By-laws

COSPAR BY-LAWS

Approved by the COSPAR Council at its meeting in July 2012

CONTENTS

IADMISSION OF NEW MEMBERS
IIRIGHTS AND DUTIES OF COSPAR MEMBERS
IIINOMINATION COMMITTEE
IVELECTIONS BY THE COUNCIL
VRIGHTS AND DUTIES OF BUREAU MEMBERS
VIRIGHTS AND DUTIES OF SCIENTIFIC COMMISSION CHAIRS
VIIRIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR
VIIIRULES OF ORDER OF COUNCIL AND BUREAU SESSIONS
IXASSOCIATES
XASSOCIATED SUPPORTERS
XISCIENTIFIC COMMISSIONS
XIISUB-COMMISSIONS AND TASK GROUPS
XIIISUBSIDIARY BODIES
XIVOTHER RULES
XVCHANGES IN THE BY-LAWS

I.    ADMISSION OF NEW MEMBERS

I.1.         National Scientific Institutions, as defined by ICSU, engaged in space research and International Scientific Unions federated in ICSU may become Members of COSPAR.

NOTE: As defined by ICSU, a National Scientific Institution “shall be a scientific academy, research council, scientific institution or association of such institutions. Institutions effectively representing the range of scientific activities in a definitive territory may be accepted as National Members, provided they can be listed under a name that will avoid any misunderstanding about the territory represented, and have been in existence in some form for at least 4 years” (ICSU Statute number 8).

I.2.         National Scientific Institutions or International Scientific Unions desiring COSPAR membership shall submit their application to the President of COSPAR. The letter of application shall consist of a letter of intent accompanied by an information sheet giving an account of activities related to scientific space research on the territory represented by the National Scientific Institution or in the field of scientific research covered by the International Scientific Union.

I.3.         Each application for membership shall be circulated to Member National Scientific Institutions and International Scientific Unions. If no objections are raised within two months, the applicant Institution or Union shall become a Member without any further action by the date of expiration of the two month period. In the event any objections are raised by National Scientific Institutions or International Scientific Unions, the COSPAR Bureau may ask for further information and shall submit the case to the COSPAR Council for discussion and decision by vote. A two-thirds majority of votes cast, excluding abstentions, shall be required for the application to be approved.

II.    RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF COSPAR MEMBERS

II.1.        To be informed about all COSPAR activities.

II.2.        To make available and/or to participate in evaluating and disseminating scientific information resulting from space research.

II.3.        To appoint a representative to COSPAR whose rights and duties shall include:

a) to facilitate the regular flow of information between COSPAR and the National Scientific Institution or International Scientific Union which s/he represents,

b) membership in the Council, as a representative of his/her National Scientific Institution or International Scientific Union, including participation in discussions conducted in Council meetings, with voting rights on behalf of his/her Institution or Union at such meetings.

II.4.        The Member National Scientific Institutions shall have voting rights on the Council on all matters. Conversely the Member International Scientific Unions shall have voting rights on the Council only on matters that do not involve income or expenditure of money by COSPAR, or expenditure of money by the Member National Scientific Institutions.

II.5.        Member International Scientific Unions shall have the right, and shall be encouraged, to appoint liaison representatives to the Executive Groups of COSPAR Scientific Commissions (each Union or semiautonomous part of a Union shall be allowed one liaison representative to each Scientific Commission) if, in the opinion of the International Scientific Union, this will ensure good coordination of related activities.

II.6.        The Member National Scientific Institutions shall contribute to the financial support of COSPAR as determined by the budget recommended by the Bureau and approved by the Council. The contribution amount for a given Member National Scientific Institution shall be based on the membership category to which the Institution belongs which shall correspond to the country’s scientific space activity.

II.7.        In the event that a Member National Scientific Institution should fail to pay contributions for a three year period, its membership will be automatically suspended until such time as the contributions for the said period are paid. Any further decision will be left to the Bureau.

III.    NOMINATION COMMITTEE

III.1.       A Nomination Committee of five members shall be elected by the Council for a term of four years from a slate of candidates to be presented by the President and which may be amended by the Council. Motions for amendments may come from the floor and must be supported, also from the floor, by at least two other members of the Council.

III.2.       Following their election, the Nomination Committee shall elect from among its members a chair who shall be responsible for the proper functioning of the Committee. Election of the chair shall be organized by the Secretariat (see below article V.8) within three months.

III.3.       The Nomination Committee may include members who are not members of the Council.

III.4.       No member of the Bureau may be a member of the Nomination Committee.

III.5.       Members of the Nomination Committee are not eligible for re-election immediately consecutive to their term of office, except members appointed by the President of COSPAR according to articles III.10 or III.11.

III.6.       The Nomination Committee shall prepare a slate, or slates, of candidates for each office to be filled (President, Vice-Presidents, Bureau members, Finance Committee chair and members). The slates shall include a sufficient number of candidates for each office to provide Council members a choice of candidates. The slates of candidates shall include scientists from the widest possible range of both nationality and scientific expertise. These slates will be based primarily on candidates’ submissions by the National or Union Representatives, by the Commission Chairs or on individuals identified by the Nomination Committee members. Attention should also be paid to gender balance.

III.7.       No member of the Nomination Committee may appear on the slates of candidates presented by the Nomination Committee to the Council.

III.8.       The chair of the Nomination Committee shall ascertain whether a candidate is willing to serve as an officer of COSPAR in the post for which s/he is to be nominated. Candidates for the offices of the President of COSPAR and the Chair of the Finance Committee shall be asked to consider paragraphs IV.2 and IV.5, respectively, of the By-Laws before agreeing to their nomination.

III.9.       The quorum of the Nomination Committee shall consist of three members in addition to the chair.

III.10.    In the event that the chair of the Nomination Committee is unable to carry out his/her responsibilities, the President of COSPAR shall, in consultation with representatives of National Scientific Institutions and International Scientific Unions, appoint a new member to the Nomination Committee. The President shall also request the Secretariat to organize the election of the new chair of the so completed committee from among its members.

III.11.    In the event that one or more member(s) of the Nomination Committee is (are) unable to carry out his/her (their) responsibilities, the President of COSPAR shall, in consultation with representatives of National Scientific Institutions and International Scientific Unions, appoint a new member (new members) to the Nomination Committee to complete the membership to five.

IV.    ELECTIONS BY THE COUNCIL

IV.1.      The President of COSPAR shall be elected for a term of four years from a list of internationally recognized space scientists submitted by the Nomination Committee to the members of the Council at least two months before the election, which will be held by correspondence with a deadline for receipt of voting bulletins of one month before the Council meeting. The Secretariat will be responsible for the practical organization of the election of the President. Candidates selected by the Nomination Committee for the position of President will be interviewed by the Bureau at its last meeting before the election. They will also be asked to provide a written statement to be distributed to the members of the Council in support of their candidacy.

IV.2.      Upon his/her election to office, the President shall become independent and act only on behalf of COSPAR. S/he shall neither represent any of the Member National Scientific Institutions and International Scientific Unions, nor be chair or officer of any of COSPAR’s Commissions or the Awards and Nomination committees (see below XIII.4).

IV.3.      Two Vice-Presidents shall be elected for a term of four years from among the representatives of the National Scientific Institutions and International Scientific Unions from a list of nominees provided by the Nomination Committee, after consideration of the results of the election of the President.

IV.4.      Six other members of the Bureau shall be elected for a term of four years from among the representatives of the National Scientific Institutions and International Scientific Unions from a list (or lists) provided by the Nomination Committee.

IV.5.      The Chair and members of the Finance Committee shall be elected for terms of four years from lists provided by the Nomination Committee. Upon election, the Chair of the Finance Committee shall become independent and act only on behalf of COSPAR. S/he shall neither represent any of the Member National Scientific Institutions or International Scientific Unions, nor be a chair or officer of any of COSPAR’s Commissions or subsidiary bodies other than the Finance Committee.

IV.6.      Two non-voting tellers will be appointed by the Secretariat to count ballots and to verify the results announced by the President.

IV.7.      Those elected shall continue to serve until their successors have been duly elected and have agreed to serve. Vacancies arising during interim periods shall be filled for the remainder of the term by nomination and election as specified in paragraphs IV.3-5 above, except for vacancy in the office of the President which shall be filled according to paragraphs V.4-6 of the By-Laws.

IV.8.      All officers elected by the Council may be re-elected once for a second term of four years.

IV.9.      At the end of their term(s) officers elected by the Council may only be elected to a higher position in the same body.

V.    RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF BUREAU MEMBERS

V.1.       The President shall be an ex-officio member of all COSPAR Committees, Commissions, and subsidiary bodies, except the Awards Committee and the Nomination Committee.

V.2.       The President shall have voting rights on the Council on all matters that do not involve expenditure of money by Member National Scientific Institutions. In addition, the President, as chair of the Council, shall have the casting vote, irrespective of the matter being put to vote.

V.3.       The President shall preside at all meetings of the Council and the Bureau and conduct the affairs of COSPAR between such meetings. The President will work with the Bureau to define oversight responsibility for various COSPAR activities by Bureau members.

V.4.       In the event that the President is unable to carry out his/her responsibilities, or should s/he fail to discharge his/her responsibilities and the Bureau decide to put an end to his/her term, the two Vice-Presidents shall alternate as Principal Vice-Presidents and, as such, shall assume the responsibilities of the office of the President. The office of the Principal Vice-President shall alternate every six months with the older Vice-President holding office during the first six months.

V.5.       It shall be the responsibility of the Principal Vice-President to convene, or consult electronically with, the Council at the first opportunity for the purpose of electing a new President.

V.6.       In the event that the President and Vice-Presidents are unable to discharge their responsibilities, the Bureau shall take the steps necessary to ensure the continued activity of COSPAR.

V.7.       Bureau members other than the President shall have voting rights on the Council in their capacity as National Scientific Institution or International Scientific Union representatives, according to paragraphs II.4 and II.5 of the By-Laws.

V.8.       The COSPAR Secretariat is charged with the daily operation of COSPAR activities. The Secretariat provides support to the Council, the Bureau, and other subsidiary bodies (see below paragraphs XIII.4 and XIII.5). It is placed under the responsibility of an Executive Director recruited by the Bureau through an open call to the international space research community.

VI.    RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF SCIENTIFIC COMMISSION CHAIRS

VI.1.      Scientific Commission Chairs shall be informed about and take part in all Council activities and discussions, and represent their Commissions on the Council. They may vote on the Council on all matters, including the election of the President, Vice-Presidents, and members of the Bureau, except: those involving income or expenditure by COSPAR, or expenditure of money by the Member National Scientific Institutions, and the election of the Finance Committee Chair and members.

VI.2.      Scientific Commission Chairs shall ensure that the activities of their Commissions be conducted in an orderly way, including, among others, election of officers, preparation of scientific programs, publication as appropriate of the papers resulting from scientific sessions and meetings organized fully or in part by their Commissions. Care will be taken in the election of Commission and Sub-Commission officers to ensure the widest possible range of both nationality and scientific expertise as well as an adequate gender balance.

VI.3.      Scientific Commission Chairs shall be required to report on the activities of their respective Commissions to the Bureau, the CSAC (see below XIII.5) and the Council, to contribute to COSPAR reports to external bodies, and to make recommendations for awards as appropriate.

VI.4.      In the event that the Chair of a Scientific Commission should be unable to discharge his/her responsibilities, the Executive Group of the given Scientific Commission (see paragraph XI.7 of the By-Laws) shall elect from among the Executive Group a new chair who will serve until the next regular meeting of the given Scientific Commission.

VII.    RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIR

VII.1.     The Finance Committee Chair shall be informed about and take part in all Council and Bureau activities and discussions and report the recommendations of his/her Committee to the Bureau and the Council.

VII.2.     The Finance Committee Chair shall have voting rights on all matters on the Council, except those involving the finances of COSPAR or Member National Scientific Institutions.

VII.3.     The Chair shall ensure that Finance Committee activities be conducted in an orderly way, that the said Committee be fully informed on all aspects of COSPAR income and expenditure, and that it formulate short and long term financial plans for submission to the Bureau and the Council.

VIII.    RULES OF ORDER OF COUNCIL AND BUREAU SESSIONS

VIII.1.   A quorum of the Council shall consist of not less than fifty per cent of members holding voting rights on the matter under consideration.

VIII.2.   Any member of the Council who is prevented from attending part of the meeting (either part of a session or a complete session which is part of the meeting), may delegate his/her voting power by proxy to another member of the Council or to another representative of his/her National Scientific Institution or International Scientific Union. The President shall be notified of this act in writing (including through electronic communication means) before the beginning of the session.

VIII.3.   Proxy holders as defined in paragraph 2 above shall be included in determining a quorum of the Council.

VIII.4.   At Council meetings, votes may be cast only by persons who are present.

VIII.5.   A quorum of the Bureau shall consist of not less than fifty percent of its membership. Any member of the Bureau unable to attend the Bureau meeting may delegate his/her voting power by proxy to another member of the Bureau. The President shall be notified of this act in writing before the beginning of the Bureau meeting. A vote by proxy shall not be included when determining a quorum of the Bureau. At Bureau meetings, votes may only be cast by members who are present.

VIII.6.   Majority vote on the Council. Official decisions by the Council shall be made by a simple majority vote of those voting for or against each motion, except in the following cases:

(1) motions as to modification or changes in the COSPAR Charter (see Charter, paragraph VI.3) or the COSPAR By-Laws

(2) financial matters pertaining to Member National ScientificInstitutions, and

(3) motions concerning the admission of new Members in cases as defined in paragraph I.3 of the By-Laws.

In these cases a two-thirds majority of those voting for or against the motion shall be required. Abstentions from voting shall not be considered in determining the majority action but may be entered in the records if so desired by the abstaining Council members.

VIII.7.   Majority vote in the Bureau. Official decisions of the Bureau shall be made by a two-thirds majority of votes cast for or against each motion. Abstentions from the voting shall not be considered in determining the majority action but may be entered in the records if so desired by the abstaining Bureau members.

VIII.8.   The Council shall meet at least once every two years usually during COSPAR Scientific Assemblies.

VIII.9.   The Bureau shall normally meet once a year. Other meetings may be called by the President, as necessary.

VIII.10.An agenda shall be prepared by the Secretariat under the direction of the President for each meeting of the Council and the Bureau, and shall be distributed to the members of the respective body at least three weeks prior to the meeting. Amendments to the agenda for such a meeting may be proposed by any member of the respective body who is present at the meeting. These amendments may be adopted by a simple majority of votes cast, excluding abstentions. All documents relevant to expected votes must be made available at least two weeks prior to the meeting.

VIII.11.Bureau and Council meeting reports shall be circulated to all members of the respective bodies present at the relevant meeting for approval. If the Secretariat does not receive any specific objections or recommendations to amend the draft report within one month of the transmittal date, these reports shall be considered approved as written. Following approval, the reports of both Bureau and Council meetings shall be distributed to all members of the Council.

IX.    ASSOCIATES

IX.1.      Any scientist or individual interested in space research becomes a COSPAR Associate by attending a COSPAR biennial Assembly or a COSPAR event involving registration or by communicating his/her interest to the Secretariat.

IX.2.      Each Associate shall be a member of at least one and not more than three of the COSPAR Scientific Commissions.

IX.3.      Associate status shall be retained for five years after attending a COSPAR biennial Assembly or a COSPAR event involving registration, but may be extended if the Secretariat has received updated contact information.

IX.4.      The rights and duties of associates include:

a) to be informed regarding, and take part in, the scientific activities of COSPAR, in particular, the Scientific Commission(s) of which s/he is a member,

b) to attend the scientific meetings and the open business meetings of these Commission(s), take part in the discussions conducted therein, and

c) to vote on all matters brought to a vote at these meetings.

X.    ASSOCIATED SUPPORTERS

X.1.       The honorary status of COSPAR Associated Supporter may be accorded to duly constituted legal entities or individuals. Such entities and persons wishing to become COSPAR Associated Supporters must request this status in writing to the President through the Secretariat and pay an adherence fee.

X.2.       Several categories of COSPAR Associated Supporter may be defined by the Bureau.

X.3.       The status of COSPAR Associated Supporter shall be recognized by COSPAR in its publications and public events. Associated Supporters may use the title “COSPAR Associated Supporter,” in their public activities for the totality of the period for which the adherence fee is paid.

X.4.       Adherence fees for each category of Associated Supporter will be determined by the President of COSPAR acting on the advice of the Bureau.

X.5.       COSPAR Associated Supporters shall be informed of all the Committee’s scientific programs and activities. Scientific Assembly and Colloquium registration fees shall be waived for COSPAR Associated Supporters for these events which are held during the period for which the adherence fee was paid. For legal entities the registration fee shall be waived for one representative only.

X.6.       The President will listen to the views of Associated Supporters on COSPAR policies and activities. In case of need, a formal response shall be provided after an appropriate discussion by the Council.

X.7.       Associated Supporters shall be invited as observers to Council meetings.

XI.    SCIENTIFIC COMMISSIONS

XI.1.      Scientific Commissions may be established, modified, or discontinued at any time by the Council upon recommendation of the Bureau.

XI.2.      Scientific Commissions shall be established for indefinite periods, subject to the limitations in XI.1.

XI.3.      The membership of a Scientific Commission shall consist of those associates who have declared their interest in being active in the given Scientific Commission.

XI.4.      Official decisions of Scientific Commissions shall be made by simple majority votes cast for or against each motion, except in the case of resolutions to be transmitted by the Council to outside parties. Such resolutions shall be endorsed in writing by a majority of Commission members present.

XI.5.      Each Scientific Commission shall elect a Chair and three Vice-Chairs from among its members for periods not longer than four years. They shall be elected by members of the given Scientific Commission who are attending the open business meeting of the Commission. Scientific Commission Chairs and Vice-Chairs may be re-elected once for a second term of no longer than four years.

XI.6.      Elections shall be from a list of nominees (see VI.2 above) proposed by the Executive Group of the given Scientific Commission (see the next paragraph) in consultation with that Commission’s members, and individuals elected must be confirmed by the Bureau.

XI.7.      The Executive Group of a Scientific Commission shall consist of the Chair, the three Vice-Chairs and the Chairs of the Sub-Commissions established by the given Scientific Commission.

XI.8.      Scientific Commissions shall meet normally during the COSPAR Scientific Assemblies.

XI.9.      Actions by Scientific Commissions which may affect or involve individuals or groups outside COSPAR shall be subject to approval of the Bureau prior to execution.

XI.10.   Reports of the open business meetings of the Scientific Commissions shall be prepared by the Chairs of the Scientific Commissions and presented to the Council.

XI.11.   At the end of their term(s) Scientific Commission officers may only be elected to a higher position in the same body.

XII.    SUB-COMMISSIONS AND TASK GROUPS

XII.1.     Sub-Commissions and Task Groups may be established, modified, or discontinued by Scientific Commissions. Such actions shall require both a majority vote of the Scientific Commission and approval of the Bureau.

XII.2.     Should two or more Scientific Commissions wish to establish, modify, or discontinue a common Sub-Commission or Task Group, approval both by majority votes cast separately in each Scientific Commission interested in the given Sub-Commission or Task Group, and by the Bureau shall be required.

XII.3.     A Scientific Commission may wish to withdraw from a Sub-Commission or Task Group that it has supported in common with another (other) Scientific Commission(s). For that action a majority vote of the Scientific Commission wishing to withdraw and the approval of the Bureau shall be required.

XII.4.     Sub-Commissions shall be established for indefinite periods, subject to the limitations in XII.1.

XII.5.     Each Sub-Commission shall be headed by a Chair the nomination and election procedure of whom shall be regulated by the Scientific Commission(s) which has (have) established the given Sub-Commission.

XII.6.     The Chair of a Sub-Commission shall be elected for a period not longer than four years. S/he may be re-elected once for a second term not longer than four years.

XII.7.     At the end of their term(s) Sub-Commission officers may only be elected to a higher position in the same body.

XII.8.     Task Groups shall be established for well-defined periods, usually for three to five years. After this time period has elapsed, the Task Group shall be automatically dissolved. However, a Task Group’s activity may be prolonged for a further well-defined period by the Bureau on the recommendation, by majority vote(s), of the Scientific Commission(s) that established the given Task Group.

XII.9.     Members and officers of a given Task Group shall be appointed by the Chair (Chairs) of the Scientific Commission(s) to which the Task Group belongs, subject to the approval of the Scientific Commission(s) at its (their) open business meeting(s).

XII.10.  Actions by Sub-Commissions and/or Task Groups which may affect or involve individuals or groups outside COSPAR shall be subject to approval both of the relevant Scientific Commission(s) and the Bureau prior to execution.

XIII.    SUBSIDIARY BODIES

XIII.1.   Panels on topics of interdisciplinary interest, or involving participation from experts from disciplines not represented within Scientific Commissions, ad hocCommittees, and other subsidiary bodies may be established, modified, or discontinued at any time by the Bureau.

XIII.2.   The period for which the subsidiary body is established shall be determined by the Bureau. The period may be indefinite.

XIII.3.   The Chairs, other officers (as needed), and members of subsidiary bodies shall be appointed by the Bureau for the period of the (rest of the) mandate of the subsidiary body, or four years, whichever is shorter. Chairs, officers, and members of subsidiary bodies may be re-appointed by the Bureau once for a second term lasting until the end of the mandate of the subsidiary body, or four years, whichever is shorter. In the case of highly specialized Panels additional terms shall be considered by the Bureau on an exceptional basis.

XIII.4.   Among the subsidiary bodies of COSPAR there shall be a Committee on Publications and a Committee on Awards. These shall be standing committees (i.e. established for indefinite periods).

XIII.5.   The COSPAR Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC) is established to advise the President and Bureau on scientific matters. The CSAC chair, membership and terms of office are determined with due consideration of nationality, scientific interest and gender balance by the President who informs the Bureau. The President also defines the agenda of the CSAC annual meetings in consultation with the CSAC chair. The President, Vice-Presidents and Scientific Commission Chairs are ex-officio members of the CSAC. The CSAC chair reports to the Bureau on the findings and recommendations of the committee.

XIV.    OTHER RULES

XIV.1.   The Bureau and/or the Council may, in accordance with the COSPAR Charter and By-Laws, establish further rules governing COSPAR activities and change or invalidate existing ones. Such actions shall become effective immediately unless specified otherwise.

XIV.2.   Any rules established, changed, or invalidated by the Bureau shall be reported to the Council at the next regular Council Meeting.

XIV.3.   All rules established, changed, or invalidated by the Bureau and/or the Council shall be entered into a procedures book for easy reference.

XV.    CHANGES IN THE BY-LAWS

Rules for changing the COSPAR By-Laws shall be the same as those of changing the COSPAR Charter (see Section VI of the Charter), with the exception that approval of ICSU shall not be required. Changes shall be effective immediately upon close of the Council meeting at which approval occurs, unless specified otherwise.