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ISSBD - Constitution


Constitution and By Laws

The International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development was founded in May, 1969. The Society is registered in Amsterdam under Dutch law. Its constitution was ratified in July, 1972 and received the Royal Assent of the Queen of The Netherlands in February, 1973 By-Laws were ratified by the membership of the Society meeting at Pavia, Italy in September, 1977. The latest changes to the By-Laws were approved by the membership by mail ballot in the fall of 1992. The By-Laws and Constitution of the Society are reproduced below. Minor discrepancies between the two documents exist but should be interpreted in favour of the By-Laws.


Article I

Membership and Dues
1) The membership of the Society shall consist of individuals who support the aims of the Society and who satisfy the criteria for membership as stated in the Constitution. Dues shall be determined by the Executive Committee subject to ratification by the Society at a duly constituted business meeting. Variations in dues assessments may be authorized for a spouse and to accommodate to currency restrictions that may exist in certain countries. Each member shall receive such publications as the Executive Committee may designate.
2) Members shall have the right to vote.
3) The membership year shall extend from 1 January until 31 December. Membership dues shall be paid on the first day of each membership year. Membership in the Society shall cease upon failure to pay the annual dues one year after they are due.
4) Membership applications will be screened by the Membership Secretary, who is responsible to the Steering Committee, to determine whether criteria for membership are met. Applications for membership received after 1 January but before 1 September, if acted on favourably, will be back-dated to the beginning of the year. All other applications will be dated to 1 January of the following year

Article II
1) The Officers of the Society shall consist of the President, the Past-President, the President-Elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Membership Secretary.
2) The President shall have a term of office for four years. The President-Elect shall have a term of office for two years and shall then become President. The Past President shall have a term of office for two years immediately following his or her term as President. The terms of office of Secretary, Membership Secretary, and Treasurer shall be for six years. Officers' terms may be ended by a vote of the Executive Committee or an officer may resign from office with six months' notice.
3) The President shall preside at all meetings of the Society and shall chair the Executive Committee. The President shall be authorised to fill any vacancies that may occur on the committees of the Society and shall perform such other duties as required by the office or as may be properly required by vote of the membership of the Executive Committee or the Society at any duly constituted meeting.
4) The Secretary shall be the recording officer of the Society. The Secretary shall serve ex officio with vote as a member of the Conference Committee. The Secretary shall record and report the transactions of the Executive Committee and the Society and shall perform such other duties as the Committee may assign. The Secretary shall supervise the elections of the Society. Once each biennium this individual will make a written report to the membership on the organisation and activities of the Executive Committee and the Society.
5) The Treasurer shall be responsible for receipt and disbursement of Society funds.
6) The Membership Secretary shall act upon all membership applications, maintain records of membership, receive membership dues, and maintain accounts of membership dues. The Membership Secretary shall transfer dues to the Treasurer at least every two months and shall make an annual written report to the Executive Committee. The Membership Secretary shall serve as a member of the Executive Committee.
7) In the absence of the President, the Past President or the President-Elect shall chair all meetings of the Society and the Executive Committee.
8) One individual may occupy any two of the offices of Treasurer, Secretary and Membership Secretary simultaneously.
9) The Executive Committee shall meet at least once every two years at the time of the biennial meeting of the Society. Additional meetings of the Committee may be called by the President or by a majority of the members of the Committee. The Executive Committee shall appoint the Editors of all publications of the Society, the Chairpersons and members of the Society's Committees and the Advisors as specified in Article V. It may create such temporary committees as it deems necessary for achieving the objectives of the Society.

Article III
1) The President-Elect and other officers and the members of the Executive Committee shall be elected directly by the members of the Society.
2) The Secretary shall be responsible for the conduct of elections. The Secretary shall solicit suggestions from the membership for officers and Executive Committee members. Suggestions shall be solicited not more than six months after the date of the biennial meeting. The Nominations Committee shall select at least two names, if feasible, for each vacancy, bearing in mind the suggestions of the membership and the need for representation of the diverse interests of the Society. The Secretary shall prepare the ballot and distribute it to the electorate at least three months prior to the date of the biennial meeting, specifying the date of return for mail ballots as no later than sixty days from the date of mailing. Each member voting shall be required to place his/her signature on the outer envelope in which the ballot is cast. The Secretary shall report the results of the election to the Executive Committee prior to the Business Meeting of the Society.
3) By direction of the Executive Committee, mail ballots other than elections may be conducted by the Secretary in a manner determined by the Committee.
4) There shall be nine members of the Executive Committee in addition to the officers. The ordinary members of the Executive Committee shall hold office for six years. One third of the members will be elected every two years. Members of the Executive Committee will be expected to attend Committee Meetings at the biennial meeting of the Society in the year in which they are elected. They shall officially take office at the end of that meeting.

Article IV
1) All publications of the Society shall be under the general supervision of the Executive Committee.
2) The Executive Committee shall appoint an Editor for each official publication of the Society, with conditions of administrative staffing to be determined by the Executive Committee. The term of office shall be six years for the Editors of the International Journal of Behavioural Development and the ISSBD Newsletter without possibility of successive reappointment. The Editors of the Society's publications shall serve as advisory members of the Executive Committee without vote. 3) An Editor shall be responsible for the editorial management of a given publication. This individual shall be authorized to appoint such consulting editors as may be required and shall have the right to reject for publication any paper submitted. The Editor is bound only by policies established by the Executive Committee and by the budget determined by the Executive Committee.

Article V
1) The President, the Past-President, the President-Elect, the Secretary, the Membership Secretary, and the Treasurer shall constitute a Steering Committee.
2) The Executive Committee shall serve as the Nominations Committee and shall designate one of its members to chair it. The Chair of the Nominations Committee will be appointed for two years.
3) The Conference Committee shall consist of a Chairman chosen by the Executive Committee, the Secretary, and additional members as deemed necessary. The Conference Committee will be charged with assembling the programme for the biennial meeting of the Society and with local arrangements. The Conference Committee will issue announcements, a Call for Papers and Symposia, and distribute a programme in advance of the meeting.
4) If elections do not maintain, on the Executive Committee, the desired diversity required by the objectives of the Society, the Executive Committee may appoint advisors, ordinarily not to exceed three. Advisors are members on the Executive Committee without vote. The term of an appointment for an Advisor is two years.

Article VI
1) The By-Laws may be amended by a majority affirmative vote of those voting in a referendum submitted by mail to the voting members of the Society.
2) Amendments may be proposed by majority vote of the Executive Committee or by petition of at least ten percent of the electorate of the Society.
3) All proposed amendments to the By-Laws shall be transmitted to the electorate at least sixty days prior to the vote on the amendment.


Name, Seat, and Duration
Article 1
1) The association is named: "International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development"
2) The association is established in Amsterdam, but can also have offices elsewhere.
3) The association was founded on the fourteenth of July nineteen hundred and seventy-two and entered into for a period of twenty-nine years and eleven months (Editor: According to the change of Dutch Law during this period, the Society is valid until otherwise decided).

Article 2
1) The objectives of the association are:

  1. The integration of research into the behaviour of the different age groups (infancy, childhood, adolescence, middle and old age);
  2. the integration of methods of and approaches to the study of development;
  3. the integration of different national research projects in one and the same area;
  4. communication about and exchange of information concerning planned and current research.

2) The association tries specifically to reach said objectives by holding and/or organising symposia and conferences.


Article 3
1) Membership of the association is open to natural persons meeting the following criteria:

  1. having completed a university or equivalent training in one or more behavioural sciences;
  2. being professionally occupied with research into a behavioural science and having published in this field. Said research should be aimed at processes of development, meaning development in the sense of change in behaviour, with the emphasis on normal development.

2) Membership is obtained by written application and as such accompanied by a recommendation by the Committee. 3) Each member must state his domicile to the Committee.

Article 4
1) Membership ends:

  1. on the death of a member;
  2. when a wish to this effect is expressed by the member, in writing. (In this case membership ends at the end of the year of association in which said wish was expressed, provided this was done at least six months before the end of the year; if not, membership will end at the end of the following year of association, the Committee being able to grant a dispensation from the above period of six months);
  3. by written notice to this effect from the part of the Committee in case a member no longer meets the criteria concerning membership or in cases where it is no longer reasonable to expect from the association to allow the membership to continue;
  4. by expulsion, decided upon by the Committee, but only in cases where it is no longer contrary to the articles or harms the association unreasonable to except the association.

2) In cases of expulsion, the parties concerned will be informed in writing of the decision as soon as possible and will also be given the grounds of this expulsion. (The member concerned may appeal to the General Assembly within one month after receipt of the decision).

Executive Committee
Article 5
1) The affairs of the association will be conducted by the Committee, consisting of at least seven and at most fifteen members of the association, thus appointed by the General Assembly which can also dismiss them.
2) The General Assembly determines the number of members on the Executive Committee, with due observance of paragraph one of this article. The entire conduct of the association is entrusted to the Committee.

Article 6
1) The President, the Honorary Secretary, and the Treasurer will be chosen by and out of the Executive Committee.
2) The office of Honorary Secretary and Treasurer can be combined in the person of one individual.
3) The duties and responsibilities of the President, the Honorary Secretary, and the Treasurer will be laid down by the General Assembly.

Article 7
1) The Executive Committee may be assisted in its duties by special committees and by an advisory body.
2) The duties and responsibilities of such subcommittees and advisory body will be laid down by the Executive Committee.

General Assembly

Article 8
1) The Executive Committee decides how often and where general assemblies will be held. In case at least one tenth of all members desires a meeting and states the subjects to be dealt with, the Executive Committee must hold said meeting within a month after receipt of such request. Failing this, the relevant members are authorized to convoke a meeting themselves, but solely for the purposes of discussing the subjects mentioned in the request.
2) At least every two years a general assembly will be held. The agenda of this general assembly will at least include:

  1. a report of the Executive Committee on the development and administration of association affairs;
  2. reading and signing as correct the annual accounts of the association;
  3. filling of vacancies, if any.

3) The Executive Committee takes care of the convocations to meetings of members with due observance of a period of at least fifteen days (not counting the date of the convocation and the date of the meeting), by letter, to be sent to the domicile of the association members, as mentioned under Article 3 The convocation will include a list of subjects to be discussed.
4) Whether or not a meeting is stipulated, resolutions of members can also be passed in writing instead of in a general meeting.
5) Subject to the provision mentioned in article 12, resolutions of the General Assembly are passed by an absolute majority of votes. Voting on persons will take place by means of unsigned slips.
6) In the event of equal votes, the resolution will be considered voted down.
7) Abstentions do not count.


Article 9
1) When executing a decision made by the Executive Committee each member of the Committee represents the association at law and otherwise.
2) A relevant extract of the minutes signed by the President or the Honorary Secretary forms proof of such a decision.

Standing Rules

Article 10
Standing rules, to be laid down by the General Assembly, will further regulate the procedures to be followed by the Committee, the various subcommittees, and the advisory body. Said standing rules may not contain provisions in contravention of these articles.

Financial Year and Year of Association

Article 11
1) The financial year and the year of association are the same as the calendar year.
2) The annual accounts are drawn up by the Executive Committee and submitted to the General Assembly for approval and confirmation. The annual or biennial subscription is fixed by the General Assembly.

Amendments of Articles; Dissolution

Article 12
1) The provisions of the present articles can only be amended and the association can only be dissolved during a general assembly with more than half of all members present; the quorum being two thirds of the total number of votes recorded.
2) If the required number of members is not reached, a new meeting can be convened, to be held within one month after the first one, in which second meeting two thirds of the number of votes recorded form a quorum for the above motions.
3) If there is a motion to amend the articles, this must be mentioned in the convocation to the General Assembly and a copy of the motion-giving the proposed amendments verbatim must accompany it.
4) In case the association is dissolved, the Executive Committee is responsible for its liquidation, unless the General Assembly passes a different resolution.
5) If, after liquidation and after all debts have been settled, there is still a profit, this will go to the institution decided upon by the General Assembly simultaneously with its resolution for the dissolution of the association.


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