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Statutes of Estonian Association of Judges

(approved, with amendments, by the annual meeting of Estonian Association of Judges on 24 November 2000)

I. General provisions

  1. Eesti Kohtunike ‹hing (Estonian Association of Judges – official name) is a non-profit voluntary association of the judges of the Republic of Estonia, founded on 18 December 1991.

  2. The non-official short name of the Estonian Association of Judges (hereinafter "Association") shall be EKo‹.

  3. The seat of the Association shall be Tallinn.

  4. The activities of the Association shall be based on the principles of democracy, on the initiative and voluntary activities of its members.

  5. The objectives of the Association are to:

    1. associate judges into a professional organisation;

    2. protect the independence of courts and judges;

    3. protect the individual, work-related and socio-economic rights and legal interests of judges;

    4. shape and maintain the high level of professional ethics of judges;

    5. study the history of the courts which have functioned on the Estonian territory.

  6. For the attainment of its objectives the Association is entitled to:

    1. organise meetings, seminars, conferences and convene judges to deliberations concerning matters of importance for the courts and the judiciary;

    2. organise professional and social gatherings for the members of the Association;

    3. monitor the taking of decisions concerning administration of justice and the judicial system by national and local government bodies and to give opinions on draft Acts pertaining to court system and, if need be, on other draft Acts, to national and local government authorities and other organisations;

    4. monitor the application of law upon administration of justice and, if need be, make proposals to subjects entitled to propose draft laws to amend or repeal laws;

    5. issue periodicals and other publications, to disseminate information on administration of justice;

    6. co-operate with other organisations.

  7. The Association is a legal person governed by private law. It has a seal and emblem of its own.

II. Members of Association, their rights and obligations

  1. The Association shall have active members and honourable members.

  2. A judge who recognises the Statutes of the Association and wishes to participate in the activities of the Association may be a member thereof. A judge shall become a member of the Association by a decision of the management board on the basis of his or her written application. The honourable members of the Association shall be elected by an annual meeting on the proposal of the management board. The statute of honourable members shall be approved by the management board.

  3. An active member of the Association has the right to:

    1. participate in the activities of the Association pursuant to these Statutes;

    2. vote and be elected into the management, working and revision bodies of the Association;

    3. submit to the referred bodies or directly to annual meetings proposals concerning the activities of the Association and make inquiries in regard to issues pertaining to the Association;

    4. resign from the Association at his or her own request.

    Honourable members have the right to participate in the Association's gatherings and at annual meetings they shall have the right to speak.

  4. An active member of the Association shall pay a joining fee and annual membership fees. The amount of the fees shall be determined by annual meetings. Annual fees shall be paid by 30 June the latest.

  5. An active member of the Association is obliged to observe the requirements of the Statutes and to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Association. Duties may be imposed on the members of the Association only by resolutions of general meetings.

  6. Members may be excluded from the Association by a decision of the management board:

    1. for non-payment of a membership fee for two years by 30 June without a good reason;

    2. upon a removal or release of the judge from his or her office, unless he or she is released from office because of attainment of retirement age;

    3. for failure to fulfil the provisions of the Statutes or for causing significant damage to the Association.

    Resignation from the Association is effected by a decision of the management board on the basis of a written application of the member.

    The person concerned shall be informed of the management board's decision on exclusion or resignation in writing within two weeks.

    If the member does not consent to the decision of the management board he or she may address the general meeting to have the matter decided.

    If membership terminates in the middle of a calendar year, the membership fee provided for by the Statutes shall be paid for the whole calendar year.

III. Management bodies of the Association

  1. The highest body of the Association is the general meeting of its members. The general meeting adopts resolutions on all management matters of the Association which are not placed within the competence of the management board by law or the Statutes.

    The management board calls the regular general meeting annually in November.

    Extraordinary general meeting shall be called on the demand of the Chairman, the management board or the internal audit committee of the Association or if at least 1/10 of the members so demand in writing indicating the reason thereof.

    Notice of the general meeting shall be given at least seven days in advance.

  2. The general meeting may adopt resolutions if the meeting was called in adherence to all requirements arising from law and these Statutes.

    The general meeting shall have a quorum if more than one half of the members of the association participate or are represented.

    The general meeting is competent to adopt resolutions on matters of which notice was given upon calling the general meeting.

    A member of the Association or representative of a member who is granted an unattested proxy may participate and vote in the general meeting. Only another member of the Association may be a representative.

    A general meeting shall be opened by the Chairman of the management board, or in his or her absence by the most senior member of the management board or the most senior active member present; thereafter the chair and secretary of the meeting are elected. The minutes shall be taken of the meeting. The minutes shall be signed by the chair and the secretary of the meeting.

  3. A general meeting shall:

    1. approve and amend the Statutes;

    2. determine the amounts of membership fee and joining fee;

    3. discuss and take decisions on issues concerning the activities of the Association;

    4. determine the number of members of the management board and internal audit committee;

    5. approve the annual report prepared by the management board and the opinion of the internal audit committee appended to it;

    6. hear and approve the activity plan of the Association for the next year;

    7. approve the budget;

    8. elect, by secret ballot, the Chairman of the Association, members of the management board and internal audit committee for the term of two years;

    9. elect honourable members of the Association;

    10. take decisions on issues proposed for decision by the general meeting by the management board or members of the Association.

  4. A resolution of the general meeting is adopted if over one-half of the members of the Association or their representatives who participate in the meeting vote in favour of the resolution.

    A resolution of the general meeting shall be deemed to be adopted without calling the general meeting if all members of the Association vote in favour of the resolution in writing.

  5. A resolution on amendment of the Statutes is adopted if over two-thirds of the members or their representatives who participate in the general meeting vote in favour.

    The consent of 9/10 of the members is required for changing a statutory objective of the Association.

  6. Between the general meetings the activities of the Association shall be governed by the management board, who shall decide on the issues which are not within the competence of a general meeting. The management board shall have 9 members.

    The Chairman of the Association shall also be the Chairman of the management board. The management board shall elect a vice-chairman and a treasurer from among themselves.

  7. The management board shall convene as need be or if at least three members of the management board or the Chairman so requires.

    The management board shall have a quorum if more than one half of the members of the management board are present.

    The decisions of the management board shall be taken by majority vote of the members of the management board present. The management board may take decisions without convening a meeting if 2/3 of the management board members vote in favour in writing. The minutes shall be taken of management board meetings.

  8. Each management board member has the right to represent the Association in all legal acts, unless otherwise provided by law.

  9. The management board or the Chairman of the management board has the right to set up working committees to elaborate problems and draw up opinions.

  10. The internal audit committee shall give written opinions on annual reports drafted by the management board and, if need be, shall audit the organisational and financial activities of the management board.

  11. The internal audit committee shall elect a Chairman from among themselves.

  12. Members of the internal audit committee may participate in the management board meetings with the right to speak.

IV. Assets of the Association

  1. The following are the sources of assets of the Association:

    1. joining fees and membership fees;

    2. income from publishing;

    3. other receipts.

  2. The financial year of the Association shall start on 1 July and end on 30 June.

V. Termination of the Association's activities

  1. The Association shall terminate its activities if:

    1. the general meeting decides to terminate the activities by 2/3 majority vote;

    2. the number of members of the Association falls below 50.

  2. Upon termination of activities of the Association the assets remaining after satisfaction of the claims of creditors shall be distributed among entitled persons by the resolution of the general meeting.