Classes of membership
1. The membership of the association may consist of ordinary members and any of the following members:
- associate members;
- honorary members;
- registrar and trainee members;
- life members.
2. The number of ordinary members is unlimited.
Ordinary membership qualifications
3. A person is qualified to be an ordinary member of the association if, and only if:
- the person is a person referred to in section 15 (1) (a), (b) or (c) of the Act and has not ceased to be a member of the association at any time after incorporation of the association under the Act; or
- the person is a natural person:
(i) who has been nominated for membership of the association as provided by rule 5; and
(ii) who has been approved for membership of the association by the committee of the association.
Associate, honorary, Registrar and Trainee, and life membership qualifications
4. A person is qualified to be a honorary, associate and life member of the association as determined by the committee from time to time.
Nomination for membership
5 (a). A nomination of a person for membership of the association:
- must be made by a member of the association in writing in the form set out in Appendix 1 to these rules; and
- must be lodged with the secretary of the association.
5 (b). As soon as practicable after receiving a nomination for membership, the secretary must refer the nomination to the committee which is to determine whether to approve or to reject the nomination.
5 (c). If the committee determines to approve a nomination for membership, the secretary must, as soon as practicable after that determination, notify the nominee of that approval and request the nominee to pay (within the period of 28 days after receipt by the nominee of the notification) the sum payable under these rules by a member as entrance fee and annual subscription.
5 (d). The secretary must, on payment by the nominee of the amounts referred to in clause 5 (c) within the period referred to in that clause, enter the nominee’s name in the register of members and, on the name being so entered, the nominee becomes a member of the association.
Cessation of membership
6. A person ceases to be a member of the association if the person:
- dies; or
- resigns membership; or
- is expelled from the association.
Membership entitlements not transferable
7. A right, privilege or obligation which a person has by reason of being a member of the association:
- is not capable of being transferred or transmitted to another person; and
- terminates on cessation of the person’s membership.
Resignation of membership
8 (a). A member of the association is not entitled to resign that membership except in accordance with this rule.
8 (b). A member of the association who has paid all amounts payable by the member to the association in respect of the member’s membership may resign from membership of the association by first giving to the secretary written notice of at least one month (or such other period as the committee may determine) of the member’s intention to resign and, on the expiration of the period of notice, the member ceases to be a member.
8 (c). If a member of the association ceases to be a member under clause (b), and in every other case where a member ceases to hold membership, the secretary must make an appropriate entry in the register of members recording the date on which the member ceased to be a member.
Register of members
9 (a). The public officer of the association must establish and maintain a register of members of the association specifying the name and address of each person who is a member of the association together with the date on which the person became a member.
9 (b). The register of members must be kept at the principal place of administration of the association and must be open for inspection, free of charge, by any member of the association at any reasonable hour.
Fees and subscriptions
10 (a). A member of the association must, on admission to membership, pay to the association a fee of $1 or, if some other amount is determined by the committee, that other amount.
10 (b). In addition to any amount payable by the member under clause (b), a member of the association must pay to the association an annual membership fee of $220 (+GST) or, if some other amount is determined by the committee, that other amount
- except as provided by paragraph (ii), before 1 July in each calendar year, or
- if the member becomes a member on or after 1 July in any calendar year – on becoming a member and before 1 July in each succeeding calendar year.
11. The liability of a member of the association to contribute towards the payment of the debts and liabilities of the association or the costs, charges and expenses of the winding up of the association is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid by the member in respect of membership of the association as required by rule 8.
Resolution of internal disputes
12 (a). Disputes between members (in their capacity as members) of the association, and disputes between members and the association, are to be referred to the committee for resolution.
12 (b). If there is no resolution of the dispute referred to in clause 1 by the committee, the dispute shall be referred to a single arbitrator whose decision shall be final and binding on all parties.
12 (c). The single arbitrator referred to in clause 2 above is to be a legal practitioner agreed to by the parties. If there is no agreement as to the arbitrator, then an arbitrator shall be nominated by the President of the Law Society.
Disciplining of members
13 (a). A complaint may be made by any member of the association that some other member of the association:
- has persistently refused or neglected to comply with a provision or provisions of these rules; or
- has persistently and wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interests of the association.
13 (b). On receiving such a complaint, the committee:
- must cause notice of the complaint to be served on the member concerned; and
- must give the member at least 14 days from the time the notice is served within which to make submissions to the committee in connection with the complaint; and
- must take into consideration any submissions made by the member in connection with the complaint.
13 (c). The committee may, by resolution, expel the member from the association or suspend the member from membership of the association if, after considering the complaint and any submissions made in connection with the complaint, it is satisfied that the facts alleged in the complaint have been proved.
13 (d). If the committee expels or suspends a member, the secretary must, within 7 days after the action is taken, cause written notice to be given to the member of the action taken, of the reasons given by the committee for having taken that action and of the member’s right of appeal under rule 14.
13 (e). The expulsion or suspension does not take effect:
- until the expiration of the period within which the member is entitled to appeal against the resolution concerned; or
- if within that period the member exercises the right of appeal, unless and until the association confirms the resolution under rule 14 (d), whichever is the later.
Right of appeal of disciplined member
14 (a). A member may appeal to the association in general meeting against a resolution of the committee under rule 13, within 7 days after notice of the resolution is served on the member, by lodging with the secretary a notice to that effect.
14 (b). The notice may, but need not, be accompanied by a statement of the grounds on which the member intends to rely for the purposes of the appeal.
14 (c). On receipt of a notice from a member under clause (a), the secretary must notify the committee, which is to convene a general meeting of the association to be held within 28 days after the date on which the secretary received the notice.
14 (d). At a general meeting of the association convened under clause (c):
- no business other than the question of the appeal is to be transacted; and
- the committee and the member must be given the opportunity to state their respective cases orally or in writing, or both; and
- the members present are to vote by secret ballot on the question of whether the resolution should be confirmed or revoked.
14 (e). If at the general meeting the association passes a special resolution in favour of the confirmation of the resolution, the resolution is confirmed.