Constitution of Cambridge Bridge Club
1. The Club shall be called "Cambridge Bridge Club".
2. The purpose of the Club shall be the amicable conduct of duplicate contract bridge competitions of a high standard in accordance with the Laws of the game and the regulations of the English Bridge Union. The Club shall be affiliated to the Union and to the Cambs. and Hunts. Contract Bridge Association.
3. The Committee
3.1. The affairs of the club shall be managed by a Committee.
3.2. The Committee shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.
3.3. The Committee shall consist of a Chair, Vice-Chair, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, Chief Tournament Director, Club Captain, and at least one Committee Member per weekly session, who is primarily responsible for the administration of the sessions (excluding directing and scoring).
3.4. The Committee shall have power to co-opt additional members for special functions or purposes and to remove them.
3.5. Each member of the Committee (including co-opted members) shall have one vote except that co-opted members shall not vote on the co-opting or removal of other members. The Chair shall have the casting vote.
3.6 No member shall serve on the Committee for more than six consecutive years. The Chair may not fill that office for more than three consecutive years. Retiring members shall only be eligible for re-election after a break of at least one year.
3.7 The Club considers it desirable that where practicable the Chair, the Hon. Secretary and the Hon. Treasurer should each be in office for three years and that these terms should commence in different years; and that the Chair should at some time in the previous three years have served as Hon. Secretary, Hon Treasurer or Vice-Chair. When candidates for the Executive Committee are proposed at the AGM, the Chair shall observe to what extent these desiderata will be met and new candidates for these offices should identify whether they are in principle willing to serve for three years.
3.8 The Committee shall keep a record of all operational rules and duties of Committee members for the information of members and future Committee members.
3.9 The Committee may from time to time appoint sub¬committees to undertake on its behalf such aspects of the administration of the Club as it shall think fit, and such sub-committees may include members of the Club who are not members of the Committee.
4. Accounts, Audit, Subscriptions and Table Money
4.1. The financial affairs of the club shall be examined by an Honorary Auditor who shall be elected annually at the A.G.M.
4.2. The Club’s Financial Year shall run from 1st April to 31st March.
4.3. The subscription and table money for the forthcoming year shall be determined at each A.G.M.
4.4. Subscriptions will be due by 1st June each year. The membership of those who, after due reminder, fail to pay this subscription by 1st July following, shall be deemed to have lapsed.
4.5. Subscriptions for new members elected after 1st June shall be determined at the time of their election.
4.6. The Committee may adjust table money to meet any draw on funds not anticipated at the previous Annual General Meeting.
5. General Meetings
5.1. The Annual General Meeting shall be held by 15th May for the presentation of audited accounts for the previous financial year, the reception of the Secretary's report, the election of the Committee, and for any other business.
5.2. An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called within one month of the receipt by the Secretary of a request signed by a minimum of twelve members, stating the purpose for which the meeting is required.
5.3. Notice of general meetings shall be made by e-mail (attaching available papers) and shall be displayed on the Club notice boards at each venue at two Club meetings prior to the given date. Inadvertent failure to send an e-mail to any member shall not invalidate a notice. There is no requirement to send notices by physical mail.
5.4. Twelve members shall form a quorum for any General Meeting.
5.5. The Committee Chair shall act as Chair at any General Meeting of the Club.
5.6. Each member of the Club shall have one vote. The Chair shall have a casting vote except on changes to the constitution.
5.7. The Club considers it desirable that where practicable the Chair, the Hon. Secretary and the Hon. Treasurer should each be in office for three years and that these terms should commence in different years; and that the Chair should at some time previously have served as Hon. Secretary, Hon Treasurer or Vice-Chair. When candidates for the Executive Committee are proposed at the AGM, the Chair shall observe to what extent these desiderata will be met and new candidates for these offices should identify whether they are in principle willing to serve for three years. If the Chair is about to commence his or her final year in office, any candidate for Vice-Chair should identify their willingness to succeed as Chair and to serve for three years in that office.
6. Membership and Bridge Meetings
6.1. Election to Club membership shall be made by the Committee.
6.2. At the discretion of the Committee, Temporary Membership may be granted to players whose attendance is known in advance to be of less than six months duration. The subscription charged shall be decided by the Committee at the time of their election.
6.3. The number of bridge meetings in the forthcoming year shall be decided by the Committee. The Committee shall be empowered to cancel or alter the day of play or venue if deemed desirable or necessary.
6.4. The Committee shall be empowered to permit visitors to play under such rules as the Committee may from time to time determine.
7.1 Each member of the Club shall be required in connection with the game of Duplicate Contract Bridge, to conform to the standards of fair play, courtesy and personal deportment prescribed by the Bye Laws and regulations for the time being of the EBU.
7.2 The Club shall have the powers and the procedures for the enforcement of the requirement in clause 7.1. They are set out in the Schedule of Disciplinary Procedures of this Constitution, and shall stand as part of the Constitution and be subject to the same provisions of the Constitution for its amendment.
8. This Constitution may be altered or amended at any properly convened General Meeting, provided that proposals for such alterations or amendments have been distributed by e-mail at least three weeks prior to the General Meeting. Any such alteration can only be carried by a majority of two thirds of the votes.
Schedule of Disciplinary Procedures
S1. Requirements of the Schedule
This Schedule is referred to under clause 7.2 of the Constitution of the Cambridge Bridge Club (hereafter referred to as the Club) and prescribes the powers and procedures for enforcement. It will comply with and follow the EBU disciplinary procedures and any variations thereof that are made from time to time. The Club shall act through its Conduct and Disciplinary Committees for the enforcement of standards prescribed in clause 7.1 of the Constitution. The Club shall have additional powers as set out in the clauses below.
S2. Receipt of allegation
Any person making a complaint against one or more members of the Club under the terms of clause 7 of the Constitution, must do so in writing to the Secretary or the Chairman of the Club.
S3. Conduct Committee
The Committee of the Club shall appoint the Conduct Committee. The Conduct Committee shall be responsible for investigating complaints against the Club’s members and to determine whether a disciplinary offence should be referred to the Club’s Disciplinary Committee.
The Conduct Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Club and no more than five. A quorum for any meeting shall be three of its members. It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairman, or whomsoever in his absence the Conduct Committee shall select to chair its meeting, shall have a second, or casting, vote in the event that there is parity of voting.
S4. Disciplinary Committee
The Committee of the Club shall appoint the Disciplinary Committee. The Disciplinary Committee shall determine sanctions for offences admitted by the defendant, hear charges of offences and determine whether those charges are proved and, if proved, to determine the sanction imposed.
The Disciplinary Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Club and no more than five. At least three of its members must be present when it makes a decision to uphold a complaint and impose sanctions on the offending member. It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairman, or whomsoever in his absence the Disciplinary Committee shall select to chair its meeting, shall have a second, or casting, vote in the event that there is parity of voting.
S5. Conflicts of Interest and Independence of the Conduct and Disciplinary Committees
Any member of either the Conduct or Disciplinary Committee who is in any way personally involved in the allegations within a complaint will be disqualified from participating in either Committee’s handling of the complaint.
A member of the Club cannot be a member of both the Conduct and Disciplinary Committees.
S6. The Complaints Process
S6.1. Notice of Meetings
Subject to the provisions of clause S2 hereof where a written complaint is made, or a matter otherwise comes to the attention of the Conduct Committee, it shall first consider whether such complaint or matter falls within the scope of the Disciplinary Rules and whether further action is warranted. If it does, the Conduct Committee secretary shall write to the Defendant, seeking the Defendant’s comments on the substance of the complaint or matter that has been raised. The Conduct Committee shall also be entitled to make such further investigations and enquiries as it in its absolute discretion considers appropriate. The Conduct Committee shall also be entitled to seek advice both from within the Club and from the EBU Laws and Ethics Committee, and to obtain external legal advice.
S6.2. Complaint not justified
If the Conduct Committee decides that the complaint is not justified, all parties shall be notified and the matter ended.
S6.3. Complaint justified
If the Conduct Committee decides that the complaint is justified, it may, in its absolute discretion, offer a verbal caution to the offending member, which if accepted, ends the matter.
If the caution is not accepted by the offending member, or the Conduct Committee does not feel a caution is appropriate, it shall refer the case to a hearing by the Disciplinary Committee. The Defendant shall be notified, in writing, within two weeks of this decision and of his right to make a written submission to the Disciplinary Committee and to attend the hearing. The Defendant shall have the right to be represented by legal counsel of his choice or may be accompanied by a person to speak on his behalf. The Disciplinary Committee shall give at least two weeks notice of the hearing to the Defendant.
S6.4. Disciplinary Committee’s Sanctions
If, after the hearing, the complaint is upheld, the Disciplinary Committee may in its absolute discretion:
a. Give a written reprimand to the offending member(s).
b. Suspend the offending member(s) from all or some of the competitions sponsored or licensed by the Club for such period as it shall determine.
c. Expel the offending member(s) from the Club.
If the complaint is against a member of the Committee, then in addition to any other sanctions applied, the Disciplinary Committee shall have the power to suspend such member from the Club’s Committee and any of its sub committees for such a period that it shall determine.
Any sanctions imposed by the Disciplinary Committee must be communicated to the offending member(s) in writing within twenty one days of the hearing.
Any Sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Committee shall take effect as soon as time for appeal has elapsed except that if the Defendant has filed Notice of Appeal within the time allowed the Sanction shall not take effect until such Appeal has been determined.
Every Defendant found guilty of an offence by the Club Disciplinary Committee has the right to appeal to the County Conduct Committee. Appeals must be in writing and lodged with the Secretary of the Association within twenty one days of the written communication of the Club’s Disciplinary Committee’s decision to the Defendant.
S6.6. Referral to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee
At any time the County Conduct Committee may refer a complaint to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee for its consideration. In doing so the County Conduct Committee shall have fully discharged its responsibilities under this Schedule.
S7. Procedure Guidelines
The Committee of the Club will from time to time publish guidelines for the implementation of the Club’s disciplinary procedures and will be informed but not limited by the procedures adopted by the EBU for its Laws & Ethics Committee as published in its Bye Laws.
Adopted 20 April 2010
Amended 29th April 2014
Amended 29th April 2015
Amended 26th April 2016
Amended 25th April 2018