This constitution has been adopted by the General Assembly in Prague, September 4, 1992 and modified by the General Assembly in Sydney, July 3, 2005.
Art. 1. Purpose of the Committee. — The International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS), organized in Geneva on May 14, 1926, in accordance with a resolution of the 5th Congress of Historical Sciences meeting in Brussels on April 15, 1923, is a non-governmental organization established as an association within the meaning of articles 60 and following of the Civil Code of Switzerland, created in order to promote the historical sciences through international co-operation. In particular it organizes every five years, in collaboration with the National Committee of the historians of the host country, an International Congress of Historical Sciences. It sets the date of the congress and determines its programme. It may handle, patronize or support financially the publication of reference works of general interest and the organization of scientific symposia or of other events encouraging the spread of historical thought and knowledge. It may entrust such tasks to its members or to Internal Commissions created for the purpose. It shall defend freedom of thought and expression in the field of historical research and teaching, and is opposed to the misuse of history and shall use every means at its disposal to ensure the ethical professional conduct of its members.
Art. 2. Composition of the Committee. — The Committee shall be composed of:
a) National Committees that are representative of the institutions of historical research in each member country;
b) International Affiliated Organizations which are devoted to research and to scholarly publication in particular areas of historical study.
The Committee may set up Internal Commissions and assign to them the execution of scholarly projects or the organization of specific scholarly gatherings. It may also admit in quality of Internal Commission, for a period not exceeding ten years and in view of a future admission as an Affiliated International Organization, new international associations which pursue, in their field, the same objectives as an Affiliated International Organization.
Admission to the International Committee of Historical Sciences within either category shall be decided by the General Assembly, upon proposal of the Board, in accordance with the procedures indicated in article 4 below. Requests for membership must be received by the Board six months before the date of its annual meeting.
Art. 3. Meetings of the Committee. — The Committee shall hold a General Assembly at least every three years. Each Congress shall be immediately preceded and followed by a General Assembly. The Board at its discretion may in given circumstances summon an extraordinary General Assembly.
Art. 4. Voting in the Committee. — Each National Committee and each International Affiliated Organization shall be represented at General Assemblies of the ichs by a delegate — who may be accompanied by a substitute — and is allowed one vote. National Committees and International Affiliated Organizations have equal standing in all votes. A quorum of the Assembly shall consist of the delegates — or their substitutes — from a least one third of the members of the ichs.
Votes on the admission of new members, on the exclusion of members of the ichs, and on constitutional amendments shall require a two-thirds majority. Any other matter before the General Assembly shall require only a simple majority vote.
Except in the three cases specified in the preceding paragraph, at the request of the Board a vote may, in urgent matters, take place outside of the meeting of a General Assembly, that is, by correspondence. In this case the president of each National Committee and of each International Affiliated Organization shall vote in the name of his body. In case of disability, any other duly authorized officer may act in his place. Only a simple majority of the votes shall be required to pass a measure.
Art. 5. The Board of the Committee. — The Board of the Committee shall consist of a president, a first vice-president, a second vice-president, six assessor members, a secretary-general and a treasurer.
The election of the Board shall be prepared by a Nominating Committee of seven members, three of them belonging to the Board. Membership of the Committee is proposed by the Board at the first meeting of the General Assembly convened between Congresses. Other candidates may be presented at the second meeting by the delegates of the National Committees or of the International Affiliated Organiza?tions. The General Assembly will then proceed with the election of the Nominating Committee. If this procedure cannot be followed, the election will take place by correspondence as established in paragraph 3 of article 4 of the present constitution. Candidates for election to the Board may be proposed by National Committees, International Affiliated Organizations and the Board during the twelve months following the constitution of the Nominating Committee which shall present its proposals at the first of the two General Assemblies which take place at each quinquennial Congress. Counter-proposals may be submitted to the Board between the first and the second Assembly. To be admissible, a counter-proposal has to be signed by the representatives of five National Committees of International Affiliated Organizations. The Board shall be elected at the second of the two General Assemblies held at the quinquennial Congress. It shall assume office at the end of that same Congress and serve until the end of the following Congress. Members of the Board may be re-elected but the President and three other members of the Board must be replaced at each general election. Persons who have reached the age of seventy are not eligible or re-eligible. Should a vacancy occur within the Board during its term of office, the Board shall propose a substitute and organize a by-election at the next General Assembly or by way of correspondence. In the latter case, the procedure provided in paragraph 3 of article 4 shall be applied. However, in case the President should be unable to serve his term to the end, the first Vice-President shall become President and shall complete the term. In case the latter in turn should be disabled, he shall be replaced in the same way by the second Vice-President.
The past President of the ICHS shall also be a member of the Board, as Counsellor-Member without vote, for a period of five years after his or her presidential office without consideration of age.
The Board shall be responsible for the functioning and co-ordination of ichs activities. It shall prepare the agenda of General Assemblies and distribute it to participants two months in advance. It shall be empowered between meetings to take necessary steps to summon, in case of emergency, extraordinary Assemblies and if needed, to solicit votes by correspondence from National Committees and International Affiliated Organizations.
The Board shall supervise management of the Committee’s finances. It shall submit to the General Assembly the Treasurer’s report, the accounts for the term since the previous General Assembly and the budget proposal for the coming year. The Board itself is responsible for budgets in other years.
The Board, represented by the President or his proxy, shall have the right to go law on behalf of the Committee. It may accept legacies and gifts and may, in conformity with the constitution, fulfil all necessary legal formalities.
Art. 6. Dues and contributions. — Every National Committee or International Affiliated Organization shall pay annual dues determined by the General Assembly. The amount shall be the same for all National Committees. It shall also be the same for all International Affiliated Organizations but lower than that paid by the National Committees. By way of exception the Board may concede duly motivated derogations to these rules. Proceeds of the dues shall be assigned in the first place to the internal administration of the ichs, and subsequently to its scholarly activities. These, however, shall be the first to benefit from extraordinary contributions, subventions, gifts and legacies.
Art. 7. Withdrawals and exclusions. — Every National Committee or International Affiliated Organization that has not paid its dues for three years shall lose its right to vote. After five years, that National Committee or International Affiliated Organization shall be deemed to have withdrawn de facto.
In addition, any National Committee or International Affiliated Organization which shall have seriously violated the principles of international cooperation contrary to articles 1 and 2 of the constitution shall be liable to exclusion by the ichs following the procedure provided in article 4, paragraph 2 above.
Art. 8. Domicile of the Committee. — The domicile of the Committee shall be the Swiss city where the funds of the ichs are deposited.
Art. 9. Amendement of the constitution. — Amendments to the constitution may be proposed by the Board or by the delegates of three different National Committees or International Affiliated Organizations. Notice of proposed amendments must be made to National Committees and International Affiliated Organizations two months before a General Assembly for inclusion on the agenda. A two-thirds majority of those voting shall be required for their adoption.
Any disagreement concerning the constitution shall be resolved by a competent judge with jurisdiction in the Committee’s domicile.
Art. 10. By-laws. — All questions concerning the functioning of the ichs not dealt with by the present consitution may be regulated by by-laws which shall be proposed to the General Assembly by the Board and adopted in the Assembly by simple majority.
Art. 11. Dissolution of the Committee. — The Committee shall be dissolved if the number of members falls below five. In such a case the Committee shall name three liquidators of different nationalities, and its assets shall be distributed to scholarly institutions that it shall have designated.