Bye Laws of WSDC Ltd

Bye laws of the World Schools Debating Championships Ltd, a company registered in England & Wales.

  1. Interpretation and introduction

    In these bye laws:

    1. “the Articles” means the articles of association of the Charity;
    2. “Championship” means a debating tournament organised by a Host and recognised by the Charity as the World Schools Debating Championship for a particular year;
    3. “the Charity” means World Schools Debating Championships Limited, a company limited by
      guarantee and registered in England with number 6666449;
    4. “the Directors” means the directors of the Charity;
    5. “Host” means an organisation chosen to be Host as described in bye law 10;
    6. “the Memorandum” means the memorandum of association of the Charity;
    7. “the Tournament Rules” means the Tournament Rules described in bye law 7;
    8. “the World Schools Debating Championships” means the ongoing series of debating tournaments each of which is recognised by the Charity as the World Schools Debating Championship for a particular year;
  2. The Charter

    1. The charter set out in the annex to these bye laws is adopted as the Charter of the World Schools Debating Championships.
    2. The Charter is a part of these bye laws and shall be amended in accordance with the requirements for amending these bye laws.
    3. Every Host of a Championship, every participating debater and adult at a Championship, and every member and officer of the Charity must agree to the spirit of the Charter.

  3. Status of the bye laws

    1. These bye laws were adopted as bye laws of the Charity by the Directors on 14 August 2011, as empowered by a resolution of the members of the Charity in General Meeting on 23 February 2011. They have subsequently been amended by the Directors in September 2013 and May 2014.
    2. Proposals to amend these bye laws shall take the form of a resolution at a general meeting, the procedures for which are described in the Articles.

  4. Membership of the Charity

    1. Any organisation or individual meeting the criteria for membership, as determined from time to time by the Directors, may apply for membership of the charity.
    2. The Directors shall at all times have the discretion to reject applications for membership if they consider such action to be in the best interests of the World Schools Debating Championships.
    3. Notwithstanding any other bye law, the Directors may terminate the membership of any member in the manner described in article 4 of the Articles of Association if they reasonably believe that a change in the Charity's membership would be in the best interests of the World Schools Debating Championships.
    4. The Directors may charge, on behalf of the Charity, such reasonable membership fee (as the Directors in their sole discretion shall determine) to any applicant for membership, and may charge different fees to different members as they determine.
    5. The Directors shall at all times maintain a register of the members of each class of members of the Charity.
    6. The class to which a member belongs shall indicate that member’s country of affiliation for the purposes of the rule below.
    7. Each class of membership (in as much as that class is determined by and consists in the indication of the member’s country of affiliation) shall be deemed to have an equal voting weight with all other such classes at general meetings of the Charity, as described in bye law 4.8 .
    8. The votes cast by each class shall be deemed to be one hundred in total, and the proportion of that one hundred to be counted as votes either for or against a resolution shall be determined by the proportion of the members of that class so voting.

  5. The Directors

    1. The Directors shall conduct any activities to further the development of the Charity, including, but not limited to: strategic development; the creation and maintenance of an alumni programme; fundraising efforts; management of funds, investments, property and staff; legal issues, the creation of learning and publicity materials to further the Charity's aims, and the maintenance of strategic partnerships with member organisations and other national and international debating organisations.
  6. The Tournament Rules

    1. There shall be a set of guidelines for the setting, drawing, conduct, format, scoring and
      adjudication of debates held at a Championship, known as the Tournament Rules.
    2. The Tournament Rules shall include complaints procedures as described in those rules.
    3. The Tournament Rules shall describe the prizes awarded at a Championship and define the
      membership of any categories of nations or individuals that may be used to award those prizes.
    4. The Tournament Rules shall decide the eligibility of individuals to participate in a
      Championship, including defining the meaning of the term Nation for the purposes of bye laws 7 and 9, insofar as the assignment of an individual to a Nation may be used to determine the membership of the Tournament Committee.

  7. The Tournament Committee

    1. There shall be a Tournament Committee for each Championship.
    2. The Tournament Committee shall consist of one adult (coach, team manager, adjudicator or observer) from the delegation of each Nation participating at a Championship.
    3. Adults representing Nations on the Tournament Committee shall be nominated during the registration process by the person responsible for registering that Nation's delegation.
    4. The Chairperson of the Tournament Committee Executive shall also serve as the Chairperson of the Tournament Committee, unless the Chairperson of the Tournament Committee Executive is unavailable in which case the Tournament Committee meeting shall be chaired by Acting Chairperson who shall be:
      1. The Vice-Chairperson of the Tournament Committee Executive if available, or
      2. A member of the Tournament Committee Executive selected by the available members of the Tournament Committee Executive in the event that both the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are unavailable.
    5. The Tournament Committee shall:
      1. vote on proposed changes to the Tournament Rules brought before it by the
        Tournament Committee Executive, such changes requiring a two-thirds majority of
        Tournament Committee votes cast either 'yea' or 'nay' to be 'yea' votes;
      2. elect the Tournament Committee Executive;
      3. elect a Motions Committee;
      4. elect a Complaints Committee;
      5. choose, by a vote using the first-past-the-post system, between competing candidates
        to be Hosts of upcoming Championships; and
      6. approve or reject the Host's choice of Chief Adjudicator.
    6. The Tournament Committee shall also receive a report at each Championship from each of the Tournament Committee Executive, Host and Chief Adjudicator.
    7. Between Championships, the Tournament Committee Executive may put resolutions to the Tournament Committee to be approved by electronic ballot.

      1. Eligibility to vote depends on the nature of the resolution.

        1. Subject to 7.7.1.2, for an electronic ballot, an eligible nation is one who has attended at least two of the previous three Championships and taken part in the Tournament Committee meetings held at those Championships (“eligible nation”).

        2. For an electronic ballot for a resolution to decide whether to cancel or postpone a championship that is already scheduled to take place, an eligible nation has the same meaning as in 7.7.1.1, but also includes any nation which has registered to take part in the championship the subject of the resolution.

      2. Each eligible nation shall give to the Executive an email address for an authorised representative of that nation (“the authorised email address”), and shall update that email address from time to time if the authorised email address changes.

      3. The Executive may propose for an electronic ballot any resolution that could be passed by the Tournament Committee at a meeting of the Committee, including changes to the Rules.

      4. The Executive must propose for an electronic ballot any resolution where at least two eligible nations have asked the Executive to propose it.

      5. At least three weeks before an electronic ballot is to take place, the Executive must send to the authorised email address of each eligible nation notice of any resolution to be proposed. The notice must state:

        1. the text of the resolution,

        2. who moved it,

        3. (in the case of a resolution under 7.7.4) which nations asked the Executive to propose it,

        4. the period during which the electronic ballot is to occur, and

        5. the Executive email address to which the ballot must be sent, or the address of the secure online form approved under 7.7.7

      6. An electronic ballot takes place for a period of not less than 24 hours and not longer than 72 hours, measured at the place of the Executive email address (“the electronic ballot period”).

      7. During the electronic ballot period, an eligible nation may cast its vote on each resolution either by email sent from its authorised email address, or by a secure online form approved by the Executive access to which is only available by use of the authorised email address.

      8. At the end of the electronic ballot period, the Executive shall count the number of votes.

      9. (Except for a resolution to amend the Rules, or to decide whether to cancel or postpone a championship that is already scheduled to take place), a resolution is passed by electronic ballot if a majority of eligible nations who submitted votes in the electronic ballot voted yes.

      10. For a resolution to amend the Rules, or to decide whether to cancel or postpone a championship that is already scheduled to take place, a resolution is passed by electronic ballot if at least two thirds of eligible nations who submitted a “yes” or a “no” vote in the electronic ballot voted yes.

      11. For a resolution to amend the Rules, the electronic ballot period must start no less than 60 days prior to the start of the next Championship.

      12. As soon as possible after the Executive has counted the votes, it shall send a notice to the authorised email address of each eligible nation the result of the vote on each resolution.

      13. If the Tournament Committee is voting on an issue for which a two-thirds majority is not required, in the event of a tied vote the casting vote shall be made by the Chairperson of the Tournament Committee Executive, or the Acting Chairperson (as outlined in 7.4.) in the event that the Chairperson is unable to do so.

  8. The Tournament Committee Executive

    1. There shall be a Tournament Committee Executive for the term between each Championship.
    2. The members of the Tournament Committee Executive shall be:
      1. a Chairperson elected by the Tournament Committee;
      2. a Vice-Chairperson elected by the Tournament Committee;
      3. a Secretary elected by the Tournament Committee;
      4. six members, elected by the Tournament Committee.
    3. The elected members shall hold office from the Tournament Committee meeting at which they are elected until the following Tournament Committee meeting.
    4. No person shall serve in any one of the capacities of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or Secretary of the Tournament Committee Executive for more than five consecutive terms of office.
    5. The Tournament Committee Executive shall be responsible for action in areas concerning the hosting arrangements or tournament rules of current or future Championships falling outside the responsibilities of the Charity or Host, and will focus on key issues through its working groups.
    6. The Chairperson shall determine which areas each working group shall focus on and which of the elected members shall chair each working group.
    7. The Tournament Executive Committee may provide interpretation of the Tournament Rules to the Host or Chief Adjudicator of the current or future Championships as and when required.

  9. The Host

    1. There shall be a Host for each debating tournament considered by the Charity to be a World Schools Debating Championship.
    2. Organisations may apply to the Charity to be candidates to host the Championship for a particular year.
    3. Those organisations meeting the minimum criteria for candidacy, as decided by the Directors, shall be eligible to be chosen as Host for a particular year.
    4. That choice shall be made by the Tournament Committee, up to three Championships in advance of the Championship for which the bid is made, according to the following procedures.
      1. If the Directors approve more than one bid, the Tournament Committee shall first vote to select a Final Applicant from among the bids.
      2. If there are more than two bids and no applicant receives more votes than all the other applicants combined, a second round of voting will be held involving the two applicants which had the highest numbers of votes in the first round to determine the Final Applicant.
      3. Once the Final Applicant has been determined, the Tournament Committee will then vote on a resolution that the Final Applicant shall be the Host for the Championship.
      4. If a majority of members voting on that resolution do not vote in favour, no host is selected.
    5. Once chosen, the Host has the right to call their debating tournament the World Schools Debating Championship for the year in which it is held.
    6. If chosen, Hosts must ensure that their debating tournament complies with these bye laws, the Tournament Rules, and any contractual obligations imposed by the charity.
    7. The officers of the Charity may from time to time request information from a Host. This implies neither an oversight role nor responsibility to act on that information.
    8. If a Host does not comply with these bye laws, the Tournament Rules, or their contractual obligations, or if the Directors so choose for any other reason, the Charity may withdraw from a Host the right to call their debating tournament the World Schools Debating Championship for a particular year.
      1. For a Championship held in 2014, the Tournament Committee will be asked to consider an electronic ballot as to whether to withdraw the right of the existing host to call its competition the World Schools Debating Championships. Should acceptable alternative bids be advanced, the Tournament Committee would be asked, in a separate ballot, to consider whether those alternative qualifying hosts should be accepted.

        1. Such qualifying bids are to be confirmed by the Directors, as per 9.3.

        2. The ballot(s) will be held in accordance with 7.7, with the following modifications:

          1. The reference in 7.7.5 to “three weeks” is changed to “5 days”.

          2. The ballot is only valid if at least two thirds of eligible nations vote "yes" or "no".

          3. The ballot(s) shall be supervised by two independent returning officers, to be appointed by the Directors. A representative of each of the Directors and the Executive will oversee the work of the independent returning officers.

        3. Nothing in these bylaws affects the power of the Directors to make any decision they are empowered to make under bylaw 9.8.

ANNEX

The Charter of the World Schools Debating Championships

The aims of the World Schools Debating Championships are:

  • to encourage and advance the education of young people in communication skills through conducting debating events;
  • to achieve excellence in debating by young people through annually conducting the World Schools Debating Championships;
  • to promote international understanding and free speech through debating to help young people develop their capabilities that they may grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society.

In order to further these aims, all participating nations agree that:

  • the team of any participating nation may be required to debate any issue
  • the team of any participating nation may be required to debate against the team of any other participating nation
  • the team of any participating nation is entitled to take part in the Championships on the same basis as any other participating nation’s team

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