At the Full Committee meeting that took place on 24th Feb 2023 at College Court, University of Leicester, the CHULS constitution was revised as follows.
1.The terms of reference of the Committee are:
(i) to represent Law Schools in the UK and their interests;
(ii) to promote mutual respect and active cooperation between Law Schools regionally, nationally and internationally;
(iii) to provide a collegiate forum for Heads of Law Schools;
(iv) to consider and advise relevant bodies of the structure, development and resourcing of legal education and research;
(v) to disseminate relevant information and good practice;
(vi) to assist in the promotion of good leadership in Law Schools;
(vii) to liaise with the learned subject associations of law and other bodies on matters of mutual interest.
2.1 Membership of the Committee is for designated Heads of Law Schools (which normally connotes someone with line management responsibility) from Higher Education Institutions in the United Kingdom with degree awarding powers. Nomenclature is inconsistent in the HEI sector, but may include:
(a) Heads of Department;
(b) Heads of Subject Area;
(c) Heads of Unit;
(d) Deans of Law, where they are not also responsible for a Head of Department;
(e) or equivalent.
2.2 An Institution in membership of the Committee should be represented by the head of its Law School (see 2.1), who may occasionally and exceptionally nominate a substitute.
2.3 Higher Education Institutions outside of the United Kingdom who would meet the criteria referred to in 2.1 above in their own country, are eligible to apply for International Membership of the Committee. International Membership will carry all the rights and privileges of full membership, save for Executive Committee membership. An organisation’s International Membership will be reviewed on an annual basis.
2.4 Organisations that do not meet the requirements of paragraph 2.1 but would like to become a member of the Committee may apply for, and at the discretion of the Executive Committee be granted, Associate Membership. Associate Membership carries all rights and privileges of full membership save for voting rights and Executive Committee membership. An organisation’s Associate Membership will be reviewed on an annual basis.
2.5 Subscription rates for membership of the Committee are charged at a flat rate of £295. Rates should be reviewed each year at the Annual General Meeting to ensure the financial viability of the Committee. A law school in arrears with their membership subscription has all rights and privileges suspended.
2.6 All matters relating to membership will be determined by the Executive Committee whose decision will be final.
Powers of the Executive Committee:
3.1 The Executive Committee shall have the power to manage the affairs of the Committee between Annual General Meetings, except that the subscription may not be increased by decision of the Committee.
3.2 The work of the Committee, and the Executive Committee, is supported by a paid administrator.
Annual General Meeting:
3.3 There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the Committee to be held at least once a calendar year. Each institutional member may send one voting representative. The Executive Committee may invite other interested persons or bodies to send observers.
3.4 The business of the Annual General Meeting shall include:
(i) Receiving and considering minutes from the Annual General Meeting.
(ii) Receiving and considering reports and minutes from the Executive Committee.
(iii) Approving the election of the officers and members of the Executive Committee.
(iv) Receiving and considering presentations and to engage in discussion on matters of current concern to legal education, legal research or other related matters.
(v) Approving audited accounts and rates of subscription.
(vi) Making decisions on any resolutions of which one week’s notice has been given to the administrator.
4. The Officers and Executive
4.1 The Committee’s officers will consist of a Chair, a Vice-Chair and an Honorary Treasurer. The officers and executive will be elected by the membership of CHULS. Candidates with the highest number of votes for the number of vacancies on the Executive will be elected following calls for Expressions of Interest. Any member of CHULs or the Executive is eligible to cast a vote.
4.2 The term of office of Chair, Vice-Chair and Honorary Treasurer officers will be three years in the first instance, with the possibility of re-election for a period not normally exceeding two years. In the event that an officer is no longer the Head of a Law School (as per 2.1) when their initial term ends, they will not normally be eligible for re-election as a Committee officer.
4.3 In the event that the office of Chair becomes vacant prior to the completion of their term of office, the Chair will be assumed by the Vice-Chair for the remainder of the term.
4.4 In the event that the office of Vice-Chair becomes vacant prior to the completion of their term of office, the Chair will nominate a Vice-Chair from the membership of the Executive for the remainder of the term. The appointment of a Vice-Chair in these circumstances requires the ratification of the Executive membership at the earliest opportunity.
4.5 The Full Executive will comprise the three Committee officers and ten ordinary members. The terms of office of ordinary members will be three years and persons will be eligible for re-election for a further two years. In the event that an ordinary member is no longer the Head of a Law School (as per 2.1) when their term ends, they will not normally be eligible for re-election to the Executive.
4.6 The Full Executive are members of the Executive Committee in a personal capacity. In the event that a member of the Full Executive ceases to be the Head of a Law School during their term, they can continue to serve the remainder of their term.
4.7 Where a member of the Full Executive ceases to be Head of the Law School, their successor as Head of that Law School is entitled to become a member of the full Committee, provided the subscription and other membership requirements of section 2 are met.
4.8 The Executive will act on behalf of the Committee in all matters and, in particular, will
(i) coordinate representation on external bodies;
(ii) liaise with appropriate external bodies, including PSRBs;
(iii) promote the public profile of Law Schools;
(iv) prepare agendas and papers for meetings of the full Committee, including any suggested amendments to the Committee’s Constitution;
(v) assist in developing co-operation between institutions across the whole of the Higher Education sector within the United Kingdom and internationally.
(vi) Undertake any other tasks deemed appropriate under the terms of reference on behalf of the Committee.
5. Amending the Constitution
5.1 The constitution shall be amended only at an Annual General Meeting. Notice of proposed constitutional changes will be given to members 21 days prior to the meeting at which they will be discussed.
5.2 Proposed constitutional changes require that at least two thirds of those present at the meeting vote in favour.