From Pirate Party UK Wiki
This page contains our formally adopted constitution as amended 21st November 2011.
CONSTITUTION OF THE PIRATE PARTY UK
- The official name of the organisation ("the Party") shall be "Pirate Party UK" ("PPUK").
- The principal aim of the Party is that the United Kingdom reforms its copyright and patent and privacy laws in a manner consistent with the opinions of the Party’s members.
- The Party shall take part in democratic electoral processes. It intends to contest Westminster and European parliamentary elections, local elections, etc.
- In the furtherance of its aims, the Party may:
- raise funds and invite and receive contributions within the limits established by electoral law;
- invest any monies of the Party not immediately required, in accordance with the Trustee Act of 1925 and;
- do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the attainment of the Party’s aims.
- Membership is open to citizens of the United Kingdom and resident foreign nationals who share its aims and who are not members of any organisation which the Board of Governors ("Board") has declared is incompatible with membership of the Party.
- Members must pay membership fees as set by the National Executive Committee ("NEC"), as described in Section 5.
- Members shall not act in a manner which brings the party into disrepute or is likely to bring the party into disrepute. If a member is suspected of behaving in such a fashion he/she will be asked to explain their actions to a disciplinary committee formed by the Board of Governors ("Board") as per the arbitration and disciplinary rules of Section 10.
- Members appointed or elected to a position may be relieved of their title and responsibilities should the Board find them to be absent for a period exceeding 28 days without prior notice.
- THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
- The NEC shall be comprised of the Elected Officers (the Party Leader, Treasurer, Campaigns Manager, Nominating Officer, and Party Secretary) with full voting rights.
- The Elected Officers of the NEC may appoint additional officers in a non-voting capacity to help them as they see fit. Appointed Officers have none of the rights of an Elected Officer of the NEC and may be removed by the Elected Officers of the NEC at any time. Appointed Officers are subject to the same Arbitration and Disciplinary procedures as Elected Officers.
- At any time, members of the NEC may be submitted to a vote of no confidence as per Section 10.
- A new election for each Elected Officer role will be held as per the rules in Section 9.
- FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS
- The Treasurer shall be responsible for accounting requirements and control of donations, as described in Parts III and IV of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and other relevant legislation.
- The Campaigns Officer shall be responsible for campaign expenditure, third party expenditure and referendums, as described in Parts V to VII of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and other relevant legislation.
- DISSOLUTION OF THE PARTY
- The party may be dissolved by a simple majority of members making clear their wish to dissolve the party. Any assets belonging to the party at the time of dissolution will be donated to a registered charity of the NEC’s choosing.
- THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
- The Board of Governors shall consist of up to 12 Governors.
- The working practices of the Board shall be outlined in a separate Code of Practice to be maintained and published to members by the Board.
- All Governors must be elected as per the rules outlined in Section 9.
- The Board is responsible for proposing constitutional amendments and presenting them for ratification by a full vote of members at such times as they feel appropriate and as outlined by the Board's Code of Practice.
- The Board is the final body of arbitration, appeal, and discipline for the Party.
- The Board will carry out its arbitration and disciplinary functions as detailed in Section 10.
- The Board may have other governance responsibilities that are as yet undefined in this constitution.
- The following elected position(s) must use the ERS97 STV electoral process with a single winner: Party Leader, Treasurer, Campaigns Manager, Nominating Officer, and Party Secretary.
- The following elected position(s) must use the ERS97 STV electoral process: Governor.
- When an election is due, the NEC will announce the opening of nominations. Upon opening, the NEC will publish the date and time that nominations close. The duration of the nominations period must be no less than 14 days, and no more than 31 days. This duration may not be altered except as defined below.
- Nominations will remain open indefinitely if no nominations are received. Should a nomination occur after this period nominations must remain open for a minimum of 14 days from the date of a nomination being made.
- Open nominations must be announced by the NEC at least every 26 weeks.
- Unless constitutionally indicated otherwise, members may nominate themselves as a candidate for election.
- Nominated candidates must be Party members in Good Standing (as defined in Section 10).
- The following elected positions require the candidates be seconded by at least one Party member: Party Leader, Treasurer, Campaigns Manager, Nominating Officer, Party Secretary, and Governor.
- Nominations may only be seconded by Party members in Good Standing. Members may only second one candidate per position. Members standing for election themselves may only second others for the same position in multiple-winner elections. In such elections said member may second a number of candidates equal to the number of positions available minus one.
- Campaigning opens to coincide with the closing of nominations. Should the opening of campaigning be delayed this additional time is to be considered an extension to the nomination period. Campaigning must remain open for no less than 7 days and normally no more than 31 days.
- Voting must open to coincide with the closing of campaigning. Should the opening of voting be delayed this additional time is to be considered an extension to the campaigning period. Voting must remain open for no less than 7 days and normally no more than 31 days.
- A member is excluded from standing for election and holding an elected position if they are not in Good Standing (as defined in Section 10).
- Some elected positions exclude those that already hold another elected position. These exclusions are listed below.
- Elected members of the NEC are excluded from holding the following positions: Governor, other positions within the NEC except with Board approval in exceptional circumstances, or unless required by law.
- A Governor is excluded from holding the following positions: Any elected NEC position except with Board approval in exceptional circumstances, or unless required by law.
- Elections must be held no less frequently than every 25 months for all positions on the NEC irrespective of how long each officer has been in post.
- Elections must be held no less frequently than every 60 months for all positions on the Board irrespective of how long each Governor has been in post.
- All party members in Good Standing (as defined in Section 10) are eligible to vote in all elections unless otherwise specified in this constitution.
- When an elected position is vacant outside of the normal election terms an election process for the position will be held for the position following the rules in Section 9. These extra-ordinary procedures should ordinarily begin within 30 days of the position becoming vacant.
- The NEC and Board are responsible for making sure all election and vote procedures are followed.
- Prior to initiating an election, the Board will appoint a neutral team of election monitors to ensure all elections proceed fairly. This team must contain someone who is neither a candidate standing for election, a member seconding a candidate, nor be currently serving on the Board or the NEC.
- ARBITRATION AND DISCIPLINE
- If a member of the Party subsequently joins an organisation which the Board declares to be incompatible with membership of the Party, or if the member is found to be a member of such an organisation then the Board may revoke their membership of the Party without return of membership fees.
- A vote of no confidence in any elected official will be triggered when either 10% or more of the fully paid-up membership or over 50% of the Governors make their desire for a vote of no confidence known to the Board.
- Additionally a vote of no confidence in a member of the NEC will be triggered when over 50% of the voting NEC members make their desire for a vote of no confidence known to the Board.
- When a vote of no confidence has been triggered the Board will arrange for a vote of party members to ascertain the confidence of the electorate in the elected official, which will conclude within at most 28 days. The officer will be dismissed if a simple majority of eligible members who take part in that vote, vote in favour of dismissal, subject to a quorum of 10% of eligible members.
- The eligibility of a member to vote in a particular vote of no confidence will be based upon whether that member would be eligible to vote for the election position as per rules in Section 9.
- When a disciplinary or arbitration panel is formed, the Board will select 5 of the Governors (as per its code of practice) to sit on the panel.
- A member is regarded as being in Good Standing if they are a paid up member and have not had their position of Good Standing stripped from them.
Arbitration and Disciplinary Functions
Votes of No Confidence
Voting Eligibility for Votes of No Confidence
Disciplinary and Arbitration Panels
The constitution was formally adopted 12th July 2009. This is the text as amended 21 November 2011 following the member votes closing 13 March 2010, 12 March 2011, and 21 November 2011.