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Constitution of the European Society of Criminology

Section 1: Name

Under the name “European Society of Criminology (ESC)” (“Association Européenne de Criminologie (AEC)” an Association is created in accordance with the articles sixty and following of the Swiss Civil Code.

Section 2: Purpose

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 in particular 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.

Section 3: Headquarters

The official seat of the ESC shall be permanently located at the premises of the School of Criminal Sciences, University of Lausanne, Quartier Sorge, Bâtiment Batochime, à Lausanne.

Section 4: Duration

The Association is established for an indefinite period.

Section 5: 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.

The Executive Board may expel a member:

– if the member has not paid his/her dues despite two reminders and a warning sent by signature letter to his/her last known address;
– if the member has committed a violation of the bylaws or the rules of professional ethics or if the member’s behavior has brought dishonor to the Association.

A member who has been notified of exclusion by the Executive Board may appeal against the Executive Board’s decision to the General Assembly, whose vote on the matter shall be final.

Section 6: 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 7: 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) Executive Secretary
(II) Newsletter Editor
(III) Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Criminology
(IV) Annual Meetings’ Coordinator (Conference Coordinator)
(V) Organizer of the next Annual Meeting
(VI) Organizer of the latest Annual Meeting
(VII) Secretary

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 (VII) 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, the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Criminology, the Conference Coordinator and the Secretary 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.

The members of the Executive Board shall not be remunerated but shall be compensated upon presentation of supporting documents.

Section 8: Ad Hoc Committees and Working Groups

The Executive Board can approve the creation of Ad Hoc Committees. The term existence of all such ad hoc committees shall cease at the end of the business year, unless stated otherwise by the Executive Board.

The Executive Board can approve the creation of Working Groups. The members of the Working Groups must be members of the ESC. Working Groups must submit to the Executive Board an Annual Report of their activities. Working Groups that remain inactive for two years can be dissolved by the Executive Board.

Section 9: 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. The Executive Board shall appoint the chair of the conference, who is the Organizer of the conference mentioned in Section 4 of this constitution.

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.

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

The registration fee shall be proposed by the Conference Local Organizer and be subject to approval by the Executive Board. Reduced fees shall be offered to Members of the ESC and to student participants.

The Executive Board will make appropriate financial arrangements with the Conference Local Organizers.

Section 10: 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.

The Executive Board shall endeavour to ensure that the ESC shall retain in its accounts the equivalent of three years of the annual running costs of the ESC. In 2023, this three-year amount equals 300,000 Euro.

Only assets belonging to the Association are available to cover the debts of the Association. Under no circumstances shall members of the Association be liable for its debts.

Section 11: Periodicals and Editorial Committee

In the form of a Newsletter (or an e-mail), 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 12: Administration

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

Two members are elected as auditors by the General Assembly for a period of two years. They are 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 13: 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 14: Financial year

The financial year shall begin on 1 January and end on 31 December of each year.

As an exception, the first financial year shall begin at the creation of the Association and end on 31 December 2023

Section 15: Accounting

The Executive Secretary shall be responsible for the accounting of the Association. He shall present to the General Assembly a budget for the following year and the profit and loss accounts and balance sheet for the past year.

Section 16: Auditors

The Assembly shall elect from among its members two Auditors and, if necessary, an Alternate Auditor.

The Auditors shall be responsible for auditing the Treasurer’s accounts and presenting a report to the General Assembly in the year following the year under audit.

Section 17: Audit of the accounts

The Association shall submit its accounts to an ordinary audit by an auditing body if, during two successive financial years, two of the values mentioned in Article 69, letter b of the Swiss Civil Code are exceeded.

Section 18: 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.

Any other provision of this Constitution may be amended by a vote of at least 60 percent of the Members present at any General Assembly, but no amendment may be inconsistent with the requirements of Swiss Law.

Section 19: 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 tax-exempted by the Administration of the Canton of Vaud 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, the choice will be made by the Dean of the Faculty of Criminal Sciences of the University of Lausanne.

Section 20: Adoption of the Constitution

The present Constitution has been approved at the meeting of the Founding Members held in Lausanne on 15 March 2023.

Section 21: For

Any dispute arising out of these Articles of Association or any related agreement, in particular as to their existence, validity, interpretation, performance or non-performance, shall be finally settled by the Executive Board. If the matter should be brought before another authority, the latter shall have jurisdiction in Lausanne.

Lausanne, 15 March 2023

Founding members of the ESC in 2000

Prof. Hans-Jörg Albrecht, MPI, Freiburg im Breisgau
Dr. Kauko Aromaa, 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