International Council on Alcohol and Addictions

Conseil international sur les problèmes de l’ alcoolisme et des toxicomanies

P.O. Box 189, CH 1001 Lausanne, Suisse |

ICAA Constitution
Approved by the General Assembly
20th September 2014.

I. General

Art 1 - Name

The International Bureau against Alcoholism, founded on the 1st August 1907, in Stockholm, Sweden, is now named the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions ("ICAA" or "the Association"). It is an international, non-political, non-profit making organization governed in accordance with articles 60 to 79 of the Swiss Civil Code and governed by the articles of the present Constitution. Its headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Art 2 - Mission

ICAA's Mission is to encourage the unfettered sharing of information among Government and Private Agencies, NGOs and other organisations interested in the field of addictions. Outside of ensuring that no advocacy takes place contrary to human rights and public health ICAA will not censor or promote the opinions expressed.

The Association is dedicated to prevent and reduce the harmful use and effects of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and addictive behaviours on individuals, families, communities and society.

ICAA is a federation of Expert Sections committed to ensuring that its offerings are up-to-date and in accordance with the best practice in its fields of intervention.

It sensitises, empowers and educates organisations and individuals, and advocates for effective partnerships in prevention, treatment, research and policy development in the interest of public health, personal and social well being.

The Association does this at international, regional and national levels by collaborating with relevant bodies, organising conferences and other activities. ICAA believes in the exchange of evidence-based knowledge and innovative approaches.

It is committed to undertake this in an independent, apolitical, inclusive, democratic and transparent manner.

Art 3 - Official languages

The official languages of the Association are English and French. The original version of the Constitution is French.

Art 4 - Bylaws and Guidelines

The Management Committee shall have competence to draw up bylaws governing the day-to-day affairs of the Association and guidelines concerning its international meetings. Such bylaws and guidelines are subject to the approval of the General Assembly.

Art 5 - Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Association shall begin on 1 January and end on 31 December of each year.

Art 6 - Legal Disputes

Any legal dispute, which might occur between the Association and its members, will be dealt with within the competence of the Swiss law courts and by application of Swiss legislation.

II. Membership

Art 7 - Admission

Subject to the membership guidelines, membership shall be open to all organisations and individuals whose share the values of ICAA, whose aims and activities coincide with the Association's mission (cf. Art 2) and who are not directly involved in the promotion, manufacture or supply of psychoactive substances or activities.

Art 8 - Application.

Applications for membership to ICAA and to Sections acting in the field of the expertise of the applicant are made in writing or on ICAA's website. Membership applications are submitted to the Management Committee, which decides on their acceptance with the agreement of the relevant Sections. Candidates may appeal against the refusal of admission to the General Assembly.

Art 9 - Suspension

The Management Committee shall have the power to suspend membership with a vote of absolute majority, and to propose termination of membership. Such members have the right to appeal to the General Assembly or the General Annual Meeting within sixty days on receipt of written notification and to be present at the discussion of their appeal in the General Assembly or General Annual Meeting.

The member, whose membership is suspended, is, on receipt of the decision of the Management Committee to recommend termination of membership, deprived of their rights and freed of their obligations, with the exception of his membership dues until the end of the current fiscal year. If it allows the appeal, the General Assembly pronounces the reinstatement of the suspended member with all his rights and obligations.

Art 10 - Resignation

Members who wish to resign their membership with the Association must give written notice to that effect. Any member who resigns or whose membership is terminated will lose all membership rights and privileges.

Art 11 - Categories

The Association shall have the following membership categories:

  1. Organisational Member
  2. Individual Member
  3. Student Member

Art 11 a - Organisational Members

Organisational membership is available to organisations with a substantial interest in one or more of the areas of the Association's mission. Organisations requesting or maintaining membership status must stay in good standing, be legally constituted in their country or countries of activity, be accountable to a Board of Directors, and have an annual report and audited financial statements.

Membership dues shall be determined by the General Assembly.

Art 11 b - Individual Members

Individual membership is designed for the researcher, practitioner, or those involved in policy-making. As individual members, they do not represent the organisation for which they may be working, and will join through affiliation with one or more of the Association's sections. Membership dues shall be determined by the General Assembly.

Art 11 c - Student Members

Student membership is designed for the scholar or student. As Student members, they do not represent the establishment in which they study and may participate in Sections' relevant activities. Membership dues shall be determined by the General Assembly.

III. Governance

Art 12 - Governance

The governance of the Association shall be:

  1. The Annual General Meeting and the General Assembly
  2. The Management Committee
  3. The Sections

a. The Annual General Meeting and Assembly

Art 13 - Annual General Meetings

An Annual General Meeting shall be held on a yearly basis.

All members of the Association shall be invited to the Annual General Meeting where the Secretary General shall present an annual report of the past year and a work plan for the coming year on behalf of the Management Committee. This report shall include activities and work plans of the Association. The treasurer shall present an audited financial report for acceptance by the voting members. Section Chairs will also present their Section's report of activities.

Participation can be in person or virtual.

The Annual General Meeting, will be chaired by the President and in his or her absence by another member of the Management Committee

Art 14 - Composition of the General Assembly

The General Assembly shall consist of all Organisational Members of the Association. Organisational Members may be represented by one delegate of their choice. A delegate may not represent more than two Organisational Members at the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall be chaired by the President, and, in his or her absence, by another member of the Management Committee.

All other members of the Association shall be invited to attend the General Assembly as observers.

Art 15 - Notice of Meetings

The Management Committee shall convene the General Assembly. Written notice to this effect shall be given at least ninety days prior to the date fixed for the meeting. The General Assembly shall meet at least once every four years and according to the time, place and draft agenda to be determined by the Management Committee. In addition, the General Assembly shall also be convened each time when at least one-fifth of the Organisational Members so requests or at the invitation of the Management Committee in case of an urgent matter.

Art 16 - Powers

The General Assembly shall be the governing body of the Association and shall have the following powers:

  1. To determine the general policy of the Association;
  2. To ratify applications to membership and to take note of resignations; it shall arbitrate in matters concerning notices of appeal against termination of membership and rejection of admission;
  3. To elect the President and the Members of the Management Committee, as well as the auditors of the Association.
  4. To receive and adopt the budget and audited accounts as well as the report of activities of the Association
  5. To determine the annual membership dues and establish partial scholarships if needed as well as other possible contributions;
  6. To determine the sharing of the financial resources between the Association and the Sections
  7. To establish an ICAA Foundation in order to fund the Association;
  8. To deal with all matters not within the power of other organs of the Association.

Art 17 - Organisation of Work

The General Assembly shall discuss or decide on questions on its agenda and on individual proposals, which must be submitted to the Management Committee in writing at least sixty days in advance.

Background documentation shall be circulated to the General Assembly at least thirty days prior to the meeting.

The General Assembly shall only discuss or decide on any matters if one quarter of the Organisational Members is present or represented by proxy. Decisions shall be taken by a majority vote of Organisational Members present or represented.

Alterations in the Constitution shall require a two-thirds majority of the Organisational Members present, or represented, at the meeting.

In general, voting is by show of hands; it can be by secret ballot if a fifth of the Organisational Members present or represented so request.

In case of a voting tie, the vote of the Chair is decisive.

An Organisational member cannot hold more than one proxy.

b. The Management Committee

Art 18 - Composition

The Management Committee shall consist of:

  1. The President, the Immediate Past President, the Treasurer together with two members, all elected by the General Assembly from the Organisational Members who are non-government and not funded by producers or sellers of psychoactive substances
  2. The Chairs of ICAA Sections with speaking rights but without voting rights, unless elected as Organisational Members

Art 19 - Nomination of Candidates

A Nomination Committee of three members shall present the General Assembly candidates for election to the Management Committee. The Management Committee shall designate the Nomination Committee.

Organisational Members shall have the right to nominate candidates within sixty days of having received the invitation to the General Assembly.

The Nomination Committee shall ensure that the candidates are eligible and be charged with the preparation of a complete list of all eligible candidates, submitted in writing to each Member thirty days prior to voting.

Art 20 - Election

The election of the Management Committee shall be carried out by a show of hands or by secret ballot on the request of any Organisational Member present at the General Assembly. The vote shall be by absolute majority and failing this, a second vote shall be by simple majority. In case of a voting tie, the member shall be elected by drawing of lots.

Art 21 - Term of Office

The four-year mandate of the Management Committee expires at the conclusion of the first General Assembly following the end of its term, which occurs after between 46 and 50 months following the preceding election.

Positions vacated for any reason may be filled by action of the Management Committee for a term expiring at the next elections. Members are eligible for re-election for a maximum of two consecutive terms.

All officers become members of an advisory committee after expiration of their term of office.

Art 22 - Resignation

Any member of the Management Committee, whose organisation is no longer a member of the Association, cannot remain a member of the Management Committee.

Art 23 - Suspension

Suspension from membership of the Management Committee has immediate effect pending ratification by the General Assembly, which can pronounce reinstatement; the same applies with respect to members of the Management Committee who represent an Organisational Member whose suspension of membership has been pronounced.

Art 24 - Organisation of Work

The Management Committee shall organise its own procedures.

The President shall chair the meetings of the General Assembly and those of the Management Committee. He or she shall also be responsible for convening both organs. He shall be a member ex-officio of all committees.

The Past president shall replace the President in his or her absence. The Management Committee shall entrust all its members with special responsibilities.

All members of the Management Committee work on a volunteer basis.

Art 25 - Meetings

The Management Committee shall meet, in person or by electronic means, quarterly. Yet, in person meetings shall take place at least twice a year at the call of the President, or upon request of three of its members.

Art 26 - Powers

The Management Committee shall have the power to:

  1. To determine guidelines and execute the general policy of the Association;
  2. To support the activities of the Sections and ensure their proper financing;
  3. To approve the report of activities to be submitted to the General Assembly;
  4. To draw up the accounts and budgets and ensure a fair sharing of the financial resources between the Association and its Sections;
  5. To pronounce on membership applications and suspensions;
  6. To appoint the Secretary General of the Association and to determine his or her responsibilities and remuneration;
  7. To designate persons who shall have the authorisation to sign on behalf of the Association and require an annual audit of its finances to be kept at the secretariat;
  8. To appoint permanent and ad-hoc Committees and to determine the rights and obligations of such committees. The Management Committee may invite any member of the Association to participate in a Committee, permanent or ad- hoc.

Art 28 - Deliberations

The quorum of the Management Committee shall be three of its members. Decisions shall be taken by simple majority.

Art 29 - Secretariat

The Management Committee shall appoint the Secretary General and submit its choice to the ratification of the General Assembly or Annual General Assembly. It shall set terms of his or her employment, remuneration and benefits, and shall determine the job description and specific responsibilities. The Secretary General shall be a non-voting member of the Management Committee as well as the coordinator of all Committees.

The Secretary General shall assume the following responsibilities:

  1. To publish a newsletter based on contributions from the sections and maintain the ICAA website
  2. To undertake the day to day affairs of the organisation
  3. To collect membership fees
  4. To ensure representation at and liaison with international organisations using delegates from the relevant sections
  5. To service, market and develop membership in ICAA
  6. To organise ICAA's conferences using section chairs or their designates as the organising committee
  7. To facilitate networking among members and manage training and consulting projects using members as a faculty

c. The Sections

Art 30 - Composition

The Sections are composed of at least six Members, including at least three Organisational Members, in a defined given field.

Art 31 - Organisation of Work

Subject to the oversight of the management committee and the approval of the General Assembly, the Sections shall organise their own procedures.

The Sections elect their own chair.

To be a member of a section organisations have to be members of ICAA

The Association shall support and fairly subsidise the activities of the Sections

The Sections shall be responsible for planning and delivering their own programmes, seminars, training events and other activities, including periodical educational sessions for students.

The Sections shall be able to take a position on matters of policy in their own name. However, where there is a dissenting view this must also be reported.

The Sections Chairs shall present an annual working plan and budget and an annual report on their Section's activities and finances.

All members of the Sections work on a volunteer basis.

IV. Various Constitutional Matters

Art 32 - Revision of the Constitution

Proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Association shall require written notice to all Members at least sixty days before the meeting of the General Assembly, which will decide thereon by a two-third majority of the Organisational Members present or represented; its entry into force requires approval of this same majority.

Art 33 - Dissolution

Dissolution of the Association shall require written notice to all Members at least sixty days before the meeting of the General Assembly and shall need the approval of two-thirds of all Members.

The General Assembly shall finalise the dissolution of the Association.

Art 34 - Entry into Force

The present Constitution of the Association shall come into force immediately upon its adoption by the General Assembly.

Art 35 - Matters not provided for in this Constitution

The rules of Swiss law shall be applicable to any matters not provided for in the present Constitution.