CONSTITUTION OF THE EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES DEBATING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Preamble and Definitions
(A) Student debating societies, unions and other debate organisations of the institutions of further education of Europe met at Erasmus University in Rotterdam on 8 to 11 April 1999, in a tournament in the style of debate similar to that adopted for the World Universities Debating Championships, to form a European Universities Debating Championships. It was envisaged that these championships should continue annually with the annual winning team being entitled to the title of European Universities Debating Champions.
(B) To that end the first meeting of a European Universities Debating Council was duly convened from the elected delegates of the countries represented in order to regulate future Rounds of the European Universities Debating Championships. This Constitution is intended to establish the rules and mechanisms governing the conduct of the Council and the Championships as a whole.
(C) In this Constitution the following words and expressions have the following meanings:
“the Chair” means the chair of the European Universities Debating Council as described under Articles 5, 6 and 10;
“the Chair-elect” means the Chair for the next round of the Championship
“the Championships” means the European Universities Debating Championships as annually or from time to time held under the authority of this Constitution;
“the Committee” means the European Universities Debating Committee as described and established under Articles 18 - 21;
“the Committee Chair” means the chair of the European Universities Debating Committee as set out in Article 19;
“the Council” means the European Universities Debating Council as established under Article 1;
“ESL” means speaking English as a second (or non-native) language;
“institution” means any university, college or other institution of further education awarding degrees or other qualifications as recognised by the laws of the country in which the aforesaid are situated;
“the Recording Secretary” means the secretary of the European Universities Debating Committee as set out in Article 19;
“the Registrar” means the Registrar of the European Universities Debating Council as described under Articles 5 and 8;
“Round” means the debating tournament held annually or as otherwise from time to time as may be the case under the authority of this Constitution to decide the title of European Universities Debating Champion, and the Council meeting duly convened immediately after said tournament;
(D) The headings to the Articles of this Constitution shall not affect its construction.
(E) All references to the masculine shall, unless inconsistent with the context, be deemed to include the feminine and all references to the plural shall, unless inconsistent with the context, be deemed to include the singular.
(F) the words “include”, “including” and “included” will be construed without limitation unless inconsistent with the context.
(G) references to Articles and Schedules are to the clauses of and Schedules to this Constitution.
(H) the Preamble, Definitions and Schedules form part of this Constitution and shall have the same effect as if in the body of this Constitution.
(I) Any reference to a vote by the Council within this Constitution shall mean a vote of the eligible members present and voting providing at all times that the meeting is quorate.
Establishment of the Council
The European Universities Debating Council is hereby established.
There shall be a competition, which for the purposes of this constitution shall be named the European Universities Debating Championships. A round of the Championships shall be held once during each and every calendar Year. Without prejudice to the aforesaid, if a Round of the Championships shall fail, for whatever reason, to take place during any given calendar year, nothing in this Constitution shall be invalidated.
(1) The purpose of the Championships shall be the promotion of debate, the free exchange of ideas and European and international contact and co-operation;
(2) It should be noted that nothing said by any debater during a debate round necessarily represents the debater's personal beliefs, or those of his nation.
The functions of the Council shall be as follows:
(1) To appoint a host for each Round of the Championships;
(2) To decide on appropriate sanctions against a host organization in the event that it fails significantly to comply with the terms of the bid;
(3) To perform the functions conferred upon it by this Constitution.
The Council shall consist of the following members:
(1) the Chair, who shall have been elected in accordance with Article 6;
(2) delegates, who shall be appointed in accordance with Article 7;
(3) the Registrar, who shall take office in accordance with Article 8 he shall not have a vote on Council; and
(4) the Chair-elect, as determined by the provisions of Article 6 (1), or his designate. The Chair-elect does not have a vote on the Council unless already a delegate in another capacity.
(1) The Council shall elect the Chair. The acceptance of a bid by the Council in accordance with Articles 14-17 shall be deemed to operate as the election of the proposer as Chair of the Council for that Round of the Championships for which the bid was accepted unless the Council expressly conveys an alternative intention and independently elects the Chair;
(2) The Chair elected under paragraph (1) above shall take office two weeks after his election;
(3) The outgoing Chair shall remain in office until his successor takes office;
(4) The Chair may resign from office only by appointing a successor in writing;
Where the office of Chair becomes vacant other than by reason of paragraph (4) above, or the Chair fails totally in his duties under Article 10 (1) (ensuing the organization of a round of the Championship), the Council, convened by registered mail sent to all members, may appoint a successor to the Chair and new venue.
(1) Every country represented at a Round of the Championships shall be entitled to send a delegate to the meeting of the Council convened during that Round;
(2) Where there exists in relation to a country a debating body consisting of an executive elected by the debating organizations in that country, and relating to parliamentary debate as generally understood in common law Countries, the President of that body, or equivalent, shall be deemed to have been appointed as delegate for that country provided that he or a nominee in writing is present at the Round of the Championship during which the meeting is held;
(3) In any other case the representatives of the institutions originating from a country that are attending the Round in question shall by common or majority action appoint one of their number as the delegate for that country;
(4) Every delegate shall provide the Secretary with notice of his appointment, a home telephone number and address, and an alternative contact number and address if home details do not relate to permanent residence. This information shall be provided within 24 hours of appointment of the delegate or, in the case of an appointment not taking place during a Round of the Championship, within two weeks of appointment. The Secretary shall furnish a list of all the information provided under this paragraph to all delegates within two weeks of the end of the Round for which he is responsible;
(5) A delegate may resign from office only by appointing his successor in writing;
(6) A delegate shall hold office until his successor takes office;
(7) Delegates shall take office immediately upon appointment;
(8) Each delegate member of Council shall be entitled to cast one vote on every substantive motion placed before the Council;
(9) Every substantive motion placed before the Council shall be decided by majority vote;
(10) The Chair shall not have a vote on any substantive motion placed before the Council, save on the event that the number of votes cast for and against the motion are equal, in which case he shall exercise a casting vote;
(11) Where there is placed before the Council a substantive motion which proposes amendment to this Constitution, such a motion shall not be carried unless it gains support of at least two-thirds of the delegates;
(1) The Registrar to the Council shall be appointed by the Council, and such appointment shall give due consideration to the necessity of preserving continuity in the membership of the Council;
(2) A Chair who vacates office shall be disqualified from subsequently holding the office of Registrar;
(3) The Registrar may appoint a proxy to act on his behalf;
(4) The Registrar or his proxy shall be responsible for keeping minutes of meetings of the Council and for making available to all interested parties copies of this Constitution. He shall maintain a permanent record of the names and addresses of organizations participating in the championship.
Any member of the Council may appoint, in writing, by e-mail or by facsimile, a proxy to attend meetings, speak, vote, and otherwise act, on his behalf. Such appointment must be given to the Registrar 48 hours in advance of the Council meeting at which the proxy is to act and the Registrar must be satisfied as to the authenticity of the notice so provided, such satisfaction of authenticity not to be unreasonably withheld. If a proxy notice is given at less than 48 hours’ notice before a Council meeting to the Registrar, then such notice must be approved by simple majority of the Council.
The duties of the Chair include:
(1) Ensuring that a Round of the Championship is organized during his term of office, which Round shall be a continuous period of not more than ten days;
(2) Convening at least one meeting of the Council during that Round;
(3) Convening such other meetings of the Council as are in his opinion necessity, provided that there be not less than one meeting per calendar year;
(4) Giving notice to the other members of the Council of any meeting of the council. Such notice shall be given in writing at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting and shall include an agenda containing full details of any proposed amendments to this Constitution;
(5) providing notice of the Round for which he is responsible to all Societies which attended the previous championships. Such notice shall be posted at least four months before the Round and shall include a legally binding statement of the total Cost to the entrant team of registration and accommodation;
(6) ensuring that a briefing is held for all adjudicators and debaters before the first Session of debate where the full tournament rules and forms shall be explained and clarified;
(7) ensuring that all ballots are returned to the competitors at the end of the tournament;
The Chair shall regulate the proceedings of the Council, subject to this Constitution.
The quorum for meetings of the Council shall be two-thirds of the countries attending that Round of the Championships in which the meeting is held.
Within six months of a Round, the outgoing Chair shall send to the Chair of the next Round full accounts of income and expenditure in relation to the organization of that Round. The accounts shall be considered in the following meeting of the Council. These accounts should conform to any standards set down by the Council (or in the absence or their decision or upon delegation, the Committee) or in the absence of any such standards reflect ordinary accounting standards applicable in the host nation.
Bidding for future Rounds
(1) On meeting during a Round of the Championship, the Council shall consider bids to host future Championships up to two years in advance. Successful bids shall be ratified at the meeting of the Council during the previous year’s championships, if the conditions specified in a memo drawn up by the Council at the time of the bid have been satisfied. If the said conditions have not been satisfied, bids shall be reopened without prejudice to any bidder;
(2) All bids shall be submitted in writing and shall be signed by a proposer. Bids may be signed by one or more seconders. A bid shall state the institution(s) which will host the Championship, the dates of the round, the debating procedures to be followed and any relevant financial or other information.
When a bid is accepted, the appropriate Round of the Championship shall be held in accordance with its terms, subject to Article 16.
When the Council accepts a bid, the Chair shall indorse a copy of that bid with the resolution of the Council and such indorsed copy shall be evidence of the acceptance of the bid.
The Chair shall use his best endeavours to ensure that the Round of the Championship for which he is responsible is held within the context of the institution mentioned in the bid, but he may, with the consent of a simple majority members of the Council, alter the venue to another venue within the same metropolitan area.
There shall be established a European Universities Debating Committee. The committee shall:
(1) establish and maintain European Universities Debating website;
(2) Provide a central information resource through this website which shall include, inter alia, information on the upcoming Championships, rules of the Championships, minutes from meetings of Council, training information, a list of available debating training resources, records of participation from universities and individuals at each Championship;
(3) Provide a contact point through this website for participants and members of the general public;
(4) Collect from the host university and hold records of the Championships, including attendees and results;
(5) Make recommendations to Council based on year long discussions with Committee members and anyone consulted by the Committee;
(6) Investigate on behalf of Council and report back at the next Round on any matter deemed appropriate by council;
(7) Maintain and review the rules of the Championships;
(8) Maintain and update copies of this Constitution as held under the provisions of Article 25;
(9) Liase with potential sponsors and establish contact between them and the host institution;
(10) Provide a full report to the main meeting of Council regarding the completion of the Duties outlined above;
(1) The Committee shall be appointed by Council as a substantive vote. There shall be elected from the debaters and adjudicators of the Championships:
a) a Chair who shall be a member of the organising committee of current Round of the Championships;
b) A Recording Secretary who will co-ordinate correspondence and maintain all other records and who will be the Chair or a delegate of the host of the following Round of the Championships;
c) Up to five other delegates elected from the Nations represented at Council such election having due regard to obtaining a range of debating and organisational expertise as well as having regard to obtaining an equitable geographic spread of the nations from which such delegates are drawn. No nation may have more than one member of the Committee;
(2) the Committee shall have the power to co-op up to two others (who may be non-participants of the Championship) to be members of the Committee;
(3) Elections for officers and membership of the Committee shall be held each year at the main meeting of Council and the appointments will be effective from the end of that Championship until the end of the next championships;
(4) The same person may not be elected to occupy multiple Committee positions;
Where any issue arises before the Committee and the Committee Chair expects that it will be found controversial by the members of the Council, he must notify the members of the Council by post or otherwise of the issue, and shall make no firm decisions regarding that issue before the opinions of the Council have been assessed and, if necessary voted upon by the Council.
It shall be the duty of the outgoing Committee Chair to forward the Committee Chair-elect a memorandum summarising his experience in the administration of the tournament which shall include:
(1) A breakdown of the financing and sources of finance of the Round;
(2) A complete mailing list used by the Chair during the course of the Round;
(3) A complete list of the teams which participated in the Round, which list shall include the names of competitors.
Eligibility of Teams and Competitors
(1) During the academic year of the competition, competitors shall represent the institution at which they pursue at least half of their courses toward a particular degree or qualification and must be recognised as bona fide students of that institution by the body regulating the award of such degrees or qualitications in the country of the institution that they represent or, in the absence of such body, by the government thereof.
(2) Competitors shall be recognised by their institution’s debating society or equivalent, or in the absence of such a body by the institution’s administration.
(3) Documented evidence of the participants student status should be received by the host nation prior to commencement of the Championships. Registration shall be considered in complete until such evidence is received.
(4) Competitors must be enrolled students and must be attending classes or pursuing research at doctoral or pre-doctoral level in the institution which they represent on the last day of term preceding the competition.
(5) In the event of any controversy regarding the interpretation of this Article, the organisers of the Championship shall follow the recommendation of the president (or equivalent) of the competent national debating body (if applicable).
Composite teams at may, at the organisers discretion, register in advance for the Championship. The organisers may only admit such composite teams comprising of students from the same country if that country has been unable to create a team formed from students of the same institution or if that country traditionally adopts the bona fide practice of creating teams of students from particular debate centres, cities or geographic regions for the purposes of national and international tournaments. “Composite team” shall be defined for the purpose of this Constitution as meaning any team consisting of two individuals not both attending the same institution.
(1) The eligibility of any country to participate in the Championships shall be limited to those countries listed in Schedule A and any other decided by a two-thirds majority of the Council.
(2) Any new country admitted on such a vote shall be added to Schedule A under the category of countries as the Council may determine.
(3) Any new country wishing to apply to participate in the Championships, may in the first instance be admitted to do so by the organisers of the next Round in consultation with the Committee. The decision of the organisers to admit such a country must subsequently be ratified by the Council at that round in order for the country to be added to Schedule A and participate in future Rounds of the Championships.
(4) Notwithstanding the above Articles 24(1) to (3), no participating country may participate in both these Championships and the African, Asian or Australasian debating championships (with a team that is considered eligible to participate in the elimination rounds of the aforesaid debating championships) within a five year period. The Council may, on majority vote, expel any participating country from participating in the Championships and remove its name from Schedule A for breach of this Article 24(4).
(5) The Championships shall include a tournament to decide upon the best team which is ESL. Teams wishing to participate in a Round of the Championships as ESL must pre-register as such. The eligibility of such teams shall be at the discretion of the organising committee of that Round of the Championships with a right of appeal to the Council. In deciding upon the eligibilty of an ESL team the organising committee of the Round and the Council shall have regard to the following criteria:
(a) the language used at home by the team members;
(b) the languages used in teaching at the team’s institution;
(c) the national language(s) of the team and its members; and
(d) whether any other linguistic barrier exists to the team members speaking English.
These criteria should be appled to both members of a team requesting ESL status. Criteria exist for guidance only and are intended to help answer the question as to whether the members of a particular team suffer any significant disadvantage in being required to debate in English rather than their first languages of choice.
(1) The originals of this Constitution shall be lodged with the Centre for International Debate and Communication Training of the English Speaking Union of Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street, London and copies shall be kept on websites maintained by the Committee, the Erasmus Debating Society and the Oxford Union. Such original and website copies shall be equal, final and conclusive evidence of the text of this Constitution.
(2) Within one month of the completion of each Round of the Championship, the outgoing Committee Chair shall ensure that updated versions of the Constitution (if amended) are authenticated by the Committee Chair-elect and forwarded to those institutions specified in para1 above. Upon receipt of said versions, there shall constitute equal, final and conclusive evidence of the text of this Constitution.
All previous Constitutions, rules, resolutions, conventions and customs relating to the Council are hereby repealed, revoked and abrogated.
The laws governing this constitution shall be those of England and Wales. Any dispute arising under this Constitution shall be referred to the World Debating Council of the World Universitities Debating Championships. In the event that the said Council refuses or fails to rule on the dispute, the dispute shall be referred to arbitration in the country in which the current round is held under the rules of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (London Branch) by single arbitrator to be appointed by the parties, or in default of such appointment, by the head of the London Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
This Constitution shall come into effect immediately upon its adoption.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF WE HAVE HEREUNTO SET OUR HANDS TO THIS THE CONSTITUTION OF THE EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES DEBATING CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS DAY OF APRIL 2000
Signed and delivered as a Deed
by the aforementioned delegates
of the EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES
in the presence of us both present
at the same time who in their
presence and in the presence of
eachother have hereunto subscribed
our names as witnesses
Schedule A :
Participating Countries as of the date of adoption of this Constitution
England & Wales
Republic of Ireland