Notice for the Meeting of the General Assembly of Members: ACLARS 2017

Dear Members and Friends of the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS):

This notice is posted sprecifically for ACLARS members and for others who have attended ACLARS events in the past or who are otherwise friends of ACLARS. This, including the documents linked below, constitutes the formal notice of the next meeting of our General Assembly of members and also provide information about the upcoming Morocco Conference and other ACLARS developments. The conference program for this year is already full, but we hope those of you not coming to this year’s event will remain engaged for the future. The plan at present is that the 2018 Conference will be held in Abuja, Nigeria from May 20-22, 2018. A call for papers will be sent out shortly, and we hope that many who have been with us in the past will submit proposals for the 2018 event.  

NOTICE AND AGENDA. This is the formal notice and agenda of the meeting of the General Assembly of ACLARS which will be held on May 16, 2017 at 17:00, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, in Amphitheater 6 of Building III of the Université Internationale de Rabat in Rabat, Morocco. The meeting will be held at the conclusion of the annual ACLARS conference in Rabat.

PROGRAMME. The final programme (as of 10 May 2017) is now available.

NEW ACLARS CONSTITUTION. ACLARS began at a conference in Ghana in 2013, but was formally organized May 27, 2014 following the conference in Stellenbosch.  A Constitution for the organization was adopted at that time, but the organization has never been formally registered.  In preparation for registration, it turns out that numerous additional provisions are required.  As a result, lawyers assisting ACLARS have recommended a substantial revamping of ACLARS’ Constitution in preparation for registration.  The new draft constitution is accompanied by a proposed resolution for adopting it. The changes are significant enough that the simplest approach will be to amend the original ACLARS Constitution by substituting the new Constitution in its place. The procedure will be to revise the attached new draft as needed in response to comments received at or prior to the meeting, then adopting the new draft as thus revised using the attached resolution.  It would be helpful if recommended changes or questions about the document could be sent to secretariat@aclars.org by May 1, 2017. These can then be incorporated in a revised draft prior to the annual meeting.  

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.  Under ACLARS’ original Constitution, the President, Vice President, and Secretary had four year terms, and could serve for an additional term. They thus come up for election at this year’s meeting. The members of the Steering Committee were elected for renewable five year terms. The Constitution provides no special notice procedures for elections other than the 30-day notice of the date of the annual meeting when the elections will be held, and providing an "alphabetical list of candidates for the Presidency . . . will be published in the ACLARS website thirty days prior to the General Assembly meeting at which an election is scheduled, and shall be distributed to members by email . . . ."  Because of the changes anticipated with the new constitution, I have agreed to stand for re-election.  No other candidate has been nominated at this point, so the "alphabetical list" of presidential candidates consists solely of one person: myself, Pieter Coertzen. 

OTHER OFFICERS. Once elected, under the existing Constitution, the President selects the Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer from among members of the Steering Committee. My intention is to re-appoint Kofi Quashigah as Vice President. The one personnel change is that Shawn Boshoff has resigned as Secretary. Under the new Constitution, the Secretary and Treasurer no longer need to be members of the Steering Committee, henceforth to be known as the Board of Directors. With that in mind, I propose to select as the new secretary, Lesley-Anne Alexander, who is well-positioned to handle the duties of Secretary going forward. We have not had a separate Treasurer in the past, but may decide to appoint one going forward.  A candidate to serve separately as Treasurer has not yet been identified, and until one is, Mrs. Alexander has agreed to serve in both positions, as Shawn Boshoff did before. 

COMMITTEES AND NEW MEMBERS. During the Morocco meeting, we anticipate expanding committee memberships, and hope to extend invitations to additional scholars and experts interested in the law and religion field to become members of ACLARS during the General Assembly meeting.  If there are individuals who you believe should be considered for membership, please send recommendations to me or to one of the other members of the Steering Committee, including contact information, institutional affiliation, and a brief indication of why the individual would be a good member of the Consortium.  

I look forward to seeing many of you at the meetings in Rabat.

Sincerely,

Prof. Pieter Coetzen
President
African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies