Bristol Medico-Legal Society Rules


  1. The Society shall be called “The Bristol Medico-Legal Society” 
  2. The object of the Society shall be the promotion of Medico-Legal knowledge in all its aspects. 
  3. Membership of the Society shall be open to barristers, solicitors and doctors, dentists and veterinary surgeons  registered or previously registered as such, in the South West, and to such other persons as the Council shall decide to admit, who shall be granted Associate Membership (as explained in Appendix 1), with the approval of the President.
  4. Every candidate for membership shall be proposed and seconded in writing by two members of the Society and approved by the Council. 
  5. Honorary Members – The Council is empowered to elect from time to time such persons as honorary members as the Council thinks fit. 



6. The Honorary Officers of the Society shall be: 

The President

The Vice President

The Honorary Secretaries

 7. The affairs of the Society shall be managed by a Council, which shall consist of the Honorary Officers and up to eight other members of the Society. Five shall form a quorum of whom no fewer than two must be Honorary Officers. 

8. Members of the Council shall serve for an initial term of three years with an option to renew the said term for a further three years subject to the approval of a majority of the Council. Thereafter the said term may be renewed indefinitely on an annual basis at the invitation of the President.

9. Renewal of terms of office as at 8 above shall be at the absolute discretion of the Council and the President respectively taking into account all the individual circumstances of the case. Without prejudice to the exercise of this discretion, it is hereby recorded that when applying for a further term of office on the Council attendance at the meetings of the Society (including the Annual Dinner) and Council meetings will be taken into account, it being a reasonable expectation that a Council member will normally attend at least 70% of such meetings. 

10. The President and Vice President shall be elected biennially with a tenure of office of not more than two years in respect of each office unless the Society in a General Meeting decide otherwise. At the termination of the period of two years tenure the Vice President shall automatically assume the role of President unless the Society in a General Meeting decide otherwise. 

11. The Honorary Secretaries of the Society shall be appointed by the Council from members of the Council for the time being and shall comprise one Legal Secretary and one Medical Secretary whose tenure shall be without limit of time but terminable by either the Secretary in question or the Council on twelve months notice. 

12. Any casual vacancy occurring in the office of Honorary Officer or of the Council occurring during the year between General Meetings of the Society may be filled by the Council subject to formal ratification by election at General Meeting. The period of tenure at 8 above shall be calculated from the date of such ratification and election. 

13. Any member of the Council acting as an Honorary Officer shall not, while holding such office, be subject to the provisions of paragraph 8 above. 

14. The council may from time to time appoint for such purposes as the Council thinks fit Committees with or without power to add to their number, and Committees so appointed may appoint Sub-Committees with or without a similar power to add; but unless power to act is given by the Council the decisions of the Committees and Sub-Committees shall require the sanction of the Council.                  


15. An Annual General Meeting of the members of the Society shall be held at which a report from the Council together with the audited accounts, shall be presented and elections shall be held to fill any vacancy in the Council and the offices of President and Vice President falling due. 

16. The Council shall submit to such alternate Annual General Meetings nominations for each of the offices and for other vacancies in the Council. Twenty eight days’ notice of such meetings shall be given and the notice shall include the Council’s nomination. Any two members of the Society may also nominate any member of the Society for election to the Council or to any office provided that such nominations be sent in writing to one of the Honorary Secretaries not less than fourteen days before such Annual General Meeting. 

17. Any member of the Society wishing to raise business at the Annual General Meeting of the Society may do so by giving fourteen days’ clear notice in writing to one of the Honorary Secretaries specifying the nature of the business to be transacted. 

18. When requested in writing by at least fifteen members of the Society, or when directed by the Council, the Honorary Secretaries or one of them shall convene a General Meeting of the Society of which not less than seven days’ notice specifying the business to be transacted should be given. 

19. General Meetings of the Society including the Annual Dinner are private. Members and their guests are required to respect confidentiality in respect of the same.                                                  


20. The Annual Subscription shall be payable on election and on each succeeding first day of January and shall be such sum as shall be decided from time to time by the Society in General Meeting. 

21. If the subscription of any member shall be six months in arrear their membership shall be terminated automatically, but such a member may be reinstated by the Council on such terms as the Council may think fit. 


22. No alteration of these rules shall be made except by the Society in General Meeting. 







This was discussed at the 25 September 2001 Committee Meeting and approved at the subsequent AGM 


Associate Membership may be extended to people who do not fulfil the criteria of being a qualified barrister, solicitor, doctor, dentist or veterinary surgeon but who would enhance the membership of the Society. This includes wives, husbands and partners of previous longstanding members who have died. 


Application on behalf of a candidate for Associate Membership shall be proposed and seconded by current members of the Society. The decision as to whether such candidates shall become Associate Members will be at the sole discretion of the President.