist or act as agents for CoEJ.
5.1.7 To propagate and promote the religious, educational and humanitarian teachings of the Shia Ithna-asheri faith;
5.1.8 To coordinate religious schools within the membership and through this to encourage and promote Islamic education;
5.1.9 To promote and facilitate the performance of Hajj within the membership;
5.1.10 To assist members by coordinating movement and employment of aalims within the membership and assist members in harmonising and standardising contracts and conditions of employment of aalims;
5.1.11 To strive for unity and coordination of activities amongst the members and settle any differences and disputes between them;
5.1.12 To promote the institution of marriage.
5.1.13 To affiliate with and/or become a member of such other institutions as CoEJ may deem fit.
5.1.14 To promote the welfare of: women, the Seniors and the Youth.
5.1.15 To promote the health of the community and the needs of the disabled.
5.2 The date and venue of each Conference will be decided by the Executive Council.
5.3 Subject to the following provisions of this clause the Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the votes among members present and voting at a Conference, the votes that each member has will be in accordance with clause 19.2 herein below. The notice of the Conference must include notice of the resolution, setting out the terms of the alteration proposed.
5.4 No amendment may be made to the Constitution which would have the effect of making CoEJ cease to be a charity in law.
5.5 CoEJ should promptly send to the Charity Commissioners a copy of any amendment made to the Constitution under this clause.
5.6 No amendment may be made to clause 1 (the name of CoEJ), clause 3 (the clause setting out the aims and objects), clause 24 (the dissolution clause) or this clause, without the prior consent in writing of the Charity Commissioners.
6. THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
6.1 CoEJ shall be managed and administered by the Executive Council. The Executive Council shall be the body of trustees in accordance with the provisions of the Charities Act 1993 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification thereof). It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Council to discharge all CoEJ’s legal responsibilities.
6.2 Unless otherwise provided in this constitution, no person shall be eligible to be a member of the Executive Council unless he is a constituent member of a member Jamaat.
6.3 Each member Jamaat shall be entitled to nominate one person onto the Executive Council
6.4 The Office Bearers shall be part of the Executive Council. There shall be the following office bearers: President, Vice President, Honorary Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Secretary General (who shall be appointed by the President), and Assistant secretary. The President shall be elected in accordance with clause 18 below. The Vice President, Honorary Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and Assistant Secretary shall be elected by Conference. The Secretary General shall be appointed by the President and serve at his pleasure. Since the Secretary General would also be a trustee of CoEJ, having regard to the fact that the appointment is made by the President, the President shall also be responsible for all the acts and omissions of the Secretary General. The term of the Office Bearers shall be the same as the rest of the Executive Council. Any Office Bearer of CoEJ cannot be a concurrent Office Bearer of a member Jamaat.
6.5 The Executive Council shall consist of the following:
iii) Honorary Treasurer
v) Secretary General (appointed by the President)
vii) 6 Elected Councillors
viii) Nominated councillors (each member Jamaat shall be
entitled to nominate one person)
ix) 2 Appointed Councillors (appointed by the President)
6.6 If any nominated member (who is nominated by a member Jamaat) fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the Executive Council, then that member automatically ceases to be a member of the Executive Council and in that eventuality, within four weeks, the Secretary General shall write to the Jamaat that had nominated that member to nominate another person onto the Executive Council to fill that vacancy. In the case of any vacancy arising in relation to any nominated member for any other reason then the Secretary General shall write to the Jamaat that had nominated that member, within four weeks of the vacancy arising, to nominate another person onto the Executive Council.
6.7 There shall be at least two women on the Executive Council. If there are less than two women then the President must use his powers to appoint 2 councillors (as referred to in clause 6.5(vii) above), in a manner that ensures that there are at least 2 women on the Executive Council. Any councillor appointed by the President must be a constituent member of a member Jamaat if eligible to do so and if not so eligible then the parents or spouse of the appointed councillor should be a constituent member of a member Jamaat.
6.8 The Executive Council shall hold office for a period of three years to be elected (save for the Secretary General, nominated councillors and the appointed councillors) at a Conference.
6.9 The Executive Council shall execute the decisions and directions of Conference.
6.10 The Executive Council shall have power to discuss, formulate and recommend to Conference such policies, Bye-Laws and/or actions as are likely to facilitate the attainment of the aims and objects of CoEJ as set out in this constitution.
6.11 The Executive Council shall meet every 12 weeks. The Secretary General shall give 21 days notice of the time and place of the meeting of the Executive Council, such notice to include the agenda of business to be conducted and at least 7 days prior to the meeting to circulate all the documents that will be considered at the meeting. In the event of any emergency, the President may direct the Secretary General to convene a meeting of the Executive Council on at least 2 days notice.
6.12 Every member of the Executive Council shall be entitled to have items added to the agenda of the meeting if submitted to the Secretary General at least 14 days before the meeting setting out the wording of the agenda item and if the item happens to be a resolution to set out the wording of the proposed resolution.
6.13 Each member of the Executive Council shall have one vote but in the case of a stalemate the President shall have a casting vote.
6.14 Except where otherwise expressly provided in the Constitution, all decisions taken at the meeting will be on a majority basis.
6.15 The Executive Council shall have power, subject however to a maximum limit set by Conference, to incur all expenses necessary for the
proper management of CoEJ provided that the Executive Council shall not have any power to borrow funds for carrying out the various activities of CoEJ.
6.16 The Executive Council shall have the power to appoint such committees and subcommittees as may be necessary to achieve aims and objects of CoEJ and to assign to them duties and to delegate to them such powers as may be necessary. Every subcommittee appointed by the Executive Council shall consist of at least one member of the Executive Council who shall regularly report to the full Executive Council at its regular meetings, except that the Committee appointed to run the European Hajj Mission shall have at least two members of the Executive Council and they shall have similar obligations in relation to reporting to the full Executive Council.
6.17 All Councillors representing CoEJ at the World Federation of KSIMC shall be from amongst the Executive Councillors. The Councillors to the said World Federation shall consist of the President and the other Councillors to be elected by the Executive Council from amongst themselves.
6.18 The Office Bearers shall have the power to appoint and dismiss staff but the management and supervision of staff shall be the responsibility of the Secretary General.
6.19 Any person attending the conference, in whatever capacity including as a member of the audience, who is a constituent member of a member Jamaat shall be eligible to stand as a Vice President, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Assistant Secretary or an Elected Councillor.
7. THE PRESIDENT
7.1 Elections for the post of the President shall be in accordance with clause 18 herein below.
7.2 The President shall be the administrative head of CoEJ and shall preside over all meetings. He shall have a casting vote in addition to a deliberative vote at all meetings. In his absence, the Vice President shall preside over meetings and shall exercise the powers of the President. In the absence of both at any meeting, the members present shall elect a Chairman from amongst themselves to chair that specific meeting, who shall exercise the powers of the President, in relation to the conduct of that meeting.
7.3 The President shall appoint the Secretary General who shall hold office at the President's pleasure.
7.4 Where a person has served two full consecutive terms as the President (excluding any time that may be served in accordance with clause 8.1
below), he shall not be eligible to be re-elected for the third term, but may be elected thereafter.
7.5 The President shall be authorised to sign or counter sign any document if he considers it appropriate to do so and if it is not inconsistent with any clause of the constitution.
8. THE VICE PRESIDENT
8.1 If the office of the President becomes vacant owing to his resignation, incapacity, death or otherwise, the Vice President shall assume the office of the President for the remaining period of the President's term and exercise all the powers and functions of the President.
8.2 In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall be authorised to sign or counter sign any document if he considers it appropriate to do so, and if it is not inconsistent with any clause of the constitution.
8.3 In the event of the post of the Vice president becoming vacant the Executive Council shall elect from amongst themselves a Vice President to hold office for the duration of the remainder of the term.
8.4 The Vice President will also have a supervisory role in relation to the functions of the sub committees as directed by the Executive Council.
8.5 Where a person has served two full consecutive terms as the Vice President, he shall not be eligible to be re-elected for the third term, but may be elected thereafter.
9. SECRETARY GENERAL
9.1 The Secretariat of CoEJ shall be based at an address to be proposed by the Executive Council and ratified by Conference. The Secretary General appointed by the President shall manage the Secretariat.
9.2 The Secretary General shall:
9.2.1 be responsible for giving notices of all meetings and Conferences (which shall also be placed on the CoEJ website).
9.2.2 prepare the agenda of all meetings and Conferences in consultation with the President (which shall also be placed on the CoEJ website).
9.2.3 record, maintain and distribute full and proper minutes of all meetings. After the minutes of the Executive Council have been approved by the Executive Council, the Executive Council shall authorise the publication of those minutes subject to any redaction that it considers necessary. The Secretary General shall publish the said minutes on the CoEJ website within 14 days of the authorisation for publication given by the Executive Council.
9.2.4 deal with all correspondence in accordance with the direction of the Conference, Executive Council or President, whichever is applicable.
9.2.5 prepare an annual report on the activities of CoEJ and present at the annual Conference. He shall also present such reports as are required for discharging any responsibilities CoEJ may have and in compliance with any legal obligations.
9.2.6 maintain and update regularly a register of members and their voting rights.
9.3 In the absence of the President and the Vice President, the Secretary General shall be authorised to sign or counter sign any document if he considers it appropriate to do so and if it is not inconsistent with any clauseof the constitution.
9.4 Where a person has served two full consecutive terms as the Secretary General, he shall not be eligible to serve for the third term, but may do so thereafter.
10. ASSISTANT SECRETARY
10.1 The assistant Secretary will assist the Secretary General to discharge his/her duties.
10.2 Where a person has served two full consecutive terms as the Assistant Secretary, he/she shall not be eligible to be re-elected for the third term, but may be elected thereafter.
11. HON TREASURER
11.1 The Hon Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial transactions of CoEJ and maintain all proper financial records.
11.2 He shall forthwith deposit all CoEJ funds with CoEJ bankers, into designated accounts, as directed by the Executive Council.
11.3 He shall at all times keep full and proper accounts and present at least the management accounts at every meeting of the Executive Council.
11.4 He shall present at the annual Conference, audited accounts.
11.5 He shall be responsible for collection of all subscriptions and funds from member Jamaats.
11.6 The Treasurer shall sign all cheques and all other payment documents and shall submit the same for counter signature to the President, or in his absence, the Vice President, or in the absence of both the Secretary General.
11.7 In the absence of the President, the Treasurer shall be authorised to sign or counter sign any document if he considers it appropriate to do so and if it is not inconsistent with any clause of the constitution.
11.8 In the event of the Treasurer’s post becoming vacant, the Executive Council shall elect from amongst themselves a Treasurer to hold office for the duration of the remainder of the term.
11.9 Where a person has served two full consecutive terms as the Treasurer, he shall not be eligible to be re-elected for the third term, but may be elected thereafter.
12. ASSISTANT TREASURER
12.1 The Assistant Treasurer will assist the Treasurer to discharge his/her duties.
12.2 Where a person has served two full consecutive terms as the Assistant Treasurer, he/she shall not be eligible to be re-elected for the third term, but may be elected thereafter.
13.1 The Executive Council shall comply with its legal obligations withregard to:
13.1.1 The keeping of accounting records;
13.1.2 The preparation of annual statements of accounts;
13.1.3 The arrangement for the auditing of the statements of accounts; and
13.1.4 The submission of the accounts of CoEJ to the Charity Commissioners and any other entity to which CoEJ is legally obliged to submit its accounts.
14. ANNUAL REPORT
The Executive Council shall comply with its legal obligations with regard tothe preparation of an annual report and its submission to the Charity Commissioners and any other entity to which CoEJ is legally obliged to submit such a report.
15. ANNUAL RETURN
The Executive Council shall comply with its legal obligations with regard to the preparation of an annual return and its submission to the Charity Commissioners and any other entity to which CoEJ is legally obliged to submit an annual return.
16.1 Conference shall be held at least once every twelve months. Except as provided otherwise, Conference shall meet at such place and on such date as determined by the Executive Council from time to time. The Secretary General shall give notice of the date and place of such Conference at least 30 days prior to the Conference, with an agenda of business to be
conducted and at least 14 days prior to the Conference to circulate all the documents that will be considered at the Conference.
16.2 Members shall be entitled to have items added to the agenda of Conference if submitted to the Secretary General at least 45 days before the Conference setting out the wording of the agenda item and if the item happens to be a resolution to set out the wording of the proposed resolution, except that any member wishing to propose an amendment to
this Constitution shall give notice thereof to the Secretary General to reach him at least 60 days prior to the Conference at which such an amendment is sought to be moved.
16.3 In the event of any emergency the President may direct the Secretary General to convene a Conference on at least 7 days notice.
16.4 Except where otherwise expressly provided in the Constitution, all decisions taken at Conference will be on a majority basis.
17.1 The quorum for the purposes of the meetings of the Executive Council shall be 25% (twenty five percent) of its membership, provided that it includes the presence of at least two of the Office Bearers. The quorum for a Conference shall be 40% (forty percent) of the number of representatives from member Jamaats entitled to attend the Conference in accordance with clause 19.1.
18. ELECTIONS FOR THE POST OF THE PRESIDENT
18.1 At least three months before the end of the term of office of the President, the Electoral Commissioner shall issue a notice to all member Jamaats inviting written nominations to be sent to him within thirty days of such notice for a candidate for the office of President to serve for the next three years.
18.2 Any constituent member of a member Jamaat can be nominated by any member Jamaat as a candidate for the post of President of CoEJ by sending written nomination to the Electoral Commissioner. Any nomination shall be accompanied by a written communication from the persons nominated signifying his consent to such nomination. The nomination shall
also be accompanied by written confirmation from the member Jamaat that the nominated person is its member and if the nomination is not accompanied by such confirmation then the Secretary General shall obtain written confirmation from the member Jamaat that the candidate is its member.
18.3 The Electoral Commissioner shall within a period of seven days after the closing date for the submission of nominations, send to the member Jamaats notification of all nominations received by him and ask all member Jamaats to arrange the process of voting within their Jamaats on a common date stipulated by him which shall not be less than three weeks from the
date of notification by him. Each member Jamaat shall submit to the Electoral Commissioner within two weeks the results of the voting process and the name of the candidate that has attained the highest number of votes (for the avoidance of any doubt if a member Jamaat fails to send the results to the Electoral Commissioner then those votes shall not be counted if
submitted after the two weeks deadline). Thereafter, the Electoral Commissioner shall declare the results within fourteen days.
18.4 Whichever candidate attracts the highest number of votes in each Jamaat shall be attributed the votes according to the formula set out in clause 19.2.
18.5 However, if the Electoral Commissioner does not receive any written nomination by the closing date he shall inform every member Jamaat that the election of the President will take place at Conference.
18.6 Any notice issued by the Electoral Commissioner shall be simultaneously placed on the CoEJ website as well.
19.1 Each member Jamaat shall be represented at Conference by three persons appointed by the member Jamaat. In the event of the inability of any of them to attend, they may be substituted by any other person(s) appointed by the member Jamaat.
19.2 Each member Jamaat shall have 2 votes per its own population of 500 or part thereof and 2 additional votes per each additional 500 or part thereof, but not exceeding a maximum of 10 votes.
19.3 Each member of the Executive Council shall be entitled to attend and vote at every conference.
19.4 Prior to commencement of voting at conference, the chair shall allow voting by secret ballot if proposed by a member Jamaat.
20.1 CoEJ shall have its own logo.
21.1 A member of the Executive Council shall vacate his/her seat:
21.1.1 If he/she resigns.
21.1.2 If he/she is certified to be suffering from a mental illness.
21.1.3 If he/she ceases to be a Shia Ithna-asheri.
21.1.4 If as an appointee of the President, he/she is removed by the President.
21.1.5 If he/she is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude or dishonesty.
21.1.6 If he/she is adjudged a bankrupt.
21.1.7 If at the time he/she was elected or nominated or appointed, as the case may be, he/she was not eligible to be a member of the Executive Council.
21.1.8 If the conference feels that any of the Office Bearers are not fit for the purpose of their office then they can be removed by a vote of no confidence, by two-thirds majority.
21.2 Save as expressly provided otherwise in the Constitution, in the event of a vacancy on the Executive Council as a result of death or any of the reasons stated above it shall be filled by the Conference.
22. ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER
22.1 At the conference where the Office Bearers are to be elected there shall also be the election of an Electoral Commissioner.
22.2 The role of the Electoral Commissioner shall be to oversee the election process for electing the President and all elections taking place at conference except that the election for the post of Electoral Commissioner shall be overseen by the chairperson of the Conference.
22.3 Any person attending the conference, in whatever capacity including as a member of the audience, who is a constituent member of a member Jamaat shall be eligible to stand for the post of Electoral Commissioner.
23. GOOD GOVERNANCE
23.1 Without prejudice to the objects set out in clause 3 herein above, CoEJ shall operate in a manner that adheres to the following principles:
(a) Practice, preserve, promote and protect the Shia Ithnaasheri Muslim faith;
(b) Compliance with this constitution and any other legal requirement;
(c) Justice and fairness;
(d) Democratic accountability; and
(e) Transparency in all respects vis-à-vis the member Jamaats.
23.2 It shall be the obligation of the Executive Council and every member Jamaat to ensure that the principles of good governance set out above are complied with.
23.3 Every member Jamaat and every member of the Executive Council shall be entitled to submit a written complaint to the President regarding any breach of this constitution and/or non compliance with any legal requirement. Upon receipt of such a complaint the President must ensure that the complaint is presented to the Executive Council at its next meeting
under a specific agenda item: “Complaint received in relation to breach of the constitution”. The Executive Council shall carefully consider the complaint and take whatever action, if any, it considers appropriate from the options set out below. The options open to the Executive Council are limited to the following:
(a) Taking no further action;
(b) Ordering specific steps to be taken by identified individual(s) within a specified time-period;
(c) Formal censure of the person who is guilty of being in breach of this constitution;
(d) Formal recommendation to the person who is guilty of being in breach of this constitution that he should consider resigning from his post as an Office Bearer or as a member of the Executive Council, as the case may be.
23.4 The Secretary General shall within 14 days write to the member setting out the decision of the Executive Council and the reasons for it. If the member is not satisfied with the way in which the Executive Council dealt with the complaint, the member may be entitled to pursue the complaint by asking the Executive Council to reconsider the complaint and the member shall do so by submitting a request in writing to the Secretary General who shall ensure that the agenda includes an item: “Complaint received in relation to breach of the constitution”. After careful consideration of the complaint, the Executive Council can take whatever action, if any, it considers appropriate in accordance with clause 23.3 above.
23.5 Every member Jamaat shall be entitled to ask for any information by submitting a written request to the relevant Office Bearer and such information shall be provided by the Office Bearer within 14 days of the date of the request.
23.6 Every document or information sent or given to every representative at Conference and all approved minutes of the Executive Council (subject to clause 9.2.3 above) shall also be made available by the Secretary General to every constituent member of a member Jamaat.
24.1 CoEJ may at any time be dissolved by consent of at least 90 per cent of the members testified by their signatures to an instrument of dissolution provided that a Resolution to this effect has been adopted at a Conference called for such a purpose.
24.2 In the event of dissolution of CoEJ, any assets of CoEJ after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be transferred, on such terms and conditions as may have been decided upon at the said Conference, to such other charitable Khoja Shia Ithna-asheri institution as determined at the said Conference working for the aims and objects similar to those of CoEJ.
24.3 A copy of the statement of accounts, or accounts and statement, for the final accounting period of CoEJ shall be submitted by the Executive Council to the Charity Commissioners and to the members of CoEJ.
25. TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
25.1 At the same conference where the substantial amendments to this constitution are considered, the first Electoral Commissioner should be elected purely for the purposes of implementing clause 18 of the constitution in relation to the election of the President. Thereafter, clause 25.2 of this constitution shall apply.
25.2 The notice which the Electoral Commissioner has to give in accordance with clause 18.1 shall be sent by the Electoral Commissioner within one month from the adoption of the substantial amendments to this constitution.
25.3 Save as expressly stated otherwise, all the amendments to this constitution shall take effect at the commencement of the conference where the members of the Executive Council are elected.
25.4 At the conference where the substantial amendments to this constitution are considered, there shall also be consideration as to CoEJ’s nomination for the post of the President of the World Federation of KSIMC.