Statute of the Society

Statute of the Estonian Society for the Study of Religions (ESSR)

as accepted by the general meeting of ESSR at the University of Tartu on April 3, 2006

Article 1. General

1.1. The Estonian Society for the Study of Religions (Eesti Akadeemiline Usundiloo Selts, henceforth the society, acronym ESSR) is an independent non – profit academic organization. In its activities the society follows public interests and principles of democracy, self-management and financial self-support. ESSR is non-profit association.
1.2. The objectives of the society are to promote the academic study of religions, to bring together the researchers in the field, to participate in the work of the IAHR (International Society for the History of Religions) and the EASR (European Association for the Study of Religions) and to develop national as well as international collaboration.
1.3. In order to achieve its objectives the society:

  1. arranges seminars, conferences and schooling;
  2. prepares publications;
  3. writes project proposals and applies for funding in order to accomplish these projects;
  4. gives financial support and scholarships;
  5. arranges research activities and polls;
  6. collaborates with other natural and legal persons;
  7. is involved in other activities in order to achieve the goals of the society

1.4. The location of the society is Ülikooli 16, Tartu, Estonian Republic.
1.5. The society follows the laws of the Republic of Estonia and its articles.
1.6. The society is established on April 3, 2006.

Article 2. Membership.

2.1. Membership of the society takes the form of ordinary members, corresponding members, student members, honorary members, and supporting members.
2.2. All persons whose academic work has a bearing on the academic study of religion can be adopted as ordinary members, student members, and corresponding members. All persons applying for membership write an application to the executive committee of the society. Honorary members are invited members who have special merits before the society. Persons, who have made a considerable monetary donation to the society (at least 100 membership fees), are invited to the society as supporting members.
2.3. Accepting new members is decided by the executive committee of the society or in some cases by the general meeting (see article 2.7).
2.4. A member who wants to leave the society writes a petition to the executive committee. The executive committee deletes the name of the departed member from the list of members.
2.5. The executive committee may decide to exclude the member from the society in the following cases:

  1. the member has not paid the membership fee for three years without a compelling reason;
  2. the member has not taken part in general meetings and any activities of the society during the last three years without a compelling reason.

2.6. The executive committee makes the decision about the exclusion of its member at the meeting, whereby the member who is being excluded is informed in writing at least two weeks before the meetings. The member has the right to take part in the discussion of this matter. The decision about excluding a member is made, if 2/3 of the executive committee supports it.
2.7. The member who has been excluded by the executive committee has the right to demand that the exclusion be decided by the next general meeting.

Article 3. Rights and obligation of members.

3.1. Members of the society have the following rights:
a) to take part and vote at the meetings of the society;
b) to be elected onto the executive committee, auditing committee and other bodies of the society;
c) get information about the activities of the society from the executive committee and other bodies of the society.
3.2. The member of the society is obliged to:

  1. a) follow the articles of the society and decisions of the bodies of the society;
  2. pay the membership fee by the deadline determined by the general meeting (honorary members, corresponding and supporting members are exempt of the membership fee; student members pay half of the membership fee, paid by ordinary members);
  3. inform the executive committee about one’s academic position, residential address and personal code. In case of change of address, the member has to inform the executive committee within two months.

3.3. Other financial obligations than the membership fee can be given to the members of the society only according to the decision of the general meeting, supported by all members of the society.

 Article 4. General meeting

4.1. The highest body of the society is the general meeting, where all members have one vote.
4.2. The general meeting is competent to:

  1. amend the articles of the society;
  2. change objectives;
  3. elect the president and other members of the executive committee;
  4. decide other matters which are not placed in the competence of other bodies by law or the articles of society.

4.3. The general meeting

  1. adopts the budget of the society and report of the auditing committee;
  2. establishes the amount and the procedure of paying the membership fee;
  3. determines the number of the members of executive committee, elects the president, other members of the executive committee and the auditing committee;
  4. adopts the working order of the executive committee;
  5. makes necessary amendments in the articles of the society;
  6. makes the resolution of transfer and encumber with a real right immovables or movables of the society entered in the register;
  7. establishes the symbols of the society and their uses;
  8. decides matters that differ from the daily financial activities of the society;
  9. fulfils other duties which are placed to the general meeting by law or the articles of society;
  10. decides other matters that are important for the society.

4.4. The general meeting of the society is called by the executive committee at least once in a year:

  1. to approve the annual report;
  2. if at least one-tenth of the members demand it in written form, indicating the reason;
  3. in other cases, to serve the interests of the society.

4.5. Written notice of the general meeting will be sent to each member of the society at least two weeks in advance. It indicates the time, place and agenda of the meeting.
4.6. The general meeting has the right to make decisions if at least a half of the members are present or represented.
4.7. A decision is made if more than a half of the members or their representatives support it and the articles or law do not demand more numerous support.
4.8. Two-third votes are needed to amend the articles of the society.

 Article 5. Executive committee

5.1. The society is managed by the executive committee, made up by three to five members.
5.2. Executive committee consists of president (who is also the head of the executive committee), scientific secretary and other members whose duties are fixed in the working order of the executive committee.
5.3. Members of the executive committee are elected by the general meeting for up to three years.
5.4. The executive committee represents the society in all legal acts.
5.5. The executive committee can make decisions if more than half of its members support it. (If the votes are divided equally, the matter is decided according to the vote of the chair of the meeting.)

Article 6. Merger. Dissolution. Liquidation.

6.1. Merger, dissolution and liquidation of the society occur in conformity with the laws.
6.2. Liquidators of the society are the members of the executive committee or persons, nominated by the general meeting.
6.3. Upon the liquidation of the society its assets are given to another non-profit organization with similar objectives or an academic institution.