Statutes of the Society for Biological Systematics (GfBS)

This text, which is offered in other than the German language, is solely a service for people who don't understand German. The legally binding language is German.

Current statutes: as of September 2004, also available as German (pdf)

Section 1: General

§ 1 Name and Headquarters

The association bears the name “Society for Biological Systematics e. V."

The association is based in Berlin.

The association is hereinafter referred to as the "society".

The association should be entered in the association register.

§ 2 Purpose

The purpose of the society is to scientifically promote research into biological diversity (biodiversity). This includes the taxonomy, phylogenetics and systematics of recent and fossil organisms, including the imparting of relevant knowledge.

To achieve this purpose, the society can hold scientific conferences in which scientific topics of biological systematics are dealt with. In addition, the society can publish scientific publications that represent the biological systematics in public for their promotion at all levels in the sense of the public benefit, contribute to the scientific promotion of the expansion and the development of natural history research collections as well as to the professional qualification of young scientists and members and other relevant contributions (e.g. the formation of scientific working groups for special issues and the non-profit maintenance of the scientific exchange of experience in a national and international context).

§ 3 Charitable Status

The company exclusively and directly pursues charitable purposes within the meaning of the section "tax-privileged purposes" of the tax code in the currently valid version. It is selfless and does not primarily pursue its own economic purposes.

Society funds may only be used for statutory purposes.

The members do not receive any benefits from the society’s funds. No person may be favored by expenses that are alien to the purpose of the company or by disproportionately high remuneration.

Upon termination of membership according to § 10 or upon dissolution of the society, the members have no right to any kind of repayment. There is also no claim to the society's assets.

§ 4 Funds

In order to promote the purposes according to the statutes, the society collects membership fees and can accept inheritances and donations as well as use any other funds it receives.

§ 5 Fiscal year

The financial year is the calendar year.

Section 2: Membership

§ 6 Acquiring Membership

Any natural or legal person or corporate body can become a member of the company, namely:

  • a) Individuals as full members,
  • b) Associations, organizations and social groups as well as companies and other persons under public and private law, including scientific institutes, as collective members.

The application for membership must be sent in writing to the managing director. The entire board decides on the admission.

§ 7 Membership fees

The members are obliged to pay the respective annual membership fee by March 31 of each year. The fee is set by the general meeting. Any reminder fees are borne by the member.

The general assembly can fix fees of different amounts for individual and collective members. It can enable the acquisition of membership for life against a one-time payment of an increased fee. The general assembly can also reduce the fees for certain categories of members.

§ 8 Rights and duties of the members

The members have the right to take part in all events of the society. You have a seat and vote in all general assemblies. Collective members exercise their voting rights through a person authorized by them in writing.

The members are entitled to receive free of charge the journal of the society as well as to the reduced purchase of further publications of the society. The full board decides on the conditions.

The members have the duty to promote the society and its goals and to comply with the statutes.

If a member is more than six months in arrears with his membership fee, his membership rights are suspended until all liabilities have been settled in full.

For legal decisions between the members and the society, the courts at the seat of the society are responsible.

§ 9 Honorary members

The general assembly can appoint persons who have made exceptional contributions to the scientific goals of the society as honorary members. The appointment is made by resolution of a general meeting with a reasoned proposal, signed by a two-thirds majority on the basis of a proposal signed in writing by at least 10 members and submitted to the board of directors.

Honorary members have the same rights as ordinary members; they are not obliged to pay a membership fee.

§ 10 End of membership

Membership ends:

  • a) by the death of the member;
  • b) in the case of collective members with the dissolution of the corporate body;
  • c) by means of a written declaration of resignation at the end of the financial year, which must be received by the managing director by October 31 of the current financial year;
  • d) by exclusion.

The entire board decides on the exclusion. Reasons for exclusion are:

  • a) if the member remains in arrears with the membership fee for more than a year despite two reminders;
  • b) if the member acts contrary to the aspirations of the society or damages its reputation. The person concerned has the right to lodge a complaint at the next general meeting.

Section 3: Management of the society

§ 11 Executive board

The executive board within the meaning of § 26 of the German Civil Code (BGB) are the president, the first vice-president, the second vice-president and the managing director. Two of the members of the executive board are authorized to sign in accordance with § 26 of the BGB.

§ 12 Full executive board

The management of the society is in the hands of the full executive board.

This consists of the executive board, an editor, a treasurer and assessors, the number of whom is determined by the general meeting. They should represent the various disciplines or groups of biological systematics.

The members of the full executive board are active on a voluntary basis.

Their term of office is two years and ends with the election of the next full executive board.

§ 13 Election of the full board

The entire board is elected by the general assembly from among the members.

The election of the members of the board, the editor and the treasurer takes place individually and, if more than one person is standing, in writing and secretly. Whoever has more than half of the valid votes (without taking into account empty votes) is elected. If no one achieves this majority, a runoff election will take place between the two people with the most votes.

The rules of procedure for the society regulate the modalities for nominations for the entire board as well as for the election of the assessors (§17 point 5 (i)). The President, the First Vice-President and the Second Vice-President can only be directly re-elected twice for the same office.

If a member of the full board leaves during the term of office, the latter is entitled to elect a successor. The by-election must be submitted to the next ordinary general meeting for confirmation.

§ 14 Rights and duties of the full board

The president chairs the meetings of the entire board as well as the general assembly. If he/she is unable to attend, the first vice-president will take his/her place. If this is also prevented, the second vice-president will take his/her place.

The managing director takes care of the current business in agreement with the rest of the board. He prepares minutes of every general board meeting and general meeting, which is countersigned by the president.

The editor is responsible for the publication of the society's publications.

The treasurer collects the fees, manages the treasury and administers the society's assets. He takes care of the accounting for the attention of the general assembly and arranges for the auditing of the accounts.

The entire executive board determines its own rules of procedure. It meets at least once a year and takes decisions in the meantime by correspondence. In the case of votes, the majority decides, in the event of a tie, the vote of the president decides.

§ 15 Auditing

The auditor and his deputy are elected annually for one year by the general assembly. They do not have to be members of the society and are not allowed to be members of the full executive board. The auditor or his deputy checks the society's accounts and reports to the general meeting.

Section 4: General meetings

§ 16 Annual meeting

As a rule, a scientific conference takes place annually, the location and date of which must be announced at least two months in advance by means of a suitable announcement.

§ 17 Ordinary general meeting

The ordinary general assembly takes place annually and usually as part of the annual conference. The invitation to the general assembly takes place in writing with an agenda proposal being sent to all members at least four weeks in advance.

The full executive board is obliged to put motions submitted by at least six members on the agenda, provided that these are received by the President at least six weeks before the date of the meeting.

The full executive board reports to the general meeting on the last financial year. It must present and explain the financial audit for this period and read out or have the auditor's report read out.

  • a) The general assembly has a quorum, provided that it has been duly invited.
  • b) The general assembly decides with a simple majority of votes, unless otherwise stipulated in the statutes.

The general meeting

  • a) decides on its own agenda according to the proposal of the full board; The general assembly decides with a three-quarters majority on the inclusion of motions on the matter that were not announced in the agenda proposal,
  • b) receives the activity report of the president, the report of the treasurer and the report of the cash auditor for the previous financial year,
  • c) decides on the discharge of the board and the accounting officer,
  • d) elects the auditor and his deputy,
  • e) decides at the request of the full board on the amount of membership fees for the following year,
  • f) elects the members of the full board when the term of office expires,
  • g) if necessary, assumes all other responsibilities that fall under its responsibility in accordance with these statutes or that are assigned to it by the entire executive board,
  • h) determines the next year's conference location or instructs the board to fix it,
  • i) adopts rules of procedure for the society.

§ 18 Extraordinary general meeting

The full executive board can convene extraordinary general assemblies for special occasions.

He must do this if at least one fifth of the members request it in writing, stating the desired agenda.

The convocation must be made within four weeks of receipt of the application, must contain the place, date and agenda and each member must be notified at least fourteen days in advance.

Section 5: Special provisions

§ 19 Amendment of the statutes

Changes to the statutes require the consent of two thirds of the voting members present at a general meeting.

Requests for changes must be communicated to the members in full, together with the invitation to the general meeting.

Changes to the wording during the general meeting are permitted.

If the judicial or supervisory authorities or the tax office demand formal changes within the framework of the founding business, the executive board will decide on these without the consent of the general meeting.

§ 20 Dissolution

The dissolution of the society can only be decided in a general meeting called for this purpose.

The dissolution resolution requires the approval of two thirds of all voting members, whereby the members who do not appear can vote in writing.

In the event of the dissolution of the society or if tax-privileged purposes cease to exist, the society 's assets, after all liabilities have been covered, go to another scientific corporation or institution recognized as charitable for tax purposes, which has to use the assets exclusively and directly in the scientific sense in accordance with § 2 of the statutes. § 3, clause 4 applies.

Unless otherwise decided by the general assembly, the president and the first vice-president, and if they are unable to do so, the president and the second vice-president are jointly authorized liquidators.