• Section 1: Name, Incorporation and Objectives

    The European Society of Criminology (ESC) is a scientific institution founded under the Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854, a statute of the parliament of the United Kingdom.

    It has the following objectives:

    a) To bring together, in one multi-disciplinary society and on a European level, persons actively engaged in research, teaching and/or practice in the field of criminology;

    b) To foster criminological scholarship, research, education and training within academic institutions;

    c) To encourage scholarly, scientific and practical exchange and cooperation among those engaged in criminology, particularly at the European and international levels;

    d) To serve as a forum for the dissemination of criminological knowledge at the European level.

    The term criminology, as used in this Constitution, refers to all scholarly, scientific and professional knowledge concerning the explanation, prevention, control and treatment of crime and delinquency, offenders and victims, including the measurement and detection of crime, legislation and the practice of criminal law, and law enforcement, judicial, and correctional systems.

    The official seat of the ESC shall be permanently located at the premises of the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, England.

  • Section 2: Membership

    Active Members shall be engaged in the discipline of criminology, as defined in section 1. Student Members can be studying full time in appropriate disciplines in colleges and universities, or in training programs in the area of criminal justice.

    Membership shall be dependant upon review by the Executive Board. In order for a Member to exercise the rights of membership, his or her annual dues, as defined in section 7, must be paid up.

    Members who have seriously violated their obligations towards the ESC can be excluded by the Executive Board, but shall have the possibility to appeal, within one month, to the General Assembly.

  • Section 3: The General Assembly

    The General Assembly must be held whenever one fifth of the Members require it to be convened, and regularly during the Annual Meeting of the ESC. It shall be convened by the Executive Board.

    The date of the meeting of the General Assembly is to be communicated to the Members at least one month in advance, with an indication of the agenda. By a majority of two thirds of the Members present, the General Assembly may also decide on subjects not announced in the agenda.

    The General Assembly shall elect the Executive Board. The Executive Board will publish, at least three months before the date of the General Assembly, a call for nominations which will be open to all members.

    The General Assembly may revoke the appointment of any officer who has seriously violated his obligations towards the ESC.

    The General Assembly may make and amend by-laws of the ESC by simple majority vote of Members present at the Assembly.

    The General Assembly shall decide by the majority of those taking part in the vote. At the request of at least five members, votes and elections are to be held by secret ballot. The General Assembly may decide to submit certain decisions or elections to a referendum by postal ballot among all Members. The procedure of voting by ballot shall be laid down in by-laws.

  • Section 4: The Executive Board

    The Executive Board shall administer all those affairs of the organization which are not left, by law or this Constitution, to the General Assembly or any other body. The Executive Board is composed of elected and appointed members.

    The elected members of the Executive Board are the following:

    a. President

    b. President-Elect

    c. Past-President

    d. Three at-large Board members

    The appointed members of the Executive Board are the following:

    (I) The Executive Secretary

    (II) The Newsletter Editor

    (III)The Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Criminology

    (IV) The Organizer of the next Annual Meeting

    (V) The Organizer of the last Annual Meeting

    Elected members are voting members of the Executive Board and shall be actively involved in research and/or teaching in Europe. Appointed members are non-voting members of the Executive Board. Nevertheless, the Newsletter Editor can vote on issues related to the Newsletter; the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Criminology can vote on issues related to the European Journal of Criminology; and the Organizers of the Annual Meetings can vote on issues related to the Annual Meetings. Members of the Executive Board shall normally not occupy at the same time more than one of functions (a) to (d) and (I) to (V) listed above.

    The Executive Board can invite, occasionally or permanently, further non-voting members to participate in its meetings.

    The president is elected for a term of three business years: the first year as President-Elect, the second year as President, and the third year as Past-President. The President, the President-Elect, and the Past-President shall not come from the same country. A former President of the ESC is not eligible for re-election as President but is eligible for any other elected or appointed position on the Executive Board.

    The three at-large Board members are elected for a term of three business years. There must be an interval of two years between any two terms served by them as elected members of the Executive Board.

    The Executive Secretary, the Newsletter Editor, and the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Criminology are appointed by the Executive Board for a term of five business years, reconfirmable annually by the Executive Board.

    The Executive Board shall meet at least once in each business year. It decides by vote of the majority of those members entitled to vote who are present at the meeting, or alternatively by postal ballot. No member shall take part in the discussion or vote where a conflict of interest may arise between his or her personal interests and those of the ESC.

    The Executive Board takes office on the day following the General Assembly that takes place during the Annual Meeting. The business year ends on the day of the General Assembly that takes place during the following Annual Meeting. The financial report covers a full fiscal year.

  • Section 5: Committees

    The Executive Board can approve the creation of Committees. The term existence of all such committees shall cease at the end of the business year.

    The Executive Board shall appoint the members of a Program Committee for the Annual Meeting, with the exception of the Program Chair, who shall be elected by the General Assembly.

  • Section 6: Annual Meeting

    The Executive Board shall decide on the site of each Annual Meeting and on the general program. Due consideration shall be given to adequate rotation among the various countries and regions of Europe.

    Members and non-members can submit proposals of presentation papers for consideration by the Program Committee, which will take into account the quality of the proposals and the constraints of time and meeting space. The Program Committee can invite distinguished speakers at the expense of the ESC.

    As a general rule, English shall be the working language of ESC meetings. The Program Committee can admit panel sessions and presentations in other languages.

    The registration fee shall be determined by the Program Chair. Reduced fees can be offered to Members of the ESC and to student participants.

    The Executive Board will make appropriate financial arrangements with the local organizers.

  • Section 7: Membership dues, budget and financial obligations

    The General Assembly shall determine the membership dues, decide upon the budget and ratify the accounts that have been presented by the Executive Board and approved by the auditors.

    Neither the Members, nor the officers, nor any other person appointed as members of the Executive Board of the ESC shall be individually or collectively liable for any of the debts or other legal liabilities of the ESC, beyond the amounts payable by them as membership dues.

    The Executive Board shall adopt guidelines concerning the payment of expenses by the Executive Secretary.

  • Section 8: Periodicals and Editorial Committee

    In the form of a Newsletter, the Executive Board shall inform the Members about significant events and developments.

    The ESC is publishing the European Journal of Criminology (EJC), a refereed journal. A by-law shall determine the composition and powers of the Editorial Committee, as well as the society's policies in this respect. The financial arrangements between the ESC, the Editors of the EJC and the Publisher will be determined by a special agreement.

  • Section 9: Administration

    A list of all Members of the ESC and of all of its officers and other persons appointed to the Executive Board from time to time, shall be maintained and open to public inspection at the seat of the ESC.

    Two members will be elected as auditors by the General Assembly for a period of two years. They will be in charge of checking the books and accounts of the ESC and report to the General Assembly on their observations.

    The Executive Secretary shall prepare the annual accounts of the ESC and submit them to the auditors within six months of the end of each calendar year. Upon receipt of the auditors' report, the Executive Secretary shall ensure that copies of the accounts and of the report are deposited at the seat of the ESC, where they may be examined by any Member upon request during reasonable office hours. The Executive Secretary shall subsequently submit the annual accounts, together with the auditors' report, for ratification by the next regular General Assembly of the ESC.

    The academic activities of the ESC shall be administered from the offices of the Executive Secretary, wherever these may be located from time to time.

    The Executive Secretary will receive an honorarium as adopted by the Executive Board.

    The duties and responsibilities of the Executive Secretary will be determined by the guidelines adopted by the Executive Board.

  • Section 10: Property and Legal Proceedings

    The money, financial assets and all other movable property of the ESC, wherever located, shall be collectively vested in the members of the Executive Board from time to time. Any immovable property of the ESC shall be vested either in trustees, who are to be appointed by the General Assembly for that purpose, or as may be otherwise required by the law of the jurisdiction in which such immovable property is located.

    The President of the ESC from time to time is hereby nominated as the person in whose name any and all legal proceedings may be brought against or by the ESC in any jurisdiction.

    Any judgment or award obtained against the President acting in that capacity shall be enforceable only against the property of the ESC and the proceeds of any judgment or award obtained by the President acting in that capacity shall be the property of the ESC.

  • Section 11: Amendments to the Constitution

    Whenever it is sought either (i) to abridge, extend or otherwise amend the objectives of the ESC, as set out in Section 1 of this Constitution, or (ii) to amalgamate the ESC with or merge the ESC into any other institution or organisation, then the following requirements must be complied with:

    a. The Executive Board shall schedule a Special Assembly of Members to consider the proposition.

    b. The Executive Board shall send a written notice of the Special Assembly to all Members, together with a copy of the proposition, at least one month before the date of the Special Assembly.

    c. If the proposition is approved by at least 60 percent of the Members present at the Special Assembly, the Executive Board shall schedule a second Special Assembly to take place one month after the first Special Assembly.

    d. If the proposition is approved by at least 60 percent of the Members present at the second Special Assembly, it may thereafter be carried into effect.

    e. If at least 40 percent of the Members consider that a proposition, which has been duly approved, is calculated to prove injurious to the ESC, they may apply to the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in writing within three months of the second Special Assembly, asking the Secretary of State to investigate the matter.

    f. If the Secretary of State, upon investigation, finds that the proposition is indeed calculated to prove injurious to the ESC, then that proposition shall not be carried into effect, but may be resubmitted to Special Assemblies at any time thereafter.

    Any other provision of this Constitution may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the Members present at any General Assembly, but no amendment may be inconsistent with the requirements of the Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854.

  • Section 12: Dissolution of the ESC

    The ESC may be dissolved at any General Assembly by a vote of at least 60 percent of all of the Members and such dissolution shall take effect immediately or at a specified time thereafter. The Members then present shall either wind up the affairs of the ESC and specify the institution to which its net assets, after satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, shall be given, or mandate the Executive Board to complete these tasks. In neither case shall the net assets of the ESC be distributed among the Members or given to any of them.

    If the Members, or the members of the Executive Board as the case may be, are unable to agree upon the institution to which the net assets shall be given, or if any Member is dissatisfied with the manner in which the affairs of the ESC are proposed to be wound up, she or another Member or officer may apply to the County Court with jurisdictional competence at the seat of the ESC, or, if no County Court should have jurisdiction, to the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, for an order resolving the matter.


    Provisional disposition

    The three at-large Board members are normally elected for terms of three business years except in the general election of 2014, when one will be elected for one year, one for two years, and one for three years. The candidate receiving the largest number of votes will be elected to the three-year term, the candidate receiving the second largest number of votes to the two-year term, and the candidate receiving the third largest number of votes to the one-year term.

    Exceptionally, the at-large Board members elected to terms of one or two years in 2014 may run for re-election at the Annual Meeting of the year in which their initial terms expire.

  • Section 13: Adoption of the Constitution

    The present Constitution has been approved, as a general project, by the meeting of the Founding Members held at the Ministry of Justice of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on 7 and 8 April 2000, and ratified in its present form by an exchange of letters, which are kept in the files of the ESC. It has been amended at the General Assemblies held in Amsterdam on 27 August 2004, in Krakow on 2 September 2005, in Tübingen on 28 August 2006, and in Prague on 12 September 2014.

    Michael Tonry, President 2013-2014

  • The Founding Members

    Prof. Hans-Jörg Albrecht, MPI, Freiburg im Breisgau
    Dr. Kauko Aromaa*7, National Research Institute of Legal Policy, Helsinki
    Dr. Catrien Bijleveld, WODC, Den Haag
    Prof. Gerben Bruinsma9, NISCALE, Leiden
    Prof. Henk van de Bunt*, WODC, Den Haag
    Prof. Manuel Eisner, ETH, Zürich
    Prof. Chris Eliaerts, Vrije Universiteit, Brussel
    Prof. David Farrington, Institute of Criminology, Cambridge
    Prof. Uberto Gatti, University of Genoa
    Prof. Katalin Gönczöl, Eötvös Lorand Univeristy, Budapest
    Prof. Beata Gruszczynska*, Warsaw University
    Prof. Hanns von Hofer, Stockholm University
    Prof. Josine Junger-Tas2, University of Leiden, Den Haag
    Prof. Georges Kellens, Université de Liège
    Prof. Hans-Jürgen Kerner6, University of Tübingen
    Prof. Martin Killias* 1, University of Lausanne
    Dr. Britta Kyvsgaard, Justitsministeriet, Kopenhagen
    Prof. Mike Levi*, Cardiff University
    Dr. Laurent Mucchieli*, CESDIP-CNRS, Guyancourt
    Prof. Cristina Rechea Alberola*, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete
    Prof. Ernesto Savona* 4, University of Trento
    Prof. Alenka Šélih, University of Ljubljana
    Prof. Sonja Snacken5, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Prof. Michael Tonry8, Institute of Criminology, Cambridge
    Prof. Per-Olof Wilkström*, Institute of Criminology, Cambridge
    Paul Wiles3, Home Office, London


    * Board 2000-2001
    1 President 2000-2001
    2 President 2001-2002
    3 President 2002-2003
    4 President 2003-2004
    5 President 2004-2005
    6 President 2005-2006
    7 President 2006-2007
    8 President 2013-2014
    9 President 2014-2015

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