CONSTITUTION

IN THE INTERESTS OF PROMOTING the human rights and dignity of workers and the principles of fairness, equality, justice and accountability it is determined that there shall be established a body to be known as the International Commission for Labor Rights, ICLR. The body shall be so constituted in the following document, on the joint initiative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the International Centre for Trade Union Rights;

WHEREAS the pursuit of a just and fair society is possible only in so far as the working people of that society enjoy the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms at work;

WHEREAS the fundamental rights and freedoms of working people are best protected by trade union organising and free collective bargaining underpinned by the enshrinement of these rights and freedoms in national law;

WHEREAS the human rights of working people in every country are a fundamental pre-requisite of decent societies and of social and economic progress;

WHEREAS the rights and freedoms of working people and their trade unions deemed fundamental by the international community are set down in international law and standards;

WHEREAS these same standards provide the primary point of reference, among others, by which social progress can be determined;

WHEREAS the failure to implement and enforce fundamental rights and freedoms of working people threatens the health, security and integrity of people the world over;

WHEREAS the achievements and possibilities for progress enshrined in national labor law systems must be visible and available to the working people of that country;

CONSIDERING that the aim of the International Commission for Labor Rights is the achievement of fundamental rights and freedoms for working people;

WHEREAS the Commission will recognise the sovereign rule of fundamental labor rights and freedoms, which are fundamental rights;

RECOGNISING that the Conventions of the International Labor Organisation inspire the concept of fundamental labor rights which the international community respects and that the work of the International Labor Organisation is fundamental;

WHEREAS labor rights violations occurring throughout the world will require the proactive and reactive intervention of the Commission;

HAVING determined that the Commission will be constituted of members of the legal profession;

HAVING determined that the proposals so documented in the joint resolution of IADL and ICTUR must be carried forward with due haste;

THE International Commission for Labor Rights is hereby CONSTITUTED;
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A Name.

The name of the Association is the International Commission for Labor Rights (‘ICLR’) or (‘the Commission’)

B Administration.

Subject to the matters set out below the Commission and its property shall be administered and managed in accordance with this constitution by the members of the Executive Committee, constituted by clause F of this constitution (‘the Executive Committee’).

C Objects.

The primary purpose of the Commission shall be the pursuit, by all appropriate means, both national and international in character, of the attainment of conditions under which the fundamental rights and freedoms of working people and their trade unions may be effectively realised.

D Powers.

The attainment of these ends shall be met by;

i) The preparation of detailed surveys of national labor laws and practices,

ii) The survey and assessment of economic and social situations, and in particular the activities of transnational companies.

iii) The use of comparative studies to measure the efficacy of national labor laws and practices against other national and international norms, ILO Conventions, other international Conventions, and the standards and practices of other countries;

iv) Analysis of respect for and compliance with international labor rights standards at all levels, by all bodies and organisations, and within all systems of international law and regulation;

v) The drafting of such materials as may be appropriate to disseminate the survey findings,
Such other activities of the Commission will be carried out when appropriate in so far as these activities offer genuine opportunity for the progression of fundamental reform, including;

i) Analysis of the social and economic factors which hold back labor rights in each country,

ii) Education and training of trade union and worker representatives which is necessary to effect their capacity to use effectively the tools already available under national labor law,

iii) Education of the same to increase awareness and use of the international standards in the fields of international labor law and workers’ rights;

iv) Submissions to national authorities and international bodies to provide ‘critical assistance’ in the event of serious human rights violations.
The presentation of findings at all possible levels, by;

i) Publishing of books, journals, video, television, internet, email, fax, and such other media as the Commission may wish to make use of, and including, where necessary for the promotion of ‘critical assistance’ the direct intervention of the Commission by presenting submissions to government and intergovernmental bodies;
The Commission shall follow methodologies agreed by the Executive Committee and detailed in Appendix C to this Constitution, which shall include;

i) Consultation with government, employers and employees.

ii) Consultation with relevant experts, organisations and bodies,

iii) Corroboration of evidence in so far as this is reasonably possible through Commissions of Inquiry or other appropriate investigative group or body;

iv) Inclusion of a Commissioner or independent advisor within each Commission or Working Group who is familiar with the legal system or type of legal system concerned in a particular case.

E Membership.

Membership of the Commission shall be open to all persons who fulfil the criteria specified in Appendix A to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee.

Every Member (‘Commissioner’) shall have one vote.

The Executive Committee may for good reason, terminate the membership of any individual: provided that the individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Executive Committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.
F Executive Committee.

The governance of the Commission shall be the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee shall consist of not less than 5 members and not more than 9 members being

a) Elected from the body of Commissioners at the annual general meeting who shall hold office from the conclusion of that meeting
b) Appointed by the serving members of the Executive Committee

All members of the Executive Committee shall retire from office together at the end of the annual general meeting next after the date on which they came into office.

Members of the Executive Committee may be re-elected without restriction whatsoever.

The proceedings of the Executive Committee shall not be invalidated by any vacancy among their number or by any failure to appoint or any defect in the appointment or qualification of any member.

Members of the Executive Committee shall be required to carry out their duties only in accordance with the objects of the Commission.

The Executive Committee shall prepare all necessary financial records and tax returns.
G Determination of membership of Executive Committee.

A member of the Executive Committee shall cease to hold office if he or she:

(1) becomes incapable by reason of mental disorder, illness or injury of managing and administering his or her own affairs;
(2) is absent without permission of the Executive Committee from all their meetings held within a period of 18 months and the Executive Committee resolve that his or her office be vacated; or
(3) notifies to the Executive Committee a wish to resign (but only if at least three members of the Executive Committee will remain in office when the notice of resignation is to take effect).

H Personal interest of Executive Committee members

[Subject to the provisions of sub-clause 2 of this article] no member of the Executive Committee shall acquire any interest in property belonging to the Commission (otherwise than as a trustee for the Commission) or receive remuneration or be interested (otherwise than as a member of the Executive Committee) in any contract entered into by the Executive Committee.

[Any member of the Executive Committee may charge and be paid all the usual professional charges for business done by him or her or his or her firm when instructed by the other members of the Executive Committee to act in a professional capacity on behalf of the Commission: provided that at no time shall a majority of members of the Executive Committee benefit under this provision and that a member of the Executive Committee shall withdraw from any meeting at which his or her own instruction or remuneration, or that of his or her firm, is under discussion].
I Meetings of the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee shall hold at least two ordinary meetings each year. A special meeting may be called by the Chair or by any two members of the Executive Committee upon not less than 4 days notice being given to the other members of the Executive Committee of the matters to be discussed.

The Executive Committee may elect a Chair on such terms, at such times and by such methods as may be deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee in order to facilitate the speed and efficacy of their work.

There shall be a quorum when at least one third of the number of members of the Executive Committee for the time being or three members of the Executive Committee, whichever is the greater, are present at a meeting.

Every matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the Executive Committee present and voting on the question but in the case of equality of votes the Chair of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.

The Executive Committee shall keep a record of its proceedings and decisions.

Meetings of the Executive Committee may be conducted in person, or in the form of ‘ virtual’ meetings by any suitable medium (including – but not limited to – teleconference, phone, fax, email, web conference or video link).
J Powers of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall have powers to create, direct and dissolve Working Groups, Sub-Committees, Commissions of Inquiry and such other bodies as may be, in the opinion of the Committee, necessary to effect or improve the proper operation of the Commission.

The Executive Committee shall further have such powers as are necessary to ensure the effective work and administration of the Commission, including, but not limited to, the following;

Power to raise funds and to invite and receive contributions provided that in raising funds the Executive Committee shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any relevant requirements of the law.

Power to appoint members to the Labor Advisory Panel (‘the Advisory Panel’) in accordance with clause L of this constitution.

Power to establish and maintain a Secretariat and regional offices and to employ such persons and on such terms as the Executive Committee shall determine (provided that members of the Executive Committee shall not, during their term of office, be employed as staff).

Power to cooperate with other charities, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities for the purposes of exchange of advice and information and for the advancement of the objects of the Commission.

Power to do such lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the objects of the Commission.
K Responding to requests for assistance

The Executive Committee shall, in full accordance with Appendix B, assess all requests for assistance that are submitted to its attention by the agreed channels which are themselves set out in Appendix B.

Upon preliminary acceptance of a request for assistance the Executive Committee shall prepare an outline of the project and refer this outline, together with a draft plan of action, to the Advisory Panel, inviting its observations, and, where appropriate, to concerned national and international trade union organisations.

Before the Commission may commence any action the Executive Committee must consider any responses that have been submitted for its attention by the Advisory Panel. Guidance criteria are enunciated further in Appendix B.
L Labor Advisory Panel

The Labor Advisory Panel shall consist of such persons as may be appointed by the Executive Committee.

The Labor Advisory Panel shall be consulted by the Executive Committee and shall be entitled to submit their responses to the Executive Committee in accordance with Appendix B.

The Labor Advisory Panel shall appoint a Chair on such terms and by such processes as they deem appropriate. All communications between the Executive Committee and the Labor Advisory Panel will be facilitated by the Chair or his or her deputy.

The members of the Labor Advisory Panel hold their position at the pleasure of the Executive Committee.

Members of the Labor Advisory Panel shall be entitled to attend the annual general meeting of the Commission, and shall be entitled to present submissions to that meeting in accordance with Appendix B but such persons shall have no vote.
M Receipts and expenditure.

The funds of the Commission, including all donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an account operated by the Executive Committee in the name of the Commission at such bank as the Executive Committee may from time to time decide. All cheques drawn on the account must be signed by at least two members of the Executive Committee.

The funds belonging to the Commission shall be applied only in furthering the objects of the ICLR.
N Property.

Subject to the provision of sub-clause (2) of this clause, the Executive Committee shall cause the title to:

(a) all land held by or on trust for the Commission; and
(b) all investments held by or on behalf of the Commission

to be vested either in a corporation entitled to act as custodian trustee or in not less than three individuals appointed by them as holding trustees. Holding trustees may be removed by the Executive Committee at their pleasure and shall act in accordance with the lawful directions of the Executive Committee. Provided that they act only in accordance with the lawful directions of the Executive Committee, the holding trustees shall not be liable for the acts and defaults of its members.

If a corporation entitled to act as custodian trustee has not been appointed to hold the property of the Commission, the Executive Committee may permit any investments held by or in trust for the Commission to be held in the name of a clearing bank, trust corporation or any stockbroking company which is a member of the International Stock Exchange (or any subsidiary of any such stockbroking company) as nominee for the Executive Committee, and may pay such a nominee reasonable and proper remuneration for acting as such.
O Accounts.

The Executive Committee shall ensure that:

1) accounting records are kept
2) annual statements of account are prepared and are available upon request

P Annual Report.

The Executive Committee shall prepare an annual report.

Q Annual Return.

The Executive Committee shall prepare an annual return.

R Annual General Meeting.

There shall be an annual general meeting of the Commission which shall be held in the month of June in each year or as soon as practicable thereafter.

Every annual general meeting shall be called by the Executive Committee. The secretary shall give at least 21 days notice of the annual general meeting to all Commissioners and the Advisory Panel. All Commissioners shall be entitled to attend and vote at the meeting. Members of the Advisory Panel shall be entitled to attend but such persons have no vote.

The meeting shall appoint a Chair on such terms and by such methods as may be deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee in order to facilitate the speed and efficacy of the meeting.

The Executive Committee shall present to each annual general meeting the report and accounts for the preceding year.

Nominations for election to the Executive Committee must be made by Commissioners to the Executive Committee at least 5 days before the annual general meeting. Should nominations exceed vacancies, election shall be by ballot.

S Special General Meetings.

The Executive Committee may call a special general meeting of the Commission at any time. If at least ten members request such a meeting in writing stating the business to be considered the secretary shall call such a meeting. At least 21 days notice must be given. The notice must state the business to be discussed.

T Procedure at General Meetings.

The secretary or such other person specially appointed by the Executive Committee shall keep a full record of proceedings at every general meeting of the Commission

There shall be a quorum when at least one tenth of the number of members of the Commission for the time being or ten members of the Commission are present at any general meeting.

U Notices.

Any notice requiring to be served on any member of the Commission may be served by letter, telephone, fax, email or such other common communications method.
V Alterations to the Constitution.

Subject to the following provisions of this clause the Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the members present and voting at a general meeting. The notice of the general meeting must include notice of the resolution, setting out the terms of the alteration proposed.
W Dissolution.

If the Executive Committee decides that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Commission it shall call a meeting of all members of the Commission, of which not less than 21 days notice (stating the terms of the resolution to be proposed) shall be given. If the proposal is confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting the Executive Committee shall have power to realise any assets held by or on behalf of the Commission. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to such other institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of the Commission as the members of the Commission may determine.

SIGNED, ETC…

1st constitution adopted: 16th JUNE, 2001

Formal ratification at the Launch Conference of the Commission in JUNE 2001

Revised: October 2002

Revised January 2003.

Adopted February 2003, by the ICLR Constitutional Working Group and the ICLR Steering Committee (henceforth ‘the Executive Committee’).

APPENDIX A (to be written) will govern admission of new members to the Commission. Admission shall follow completion of an ICLR Information Session, or, in accordance with the decision of the Executive Committee (August 2002), admission may be allowed to those who demonstrate satisfactory experience without participating in an ICLR Information Session.

APPENDIX B (to be written) will govern the assessment and consultation processes to be followed upon receipt of a request for assistance. It will also govern the consultation processes between the Executive Committee and the Labor Advisory Panel.

APPENDIX C (to be written) will govern the ICLR’s methodologies for Commissions of Inquiry, working Groups, Surveys, Consultations, legal assistance and education.

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