The Society has subject sections in the following areas:
Banking and Financial Services Law
Civil Liberties and Human Rights
Contract and Commercial Law
European and Competition Law
Media and Communications Law
Practice, the Profession and Ethics
Property and Trusts
The Executive has established an ‘Open’ section (formerly known as the ‘Gibraltar Section’) to put on at Conference sessions. This is designed for papers that do not fit elsewhere in the programme, for papers for which there is no space elsewhere, and to test the demand for new sections.
The objects of sections are:
- to promote the development of the subject
- to stimulate discussion of reform proposals (in particular, those emanating from the Law Commissions) and to formulate responses on behalf of the Society
- to communicate with the Society’s wider membership by centrally-maintained emailing lists
- to organise meetings of the section’s wider membership at least once a year
- to encourage publication
Certain sections may be regarded as having more limited objects.
- Members of the Society may join the emailing list of a particular section by notifying the Society of their desire to do so.
- Non-members may request that they be added to the emailing list of a particular section; the decision whether this should be done is in the sole discretion of the person maintaining the list.
Convenors and deputies
- One of the members of the Section is appointed by the Executive as convenor, the appointment being for renewable periods of up to three years. Two members may be appointed by the Executive as co-convenors on the understanding that they share full responsibility for discharging the role of convenor under these guidelines.
- The Executive may appoint other members of the section as deputy convenors.
Functions of convenors
- The convenor should arrange for a meeting of the section at the Society’s annual conference, and may arrange other meetings as appropriate.
- Convenors should report annually to Council on the activities of their section.
- The membership of the Society should be kept informed of the work of the sections through the SLS Reporter, the website and centrally-maintained email distribution lists.
- Convenors may arrange for the deputy convenors to undertake specific parts of the work of the section, for example as Conference Convenor or Treasurer or to co-ordinate responses to consultation papers.
- Sections are primarily self-financing. The convenor is responsible for organising section finances in a manner directed by the Honorary Treasurer and for pursuing avenues of potential support outside the Society. Members attending meetings (including speakers) should seek financial support from their own institutions.
- The Society may annually make limited funds available for section activities, currently a total of £20,000. These funds may be utilised by convenors in accordance with rules agreed from time to time by the Executive and in accordance with the directions of the Honorary Treasurer.
- Organisers of some annual conferences may sometimes have special funds available to them for section purposes, in which case the conference organiser will circulate details to convenors.
- In exceptional circumstances, special applications for additional financial support may be made to the Subject Sections Secretary for submission to the Executive. The maximum amount that may normally be awarded in relation to a particular project, event or activity is £5000.
Rules for Section Funds
Funds can be used to organise meetings or support activities of the subject sections, including: to promote the development of the subject and to stimulate discussion of reform proposals (in particular, those emanating from the Law Commissions) and to formulate responses on behalf of the Society.
Applications for an award from the Fund may be made by subject convenors on a rolling basis. Applications should be by email, addressed to the Honorary Treasurer and set out:
- the purpose for which an award is sought and how this will advance the purposes of the section
- the timescale and location envisaged for the activity in question
- the proposed budget including itemised costs and any potential income
- The convenor should ensure that the section considers and responds to matters referred to it by Council as well as Law Commission Consultation Papers and similar items.
- The Subject Sections Secretary will represent convenors and their sections at the annual meeting between the Society and the Law Commission.
- Where relevant, convenors are invited to maintain contact with individual Law Commissioners and their teams.
- Council appoints (for renewable periods of three years) a Subject Sections Secretary.
- The Sections Secretary should report annually to Council on the activities of the sections.
- Council will annually review the existence, activities and membership of sections and will as part of that review consider whether the number of sections should be increased or decreased.
Where there are nine members of the Society willing to support it, a proposal for the formation of a new section may be made to Council after consultation with the Sections Secretary.
These guidelines were agreed at the Executive June 2001 and amended January 2004 and January 2009.