The International Association of Constitutional Law || l'Association Internationale de Droit Constitutionnel

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As adopted by the Founding Convention for the International Association of Constitutional Law, held in Belgrade, 17‐19 September 1981, and as approved at the IACL Council meeting in Belgrade at the first World Congress from 29 August to 2 September 1983, as well as revised at the IACL Council meetings held during the subsequent World Congresses, in Paris from 31 August to 4 September 1987, in Warsaw from 2 to 5 September 1991, in Tokyo from 25 to 30 September 1995, Rotterdam from 12 to 16 July 1999, in Santiago de Chile, from 12 to  16 January 2004, in Athens, from 11 to 15 June 2007, in Mexico City, from 6‐10 December 2010, in Seoul from 18-22 June 2018 and in Johannesburg from 5-9 December 2022

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Article 1.

All those who adhere voluntarily to this Statute hereby found the association of scholars and others concerned with constitutional law from the whole world. Its name shall be the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW – IACL (in the text below referred to as the Association).

Article 2.

The Association acts as an autonomous, scientific and professional organisation, under the terms of its Statute and within the framework of UNESCO.

Article 3.

The Association’s seat is where the Secretary-General resides. The Council of the Association may determine another place as the headquarters of the Association.


Article 4.

The main objectives of the Association are as follows:

to stimulate the development of the study of constitutional law;

to contact those concerned with constitutional law and national or regional associations of constitutional law, thus developing among them mutual understanding and goodwill, as well as to enable and promote exchanges of views and of scholarly work;

to cooperate and work for realisation of the aims of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to coordinate the activity of those concerned with constitutional law throughout the world, with a view to:

  • stimulating, in the field of constitutional law, theoretical and comparative studies and practical realisation of democratic principles in conformity with the needs of securing peace and peaceful international cooperation;
  • stimulating and giving its contribution to the scholarly study of constitutional problems and of constitutionalism, as well as to respect for law in the world;
  • developing constitutional and democratic conscience;
  • promoting of the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of man and the citizen through constitutional legislation and practice;
  • collaboration with cultural and social forces attached to the promotion of human rights and democracy.

Article 5.

In the realisation of its objectives, the Association particularly will:

organise international scientific congresses and conferences as well as regional symposia on scientific, political and practical problems within the field of constitutional law and of constitutionalism in general;

cooperate with related and other associations, organisations and institutions;

stimulate the founding of national and regional associations of constitutional law;

bring out publications from scientific meetings and help publication of other scholarly works in the field of constitutional law;

stimulate the spread of constitutional science, research and studies especially among young scholars and experts

Article 5(bis).

The IACL has all such powers as are necessary or convenient to carry out its objects and, in particular, the authority:

to enter into contracts;

to open and administer bank accounts as necessary, and perform such functions associated with such accounts as are necessary;

to solicit and accept gifts, grants, devises and bequests, and to act as trustee of money or other property vested in the Association;

to employ staff; and

to engage consultants and professional assistance.


Article 6

The members of the Association are transnational, national and sub‐national associations of constitutional law, scientific institutes active in the field of constitutional law, and individuals, as provided for in Article 6.3.

Any association of constitutional law whose activities and objectives are not contrary to the objectives and the statute of the Association may be a member of the Association.

Scholars of constitutional law or associated disciplines and legal practitioners, including judges, with a demonstrated commitment to constitutional law may be admitted as individual members.

The Council may, in recognition of

distinguished service to the Association, appoint a person as a Life Member of the Association.

Article 7.

The Membership Commission shall consider all applications for membership in the Association in accordance with guidelines set by the Executive Committee.

The final decision on admission is taken by the Executive Committee.

Article 8.

The Executive Committee may suspend members who are more than two years in arrears with the payment of their membership subscriptions and exclude members who have otherwise violated the statute of the Association.

No member may be suspended for non‐ payment of fees unless the member has been given adequate notice of the amount, method and due date for payment of fees.

No member may be excluded from the Association unless the member has been given a reasonable opportunity to respond in writing to the allegations made against him or her.


Article 9.

The organs of the Association are the Council, the president, the Executive Committee, the Secretary-General, the Scientific council and the commissions.

Article 10.

The Council is the supreme organ of the Association.

The Council is composed of two delegates with the right to vote per transnational and national association; one delegate with the right to vote per sub‐national association and scientific institute; and delegates who represent the individual members of countries in which no national association exists. The number of these individual delegates may not exceed 10 per cent of the members of the Council. They are appointed by the Executive Committee after an appeal for candidatures among the individual members who are present at the Congress.

Each national association shall nominate its two representatives and each scientific institute its representative and communicate the names to the Executive Committee before the meeting of the Council. The right to vote at the Council meetings is based upon payment of membership fees since the last Council meeting or since joining the IACL whatever is less.

The members of the Executive Committee and the former presidents of the Association are, by virtue of their positions, members of the Council.

The members of the Scientific Council who are not appointed as delegates may attend the Council while having a consultative role.

Individual members who are present and who are not appointed as delegates may attend the Council while having a consultative role.

The Executive Committee may invite other constitutionalists to attend the Council in their capacity as experts.

The Council takes its decisions by a majority of the members present or represented.

The quorum of the majority is necessary for the validity of the deliberations of the Council. In case the quorum is not reached, a second Council is convened within 48 hours and it deliberates validly provided that a tenth of the members are present or represented. If the number of the individual appointed delegates is lower than the number of delegates they are entitled to, only the first number is taken into account for the calculation of the quorum.

Each delegate cannot have more than one power of attorney of another delegate.

Article 11.

The Council of the Association:

passes and amends the Statute by two‐ thirds majority its members, present at the Council;

takes principal decisions on behalf of the Association;

elects and relieves the president, the first vice‐president and vice‐presidents of the Association, the Executive Committee, the secretary‐general and possibly his or her deputy or deputies and the commissions of their offices by absolute majority of the members present at the Council;

discusses and adopts the reports on the activity of all the organs of the Association.

Article 12.

There shall be a meeting of the Council every four years during the Congress of the Association, or between the Congresses on proposal of the Executive Committee.

Article 13.

The president of the Association is at the same time also chairman of the Council and of the Executive Committee. The president is elected for a period of four years and is not immediately re‐eligible. The first vice‐president and the vice‐presidents are elected for a period of four years and are re‐eligible.

The president represents the Association, convenes the meetings of the Council and of the Executive Committee and presides over them and performs other duties with which he or she is entrusted by the Council.

In case the president is absent, the office shall be occupied by the first vice-president or one of the vice‐presidents of the Association.

Article 14.

The Executive Committee is the executive organ of the Association.

The Executive Committee organises the activity of the Association and manages its affairs under the terms of this Statute and in conformity with the decisions of the Council. In addition, the Executive Committee shall have the power to fill vacancies due to death, incapacity to serve, or resignation of the President, first Vice‐President, Vice‐Presidents, Secretary-General, Deputy Secretaries-General and members of the Executive Committee if and when these occur between meetings of the Council. Any such appointment made by the Executive Committee shall be valid until the next meeting of the Council.

Beside the President, the Executive Committee consists of a first Vice‐ President and 25 to 30 members, including 8 to 10 Vice‐Presidents elected by the Council, taking into account the different legal systems and a proper geographical distribution. No one may serve more than two terms as a member of the Executive Committee, unless (a) he or she is elected Vice-President, in which case he or she may not serve more than two terms as Vice‐President; or, (b) he or she is elected President. The Secretary-General is a member of the Executive Committee as of right.

The Executive Committee can confer the title of President Emeritus to former presidents and the title of honorary president to former members of the Executive Committee who have made an outstanding contribution to the IACL. Former presidents and the presidents of the commissions shall be invited to the meetings of the Executive Committee with a consultative vote.

Following a call, nominations for the position of member of the Executive Committee are submitted to the Secretary-General. They are examined by a commission composed of the President and the First Vice-President, the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretaries-General of the IACL and one member of the Executive Committee from a continent not represented by the ex-officio members of this commission. The Executive Committee deliberates on these proposals, and submits them to the vote of the Council.

On the proposal of a member of the Executive Committee, world-renowned jurists, having made an exceptional contribution to constitutional law, may be co-opted to the Executive Committee as full voting members. Their number cannot exceed six and are additional to the 25-30 EC members specified in point 3 above. These nominations are examined by the Commission provided for in point 5 and a recommendation made to the Executive Committee. Three-fifths of the Executive Committee must then approve this recommendation. The procedure laid down for the election of the members of the Executive Committee through Council is then applicable.

Following a call, nominations for the posts of President and First Vice-President must be submitted to the Secretary-General one year before the outgoing President’s end of term. These nominations will include a brief presentation from each candidate on their proposals for the development of the Association at a meeting of the Executive Committee in the year prior to the World Congress.

A majority of a third part of its members constitutes a quorum of the Executive Committee. In exceptional circumstances a member of the Executive Committee may be represented at a meeting by a proxy, following prior agreement of the President and Secretary-General.

The Executive Committee shall meet once a year.

The Executive Committee shall have the power to co‐opt representatives from other organisations, with whom the IACL has entered into formal co‐ operation agreements, to serve on the Executive Committee.

The nature of the voting rights of persons co‐opted to serve on the Executive Committee shall be determined in accordance with the relevant co‐operation agreement.

If, at the occasion of the election of the Executive Committee, it is established that the principal organiser of the next Congress has not been elected as a member, he or she will become a member as of right. He or she may be elected Vice‐President.

The Executive Committee takes decisions by the majority vote of members present or represented. If it is necessary to take decisions between meetings of the Executive Committee, the President or the Secretary‐General may circulate a draft decision by email or other means. Such a decision will be approved if it is certified jointly by the President and Secretary‐General that the majority of the members of the Executive Committee have expressly agreed to it. Such a decision must be ratified by the Executive Committee at its next meeting.’

Article 15.

The Secretary-General carries out the decisions of the Council, of the Executive Committee and of the president and takes care of the activity of the Association. In agreement with the president, he forms the Secretariat, charged with the performances of administrative and accounting tasks.

The Secretary-General and his or her deputy or deputies are elected by the Council for a period of four years and are eligible for re‐election.

Article 16.

The Council or the Executive Committee may constitute commissions including a Programme commission.

The Council sets up an auditing commission from among its members. This commission checks the financial management of the Association and of the Executive Committee and submits a report to the next Council.

The Scientific Council of the Association consists of the co‐founders of the Association, who are no longer members of the Executive Committee and the former members of the Executive Committee. The chairperson is nominated by the President and is appointed by the Executive Committee

The Scientific Council is the Association’s consultative commission, which can introduce proposals regarding the developments of the scientific activities of the Association. The Council and the Executive Committee can charge the Scientific Council with the research and certain assignments. It will be convened at the invitation of the President of the Association once a year, and on the occasion of the Association’s World Congress.


Article 17.

The Association organises a Congress at least every four years.

The Executive Committee, on proposal of the Programme commission, states the themes and sets the dates of the organisation of the Congress.

Congresses will be held in different areas of the world in turn.


Article 18.

The revenues of the Association are:

annual dues of each member, the amount of which is fixed by the Council;

subvention offered by UNESCO and other international organisations;

income from sales of publications of the Association;

other incomes, grants and gifts.


Article 19.

This Statute will be applied beginning the day when it has been adopted, by a majority vote, by the Initiative Committee for the founding of the International Association of Constitutional Law. The Initiative Committee is constituted as the Founding Convention.

The Statute will be submitted for approval to the first regular meeting of the Council which will be elected under the terms of this Statute

Article 20.

This Statute will be delivered to all national associations of constitutional law and to all individual members.

Article 21.

The Association may be dissolved if three fourths of the members of the Council so agree.

If the Association is dissolved, its assets shall be given to UNESCO.

Article 22.

For the first period, the Executive Committee shall propose the number of national and regional delegates in the Council. For the following periods, the numbers shall be proposed and determined as provided by Article 10, Section 2, of the Statute.

Article 23.

The Initiative Committee has been constituted into the Founding Convention of the Association by a unanimous decision of the present members of the Initiative Committee, a list of members of which is an integral part of the text of this Statute.


  • Adrienne Stone, President
  • Anna Jonsson Cornell, Secretary‐General
  • Johannesburg,  7 December 2022

About the IACL

The overriding objective of the International Associtaion of Constitutional Law (IACL) is to provide a forum in which constitutionalists from all parts of the world can begin to understand each other’s systems, explain and reflect on their own, and engage in fruitful comparison, for a variety of purposes.

More about the IACL

In the last thirty years, new constitutional systems have been developed in all parts of the world. At the same time, more established constitutional systems are facing unprecedented challenges, many of which are associated with the new global order.

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Organs of the IACL

The principal organ of the IACL is the Council, which consists of delegates of the transnational, national and sub-national associations and the scientific institutes that are members of the IACL.

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Statute of the IACL

The Statute of the IACL was adopted by the Founding Convention for the International Association of Constitutional Law, held in Belgrade, 17-19 September 1981.

 Download the Statute

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