AFOHR ByLaws approved by all members in January 2019. Modified by the Board on 14/04/2019 with minor amendments not requiring the vote of a General Assembly (change of acronym from FOD4HR – DentifyMe to AFOHR Association Forensic Odontology For Human Rights)
“Forensic Odontology for Human Rights – AFOHR”
(updated on the 14 of April 2019)
TITLE I. NAME, SEAT
An international association with humanitarian and scientific purpose is being established under the name “Association of Forensic Odontology for Human Rights”. The official acronym is “AFOHR”. Logo of the Association on the left.
TITLE II. OBJECTIVE OF THE ASSOCIATION
2.1 The association is a membership organization that is independent, non-political and non-profit. 2.2 The association is established for the purpose of:
– Fostering the exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge in the fields of Forensic Odontology, Human Rights, Ethics and all disciplines involved in criminal investigations and human rights violations;
– Promote research, education and other scholarly activities, thereby increasing the available
resources in these disciplines;
– Promote the development of public and international policies that advocate for human rights applied to forensic sciences where dental evidence is involved.
2.3 The association strives to realize these objectives through a variety of activities. Such activities may include but are not limited to, conferences, meetings, publications, training, contacts with other organizations, also by establishing common study groups, working groups and scientific support.
2.4 The association can also provide support in field operations related to humanitarian forensic action.
TITLE III. MEMBERS OF THE ASSOCIATION
3.1 Individual membership is open to all professionals interested in or concerned with the objectives of the Association.
3.2 Membership can be individual members (physical persons) or institutional members.
3.3 The association has the following categories of members:
– Member, participating Odontologist
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– Member, participating Dental Auxiliary and Dental professionals
– Member, institutional Organization
– Member, sustaining/supportive/contributing Member
– Honorary Member (without voting rights)
4.1 The association has a registry of “Consultants”. In order to be eligible as Consultant, Members must fulfill one or more of the following requirements: at least 5 years of experience and practice in forensic case-work applied to forensic odontology and/or human rights investigations; qualifications in the area of forensic odontology; networking skills and experience in the field of forensic sciences applied to humanitarian or human rights investigations.
4.2 The association will set up a “Humanitarian Forensic Dental Team” for the purposes of possible field deployment. In order to be included in a Team, Members must be appointed also as “consultant” in the AFOHR Registry; have experience and familiarity with disaster victim identification; have experience and training in field deployment and accept a deployment on self- financing basis, unless reimbursements are provided by donations or other inviting organizations. 4.3 Members involved must purchase insurance prior to any deployment, as AFOHR will not indemnify any member unless otherwise agreed to with the entity requiring our services.
5.1 Any person interested in becoming a member of the association must submit a request to the Board and include a professional curriculum vitae and a picture portrait. A reference from an AFOHR member, place of work/organisation is advisable but not compulsory. The acceptance in based on the following criteria: Acceptance is decided by the Board. Once accepted, the member authorizes the use of personal data (picture, professional competences, contact numbers and addresses). Each candidate, whose membership request is rejected by the Board, can appeal that decision, which appeal shall be decided on by the General Assembly.
5.2 Members may be required to pay annual dues, the amount of which shall be determined by the General Assembly, following proposal by the Board. The actual annual dues is set to zero.
Each member can cancel his/her membership at any moment in time by notifying the President/Chairman. In this event, the member will have to pay all the dues, where applicable.
7.1 Members conduct must honour the goals and objectives of the Association. At the proposal of the Board, the General Assembly can decide to exclude a member, provided the decision is supported with a 2/3rds majority of the votes from present or presented members.
7.2 A member can be excluded only after having been informed in writing stating the reasons for this exclusion and after having been provided with the opportunity to challenge the decision.
TITLE IV. ANNUAL MEETING/GENERAL ASSEMBLY
8.1 A meeting and/or general assembly will be held annually in person or online. In principle, it shall convene in conjunction with the AAFS American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting and/or INTERPOL Annual Meeting or other International Forensic meetings.
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8.2 The President or the Past-President chairs the meetings.
8.3 Extraordinary meetings of the General Assembly shall be convened if a minimum of 20% of the members of the association request it. Such meetings shall be valid only if attended by a minimum of 20% of the members, including a majority of the officers of the Board, or if attended by at least 40% of members of the association.
8.4 Notice of all General Assembly meetings, as determined by the Board, will be sent to each member at least 30 days in advance electronically.
8.5 An agenda for the meeting, setting out the items to be discussed, propositions to be considered, and officers to be elected, shall be determined by the Board and dispatched.
9.1 The General Assembly can be also held online using appropriate technology available to all Members.
9.2 The General Assembly has the right to:
a. approval of the budget and books, if present;
b. election and termination of members of the Board;
c. changes of the Bylaws;
d. dissolution of the Association;
e. appeals against decisions by the Board whenever the By-Law allows for such an appeal;
f. all other matters not within the statutory powers of the Board as specified in the Bylaw.
10.1 The vote of each member weighs equally. Honorary Members cannot vote but can participate in the Meetings/Assembly.
10.2 Members shall vote in person anonymously, in writing or through a certified online tool. Voting by proxy is not allowed.
10.3 Written votes are valid if the member is present physically, otherwise an electronic vote is acceptable through a certified non-modifiable online means.
10.4 Except for the removal of members of the Board, amendments to this Bylaw, or the dissolution of the association, all decisions and elections during the General Assembly will be made by a simple majority of the voting members electronically.
10.5 In case of a tie, the vote of the President is decisive.
11.1 The following business shall be transacted at an ordinary meeting of the General Assembly:
a. review and approval of all reports from the Board, including accounts and balance sheets, if present.
b. ratification or otherwise, if necessary, of decisions taken by the Board.
c. election of the members of the Board.
11.2 All members are entitled to submit to the Board items or propositions for the agenda no later than 30 days prior to the meeting. Similar submissions may be condensed into one item on the agenda.
11.3 If a submission for the inclusion of additional agenda items or propositions is seconded by no less than 5% of the members of the association, the items and propositions must be added by the Board to the agenda.
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11.4 All members shall be entitled to be present and to speak at meetings of the General
11.5 In the event that one or more specific issues within the statutory power of the General Assembly must be decided upon urgently, the Board is entitled to arrange for a vote by the General Assembly on these issues electronically.
TITLE V. THE EXECUTIVE BOARD AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS
12.1 The Executive Board has the fiduciary responsibility of the association and consists of:
12.2 The Board of Directors is composed of a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 11 members. The Board must have an odd number of members.
12.3 Persons seeking office on the Board shall:
a. be individual members of the association; institutional members cannot be elected to the Executive Board;
b. be a member of the association for no less than two consecutive years;
c. express both willingness and ability to effectively fulfil the tasks assigned to the Board;
d. have access to e-mail, internet and mobile phone applications.
12.4 Candidates for Board of Directors shall be proposed by the Board.
12.5 Nominations and self-nominations shall be forwarded to the Board no later than 30 days prior to the next business meeting of the General Assembly.
12.6 Elections will take place every two years. All members of the Executive Board and Board of Directors shall be elected during a General Assembly. The election of Board and Board of Directors Members can also be conducted online sending to each member unique credentials to express a vote.
12.7 The term of office is two years for all members. Members can serve only two consecutive terms in each office position.
12.8 Should the President be unable to complete the term of office, the President-Elect shall immediately succeed to this office, serving as President until the term ends.
12.9 Should one of the Board members be unable to complete his/her term of office, the Board shall appoint another Board officer for the remainder of his/her elected term or use the ballot system to realize an election of new Board members.
12.10 Upon founding the Association, the offices of President, Past-President and President-Elect/Vice-President will be assumed by the three founding members, who will be appointed as President and two Vice-Presidents. If the founding President is re-elected consecutively the position of Past-President will be appointed as Vice-President
13.1 The Board shall:
a. Decide membership issues as described elsewhere in the By Law.
b. Prepare the meetings of the General Assembly.
c. Execute the decisions of the General Assembly and report to it.
d. Have final responsibility for the initiation and coordination of all activities of the association.
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13.2 The Board shall be convened at least twice each year. Meetings by telephone conference call or electronic media shall be valid meetings. If the meeting occurs fully via written or electronic means, the conditions for voting by ballot as described in article 11 must be met. The announcement of the meeting shall be sent via e-mail or any other means of communication.
13.3 The Board of Directors shall:
a. Manage the affairs of the association and represent the association in any legal or extralegal activity.
b. The Board of Directors is empowered to undertake all managerial and administrative actions which Bylaws are explicitly assigned to the General Assembly.
c. On request of the majority of the Board and/or the President, express opinion on special decisions to be taken for the interest of the Association. Positions or decisions of the Board of Directors are of non-binding nature, except when taken with unanimity and the approval of the majority of the Executive Board.
ARTICLE 14. THE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENT-ELECT
14.1. The President, with the collaboration of the President-Elect and Past-President shall have general supervision over the organization, the scientific contents of international meetings/events arranged in the name of or under the sponsorship of the association.
14.2. The President shall preside at all meetings of the General Assembly and the Board. In the absence of the President, the chair shall be taken by the President-Elect followed by the Past- President, Secretary or Treasurer.
14.3 The President shall represent the association in all formal communications, agreements, contracts or transactions of the association.
14.4 The President shall represent the Association also in accordance with the opinion expressed by the Board of Directors, when present or requested by the Board.
14.5 The President shall act as the primary point of contact for the association, responding to all incoming correspondence, with the collaboration of the Secretary.
14.6 The President, in collaboration with the President-Elect, coordinates the activities of the “Humanitarian Forensic Dental Team” of the Association.
ARTICLE 15. THE SECRETARY
15.1 The Secretary shall prepare, coordinate and complete all business meetings of the Board and the General Assembly.
15.2 The Secretary shall produce minutes of all business meetings of the Board and the General Assembly, make these available to the members, and maintain an archive.
15.3 The Secretary shall be responsible for the membership administration and maintain an electronic database of all members.
15.4 The Secretary shall be responsible for the coordination of all activities of the association, specifically all international congresses and any other activities arranged in the name of or under the sponsorship of association.
15.5 The Secretary shall prepare an annual report about the membership and the activities of the association for review and approval by the Board. Upon approval, the Secretary shall communicate these reports to the members.
15.6 At the request of the Treasurer, the Secretary shall assist the Treasurer in the execution of the functions described.
15.7 The Secretary maintains a registry for the Board and for the General Assembly of all decisions, which will be made accessible to the members at the societal seat of the association.
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ARTICLE 16. THE TREASURER
16.1 The Treasurer shall have custody of all funds and other property, grants and assets of the association.
16.2 The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection of the annual dues from all individual and institutional members, when present.
16.3 The Treasurer shall actively invite gifts and other donations to the cause of the association and assist in the procurement of grants.
16.4 The Treasurer shall record in proper books of accounts all assets, goods and monies received and expended.
16.5 The Treasurer shall prepare annual statements of accounts and balance sheets for approval by the Board, and annual accounts and balance sheets for approval by the General Assembly.
16.6 The Treasurer shall provide access to and explanations of all accounts, books and other financial documents to the Financial Review Committee charged with the bi-annual audit of the association’s finances to the General Assembly.
TITLE VI BUDGET AND BOOKKEEPING
17.1 The financial year of the association begins on January 1 and ends on December 31.
17.2 The income of the association shall consist of annual dues, gifts, donations, grants, legacies, subscriptions from members and the sale of publications of the association.
17.3 The Board shall decide on adjustment of annual membership dues.
17.4 The Board shall submit the accounts of the preceding financial year and the budget for the subsequent year to the General Assembly for its approval.
TITLE VII. AMENDMENTS OF THE BYLAWS
18.1 Each proposal to change the Bylaws or to dissolve the association requires 2/3 vote of the membership.
18.2 The Board shall announce at least 30 days in advance the date of the General Assembly at which such a proposal shall be discussed.
18.3 The deliberations of the General Assembly shall be valid only if 20% of the members are represented.
18.4 A decision is valid if reached by a majority of 2/3rds of the votes.
18.5 If during the first meeting of the General Assembly, the quorum of 2/3rd of the members cannot be attained, a second meeting shall be called, following the same procedures as applied to the first meeting. During this second meeting, the General Assembly shall reach a definitive decision regarding the proposal, irrespective the number of members present or represented.
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order newly revised shall govern all meetings in which they are not inconsistent with the laws of any Country.