Click here for a PDF copy of our constitution

1    Name

2    Objectives

3    Non-profit Making

4    Definitions

5    Membership

6    Affiliate Groups

7    Working Groups

8    PLN Council

9    Decision Making Processes – General Meetings

10    Office Bearers

11    AGM

12     Quorum

14    Dispute and mediation

15    Funds

16    Seal

17    Custody and inspection of books and records

18     PLN Public fund

19     Conduit Policy

20     Amendment of Constitution

21     Dissolution

A    Application Form

B    Register of Members

C    Advertising and Sponsorship Policy

D    Monash Affiliate Standing Orders

1.    Office Bearers

1.1    Convenor

1.2    Admin

1.3    Communication

1.4    Finance

1.5    Careers

1.6    Events

1.7    Publicity

2.    Anti-Hierarchical

3.    Consensus Decision-Making

4.    Meetings

4.1    Meeting Procedure

4.2    Email as valid participation

4.3    Removal of speaking rights/email privileges/membership

4.4    Quorum
Progressive Law Network Constitution

1          Name

The name of the association shall be Progressive Law Network (PLN).

2          Objectives

(1)   The objectives of PLN shall be:

a)     To provide information to students and practitioners about progressive legal career paths in the environmental, human rights and social justice sectors.

b)    To facilitate connections between legal students, professionals and community advocacy organisations.

c)     To encourage law students and practitioners to utilise their law degrees as a tool to effect progressive social change.

d)    To engage law students with their community and the challenges facing it while encouraging intelligent and informed legal activism/advocacy.

e)     To organise events to provide a forum for an exchange of views and opinions about new developments in alternative careers, environmental law, human rights law and other social justice-related issues.

f)     To facilitate the sharing of information, ideas and other resources that relate to progressive developments in the law.

(2)   These objectives will be achieved by means including but not limited to the following:

a)     to facilitate a national network for the legal profession to engage in environmental and social justice projects, advocacy and employment.

b)     to offer support in the form of resources, fundraising, information, and networking.

c)     to increase the discussion and sharing of information, regarding the interaction between social spheres and the law

d)     for the purpose of carrying out its objectives, to raise funds, borrow, invest, donate, expend and lend funds, acquire and dispose of any form of property, employ staff, enter into contracts and establish companies

e)     to undertake such other activities as the association shall deem necessary to achieve its objectives; and

f)      to provide a website with an online library facility to facilitate information sharing.

3          Non-profit Making

(1)        The PLN is not established or maintained for profit of individuals, and the services envisaged and the objectives of the association are not established or maintained for the profit of individuals.

(2)        The assets and income of PLN shall be applied solely in furtherance of its above-mentioned objectives and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly except as bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the association.

(3)        In the event of PLN being dissolved, the amount that remains after such dissolution and the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities will be transferred to another organization selected by simple majority, with similar purposes which is not carried on for the profit or gain of its individual members.

4          Definitions

(1)        Association means The Progressive Law Network (PLN)

(2)        Members refers to individuals and organisations whose objects are aligned with those of PLN and have been approved as a member by the PLN.

(3)        National Convenor is the main organiser of the PLN Council and convenes the network.

(4)        PLN Council is the main decision-making body of PLN.

(5)        Student refers to any person enrolled in a University, High school, TAFE or any other educational institution, whether full-time or deferred.

(6)        Affiliate Group is defined as three or more people who work together in a distinct geographical locality, on objectives compatible with that of PLN, agree with the PLN Charter, consider themselves a group, and have been endorsed as an Affiliate Group by PLN Council.

(7)        Working Group is defined as two or more members who work together on a campaign, or on an aspect of PLN organisational development and outreach, agree with the PLN Charter, consider themselves a group, and have been endorsed as a Working Group by PLN Council

(8)        Affiliate Group Delegate is the person with the primary communication responsibility between their Affiliate Group and PLN Council.

(9)        Working Group Delegate is the person with the primary communication responsibility between their Working Group and PLN Council.

(10)      Office Bearers of PLN Council – Convenor, Financial Officer, Public Officer, Administration Officer

5          Membership

(1)   Individual members have the right to:

a)     Put a proposal to PLN Council;

b)    Vote at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM);

c)     Vote to nominate a delegate for Council from their affiliate group propose or participate in a working group.

(2)        Responsibilities of individual members:

a)     To read the agenda, proposals and supporting documents before attending a PLN council meeting or AGM

b)    To engage in modeling sustainable organizing

c)     To abide by the principles in the PLN Charter

(3)   The membership rate for individuals is $10 per calendar year.

(4)   Request for waiver of membership dues may be granted by PLN Council.

(5)        To become a member of PLN, individuals may fill out the applicable membership form. They may nominate the affiliate group of which they are a member, or intend to become a part of, or propose to establish.

(6)        They must read and agree to the PLN Charter, pay their membership fee, and be approved as a member at the next PLN Council monthly meeting.

(7)   The Administrative Officer shall maintain a register of members.

6          Affiliate Groups

(1)        Accountability of PLN Council Representatives to Affiliate Groups

a)     Each PLN Council Member is responsible for notifying their Affiliate Group or Working Group of proposals that come before the PLN Council and seek their input.

(2)        Accountability of PLN Council Representatives to Working Groups

a)     Each PLN Council Member is responsible for notifying their Affiliate Group or Working Group of proposals that come before the PLN Council and seek their input.

(3)   Affiliate Group Delegates

a)     Groups have the right to nominate two representatives, but should not feel compelled to do so.

7          Working Groups

(1)   Working Group Delegates

  1. All PLN members can nominate themselves as part of a working group or propose a new one on commencement of membership.
  2. Groups have the right to nominate two representatives, but should not feel compelled to do so.
  3. If a representative resigns, leaves the group they represent, dies, or is otherwise unable to fullfil their role they can be replaced by their group at any time by nomination of a new representative.

8          PLN Council

(1)      Focus:

a)     The PLN Council is PLN’s guiding body on the national level.

b)    The PLN Council shall have management of the incorporated body association.

(2)      Membership:

a)     Council Members

I.    The PLN Council shall be composed of PLN Affiliate Group Delegates, Working Group Delegates and Office Bearers of PLN.

b)    Voting Members

I.    The elected Convenor, PLN Office Bearers, Affiliate Group Delegates and Working Group Delegates all have a vote at PLN Council meetings.

c)     Non-voting Attendents

I.    The PLN Council can decide to appoint any person who is not a PLN member to be a non-voting participant for any meeting to act as an advisor.

II.    Any individual of a PLN member organisation or an individual member of PLN has the right to attend any meeting of the PLN Council at their own expense. They can act as participants in the meeting without decision-making rights. Any member who attends is automatically granted speaking rights.

(3)      Responsibilities of the PLN Council

a)    The PLN Council is the highest decision making body in PLN. It has final authority in all matters relating to PLN and its operations. The responsibilities expressly given to the PLN Council to deal with and over which it has sole authority follow:

I.    Yearly Budgeting,

II.    Approval of large Expenses/Significant Budget Changes,

III.    Campaign Endorsements,

IV.    Strategic Planning and Programming,

V.    Training Curriculum Development,

VI.    Employment and Employee Evaluations.

VII.    Create regulations governing the operation of PLN

VIII.    Approve policy

IX.    Endorse and unendorse Working Groups responsible for various PLN projects activities.

X.    Affiliate and disaffiliate Affiliate Groups

(4)      Delegation of PLN Council duties:

a)     Any duties and projects of the PLN Council can be delegated to any working group established by the PLN Council. These delegations may have conditions or directives associated with them.

(5)      Description of roles of PLN Council Representatives Attending PLN Council meetings:

a)     Participate in monthly online chats and/or conference calls and online discussions over email.

b)    Reporting to and seek feedback from their local group regarding proposals to PLN Council, outcomes of Council meetings, campaign progress and other PLN happenings.

c)     Be familiar with PLN Policy and Guidelines and become an individual member of PLN.

d)    Facilitate participation from your local group in PLN.

e)     Maintain regular contact with PLN Convenors and support them in their roles.

f)     Strongly encourage individual PLN membership within your group.

g)    Handover – training new PLN Council in their responsibilities.

h)     Help fundraise for PLN (by holding local events and participating in national events etc.)

i)      Bring proposals to the PLN Council meetings from your group in their interests.

j)      Help organise, set the agenda for and facilitate PLN Council meetings.

(6)        Schedule of PLN Council Meetings

a)     Face to face meetings:

I.    The PLN Council will meet face-to-face at least once a year.The Council will determine the dates of other face-to- face meetings as needed as long as at least 2 weeks notice is posted on an email list of all voting members of PLN Council.

II.    Intervals between face-to-face meetings should be no less than 14 days and no greater than 12 months.

III.    Quorum will be 30% of the membership of the PLN Council.

b)    Non face to face meetings:

I.    PLN Council will organise regular meetings via internet chat or phone conference. The PLN Council shall meet online or via conference call once a month. The time, date, place and agenda for the meeting shall be determined by the PLN Council at least 2 weeks beforehand and posted on an email list of all voting members of PLN Council.

II.    Quorum will be 30% of the membership of the PLN Council.

c)     Emergency Meetings:

I.    Any member of the PLN Council can call for an additional meeting of the PLN Council to address an issue that s/he deems as essential to address before the next scheduled meeting. If the member’s request is supported by two other members of the PLN Council, a meeting shall be set for a date within 5 to 10 days.

II.    Quorum will be 30% of the membership of the PLN Council.

d)    Emergency Matters:

I.    Where an urgent decision needs to be made, and it is not possible for a face-to-face PLN meeting to be held, email communication will count as valid participation, provided the following procedure is followed:

  1. The proposal in question must be circulated to an email list of all PLN Members with at least 24 hours prior;
  2. Emailed consent from 30% of members must be obtained to pass the proposal;
  3. Emailed alterations to the proposal are to be incorporated and circulated for consent;
  4. The proposal will remain open for emailed dissent for 24 hours after circulation even where 30% consent has been obtained;
  5. Unequivocal dissent to the proposal will prevent a decision being made via email;
  6. Any decision made by email must be reviewed and assented to at the next face-to-face PLN meeting.

II.    The use of email decisions should be limited to situations where it is impossible to hold a meeting in time for a decision, and is in no way a substitute for face-to-face meetings.

(7)        PLN Council Working Groups:

a)     These groups would operate under a mandate endorsed by PLN Council. Any individual PLN member can join these Working Groups.

b)    A delegate of the Working Group has a vote at PLN Council and is responsible for reporting between PLN Council and the Working Group. 

9          Decision Making Processes – General Meetings

(1)        Proposals:

a)     Any member of PLN has the right to submit a proposal to the PLN Council, AGM or EGM on any issue pertaining to PLN. Persons who are not members of PLN may only submit proposals dealing with the relationship or possible relationship between their organisation and PLN.

b)    Proposals are due at least 7 days before the PLN Council meeting, AGM or EGM and must be distributed by the proposer via email to all voting members. Proposals that do not make the 7 day deadline may be accepted as items without notice.

(2)        Procedure and Decision Making Guidelines

a)     Procedural Decisions

I.    All procedural decisions such as approving agenda items without notice, vote-to-vote, meeting times, and the manner of voting (ballot, show of hands etc), accepting motions without notice require single consensus falling to 66% majority of the PLN Council members present.

II.    Before a vote on a Procedural Decision can take place there must be consensus that holding such a vote will not silence dissent.

b)    Major Decisions

I.    All decisions that are not procedural decisions are Major Decisions.

II.    The following decision making process applies to all PLN Council meetings of PLN. The decision making model is as follows:

i)      Initial test for consensus after reading and explanation of proposal.

ii)     If, after appropriate discussion and negotiation, full consensus has not been achieved, the issue shall be deferred to a later point in the meeting or if impossible to resolve at the time, adjourned until the next meeting.

III.    If a decision is urgent, and cannot be deferred to another meeting then:

iii)    After a delay of at least ten minutes, attempt again to seek consensus. If consensus is not achieved this second time then;

iv)    A vote-to-vote must be taken, and passed by an 80% majority after which an 80% majority of the members is required to pass the resolution.

v)     Abstentions may be recorded but will not count as a vote cast, either for or against.

(3)       Quorum:

a)     Quorum is 30% of PLN membership.

(4)        Proxies:

a)     No proxies shall be allowed.

(5)        Affiliate Groups and Working Groups:

a)     Affiliate Groups are free to decide on the structure on their own organization, including working groups, but are encouraged to:

  1. Be non-hierarchical
  2. Based on consensus-decision making
  3. Hold regular meetings
  4. Encourage email discussion
  5. Have a process for removing speaking rights/membership privileges for members who abuse the process/objectives or membership of the PLN.

b)    Affiliate Groups are free to formalise their own arrangements in a “standing order” document, which upon approval by 80% majority of the PLN council, will be incorporated into the PLN Constitution.

c)     Affiliate Groups are encouraged to adopt the decision-making and grievance procedures in the PLN constitution. In the absence of an alternative agreement these procedures will be assumed to be in place.

10        Office Bearers

(1)  The office bearers of PLN are: Convenor, Financial Officer, Public Officer, Administrative Officer.

(2) Office Bearer Terms

a)     When a current Office bearer’s term is up, or if they choose to resign, or if the council by an 80% majority determines at a face-to-face meeting that an PLN Office Bearer should be replaced for any reason, an election for a new Office bearer will take place. At the yearly AGM, PLN members will elect Office Bearers to serve for a one-year term starting January 1st the following year. The newly elected Office Bearers will be referred to as the Office Bearers Elect until their term officially begins.

b)    Any individual PLN member may nominate for an PLN Office Bearer position. At their nomination each candidate has the right to make a speech and answer questions from the floor.

c)     Each officer of the PLN Association (council + affiliates + working groups) shall hold office until the annual general meeting next after the date of his or her election but is eligible for re-election.

(3) Handover of Office Bearer Terms

a)     The Office Bearers Elect will be responsible for supporting the Office Bearer in their role and seeking to identify and prevent signs of burnout in the Office Bearer.

b)    The Office Bearers Elect are also responsible for learning the duties that are required of them to be ready to hold the position.

(4) Casual Vacancies

a)     The office of an officer of the PLN Association, or of an ordinary member of the committee, becomes vacant if the officer or member—

  1. Ceases to be a member of the Association; or
  2. Becomes an insolvent under administration within the meaning of the Corporations Law; or
  3. Resigns from office by notice in writing given to the Administrative Officer.

b)    In the event of a casual vacancy in any office, the committee may appoint one of its members to the vacant office and the member appointed may continue in office up to and including the conclusion of the annual general meeting next following the date of the appointment.

(5) The PLN Council:

a)     Responsibilities of the PLN Convenor:

I.    Organizing PLN Council meetings;

II.    Act as a PLN spokesperson;

III.    Being up to date with the functioning of Working Groups and Affiliate Groups and remaining in regular contact with these groups;

IV.    Advocate consensus, participatory democracy, and an awareness of sexism, racism, homophobia and classism within these groups;

V.    Disseminating any information developed by Working Groups, Affiliate Groups or PLN Council.

VI.    Facilitate co-ordinating PLN Campaigns and projects as directed by the PLN Council; ensuring that O-week mailouts are compiled and disseminated; facilitates the dispute resolution process to model sustainable organizing

VII.    Promote membership of PLN and build the network

VIII.    Other responsibilities as directed by PLN Council

b)    Responsibilities of the Financial Officer:

I.    Respect and support the principles and purpose of PLN

II.    Responsibility for ensuring PLN complies with all incorporation law requirements

III.    Responsibility for ensuring that PLN complies with all tax laws and obligations

IV.    Administer PLN’s bank account

V.    Facilitating an open budget process and disseminating financial information to all PLN members

VI.    Day to day management of PLN finances ensuring appropriate records for PLN financial transactions are kept facilitating information dissemination and skill sharing about PLN finances

VII.    Co-ordinating grant applications and other fundraising activities

VIII.    Facilitate support for Working Groups in grant applications and fundraising developing effective processes drafting financial regulations and suggesting modifications

IX.    Ensuring all paid PLN office bearers are paid according to the regulations evaluation of PLN financial processes and strategic planning model sustainable organising

c)     Responsibilities of the Administrative Officer

I.    Keeping a register of PLN members

II.    Keeping a register of PLN Working Groups

III.    Keeping a register of PLN Affiliate Groups

IV.    Keeping a register of PLN Council Members

V.    Processing applications for fee-waivers

VI.    Processing and updating any applicable forms

VII.    Processing the disciplinary procedures

d)    Responsibilities of the Public Officer

I.    Ensuring that PLN complies with all its obligations as an Incorporated Not for Profit Association

II.    Liaising with government departments regarding incorporation 

11        AGM

(1) Each year, a PLN AGM will be held.

(2) The Convenor, at least 14 days, or if a special resolution has been proposed at least 21 days, before the date fixed for holding a general meeting of the Association, must cause to be sent to each member of the Association, a notice stating the place, date and time of the meeting and the nature of the business to be conducted at the meeting.  This notice must also be visibly displayed on the front page of the website at least 14 days prior to the AGM, or at least 21 days prior in the case of special resolution.

(3) In addition to other matters, the AGM shall:

a)     Elect the PLN Convenor, Administration Officer, Financial Officer and Public Officer;

b)    Receive reports and financial statements on the activities of Members, Officer Bearers and Working Groups;

c)     Review national campaigns, spokespeople and regional contacts;

d)    Devise a budget for the following financial year.

e)     Consider proposal(s) to make changes to the PLN Constitution

(4) This meeting will be open for all members to attend, and have speaking rights. All members can vote on decisions at the AGM.

12        Quorum

(1) Quorum is 30% PLN members with provision to alter as membership base changes.

(2) The voting process for electing PLN office bearers and the National Convenor is as follows:

a)     All voting shall be by secret ballot;

b)    If there is only one candidate for the position then members are asked to vote to endorse or not endorse the candidate;

c)     If there is more than one candidate members are required to vote for the candidate of their choice in order of preference, with the option to not endorse any candidate. The preferencing of candidates is optional.

d)    A candidate is considered successful when they have achieved a total of 80% of the vote of the members present. The candidate with the lowest vote will be eliminated in the count and their preference distributed until one candidate reaches the required majority.

13 Discipline, suspension and expulsion of members

(1)     A member may be expelled or suspended from PLN by special resolution to the effect that the member has acted in a way that has –

  1. Prevented or hindered PLN in carrying out its objectives; or
  2. Brought PLN into disrepute; or
  3. Been contrary to one or more PLN principles as described in the PLN charter or objectives and has caused PLN harm;
  4. Been detrimental to the interests of PLN.

(2) A meeting of the PLN Council must be called in order to expel or suspend a member.

(3) Written notice of the proposed resolution must be given to the member at least 21 days before the date of the meeting at which the special resolution is to be moved, including setting out the grounds on which suspension or expulsion is being considered, the date, place and time of the meeting, and the member must be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the meeting.

(4) If a meeting is to be called under this section the following procedures must apply:

at the meeting, the member must be afforded a full opportunity to be heard and is entitled to call witnesses and cross examine witnesses called against them and submit any written statements;

(5) If the member fails to attend at the time and place mentioned, without reasonable excuse, the act must be considered and the PLN Council decide on the evidence before it, despite the absence of the member;

(6) Once the act is considered, the PLN Council may decide to expel or suspend the member who committed the act;

(7) The PLN Council must make a decision on the act on expulsion or suspension, by consensus of the meeting falling to an 80% majority vote of members in attendance (excluding any members whose expulsion is being considered).

(8) If the PLN Council confirms the resolution, the member may, not later than 48 hours after that meeting, give the Administrative Officer a notice to the effect that she or he wishes to appeal to the next face-to-face meeting against the resolution. The decision of PLN Council is upheld until the next face-to- face meeting.

(9) At the next face-to-face meeting of PLN:

The question of the appeal must be conducted first; and the Council may place before the meeting details of the grounds for the resolution and the reasons for the passing of the resolution; and the member, or their representative, must be given an opportunity to be heard; and

the members present must vote by secret ballot on the question whether the resolution should be confirmed or revoked.

(10) A resolution is confirmed if, at the general meeting, not less than 80% of the members present vote in person in favour of the resolution. In any other case, the resolution is revoked.

(11)     An expelled member must not be re-admitted as a member unless the readmission is approved by the PLN Council.

14        Dispute and mediation

(1) The grievance procedure set out in this rule applies to disputes under these Rules between

(a)   A member(s) and another member(s); or

(b)   A member(s) and PLN.

(2)  The parties to the dispute must meet and discuss the matter in dispute, and, if possible, resolve the dispute within 14 days after the dispute comes to the attention of all of the parties or a party giving notice to the other parties involved in the dispute or grievance.

(3)  If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute at the meeting, or if a party fails to attend that meeting, then the parties must, within 10 days, hold a meeting in the presence of a mediator.

(a)   The mediator must be a person chosen by agreement between the parties; or in the absence of an agreement;

I.    In the case of a dispute between a member and another member, a person appointed by the PLN Council; or

II.    In the case of a dispute between a member and PLN, a person who is a mediator appointed or employed by the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria (Department of Justice) or those of any other state/territory should this be more accessible to the parties or a member of an acceptable organisation.

(b)   A member of PLN can be a mediator.

(c)   The mediator cannot be a member who is a party to the dispute.

(4)The parties to the dispute must, in good faith, attempt to settle the dispute by mediation. The mediator, in conducting the mediation, must -give the parties to the mediation process every opportunity to be heard; and allow due consideration by all parties of any written statement submitted by any party; and ensure that natural justice is accorded to the parties to the dispute throughout the mediation process.

(5)   The mediator must not determine the dispute but must conciliate and mediate.

(6)   If the mediation process does not result in the dispute being resolved, the parties may seek to resolve the dispute through dispute resolution, in accordance with the Act or otherwise at law.

15        Funds

(1) The ordinary funds of the association shall be banked in such bank accounts and in such manner as the national meeting shall approve, in compliance with the responsibilities of the financial officer (s.10.3)

(2) Any national funds shall be administered in a manner decided by the national face-to-face meetings.

(3) All cheques, drafts, bills of exchange, promissory notes and other negotiable instruments must be signed by two members of the PLN Council, unless a council meeting resolution creates authority for two non-office bearing PLN members to sign such documents.

(4) Each PLN member authorised to operate an account shall undertake in writing to expend the funds of the association in accordance with the objectives of the association and in conformity with the directions of PLN Council meetings.

(5) ‘Funds’ for the purposes of this constitution shall be;

a)     A fee levied from each member and affiliate group. The fee shall be TBA Individual members and for Affiliate Groups

b)    Any grants or donations to the PLN

c)     Specific fund-raising carried out by, or on behalf of the PLN.

(6) Ethical Funding

a)     Grants, donation and other money is to be received in accordance with the Funding and Advertising Policy which is to be incorporated into this constitution.

(7) Distribution of Funds

a)     The distribution of funds shall be in accordance with the objectives of the PLN.

b)    Affiliate Groups will be given equal consideration in the allocation of funds with special consideration given to smaller and locationally disadvantaged groups.

c)     Expenses incurred by Affiliate and Working Groups in the pursuance of the PLNs objectives can be reimbursed – upon submission of receipts – through Budget Lines, which are to be pre-approved by the PLN Council. 

16        Seal

(1)     The common seal of the Association must be kept in the custody of the Administration Officer.

(2)     The common seal must not be affixed to any instrument except by the authority of the committee and the affixing of the common seal must be attested by the signatures either of two members of the committee or, of one member of the committee and of the public officer of the Association.

17        Custody and inspection of books and records

(1)  Except as otherwise provided in these Rules, the Administration Officer must keep in his or her custody or under his or her control all books, documents and securities of the Association.

(2) All accounts, books, securities and any other relevant documents of the Association must be available for inspection free of charge by any member upon request. 

18        PLN Public fund

(1)   The PLN will establish and maintain a public fund to be called the PLN Fund for the specific purpose of supporting the objects/purposes of the PLN. The Fund is established to receive all gifts of money or property for this purpose and any money received because of such gifts must be credited to its bank account.

(2)   The objective of the fund is to support the PLN’s purposes.

(3)   Members of the public may be invited to make gifts of money or property to the fund for the  purposes of the organisation.

(4)   Money from interest on donations, income derived from donated property, and money from the realisation of such property is to be deposited into the fund.

(5)   A separate bank account is to be opened to deposit money donated to the fund, including interest accruing thereon, and gifts to it are to be kept separate from other funds of the organisation.

(6)   Receipts are to be issued in the name of the fund and proper accounting records and procedures are to be kept and used for the fund.

(7)   The fund will be operated on a not-for-profit basis.

(8)   A committee of management of no fewer than three persons will administer the fund. The committee will be appointed by the organisation.

19        Conduit Policy

(1)     Any allocation of funds or property to other persons or organisations will be made in accordance with the established purposes of the organisation and not be influenced by the preference of the donor.

20        Amendment of Constitution

(1)     These rules and the statement of purposes of the PLN may be amended by resolution of an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting. Resolutions must be passed by consensus falling to 80% vote by members present.

21        Dissolution

(1)     The association may be dissolved nationally by a resolution supported by consensus of the members present at a National Meeting falling to 80% majority, especially summoned for the purpose. Such resolution to dissolve shall specify an association towards which the funds of the dissolved association shall be transferred which is in accordance with the PLN’s objectives.


A         Application Form

Application for Membership of The Progressive Law Network:

I,                                                             of                                             desire to become a

(name and occupation)                                            (address)

member of the Progressive Law Network

(name of Affiliate Group where applicable)

In the event of my admission as a member, I agree to be bound by the PLN Consitution for the time being in force.

Signature of Applicant


I,                                                                     , a member of the Association,


nominate the applicant, who is personally known to me, for membership of the Association.

Signature of Proposer


I,                                                        , a member of the Association, second


the nomination of the applicant, who is personally known to me, for membership of the Association.

Signature of Seconder



B         Register of Members

Name Role
Jenna McConnachie Convenor
Emille Boulot Admin Officer
Amanda Thomson Financial Officer
Jane Black Public Officer
Penelope Swales Events
Jase Seaman Careers
Josie De Costa Publicity
Emma Palmer Member
Stefan Zibell Member
Tim Scott Member
Elka Sadler Member
Jeremy Shelley Member
Lana Kagan Member
Katrina Chow Member
Sam Parkhill Member
Hannah Cross Member
Colleen Bolger Member
Hillary Bolek Member
Sandra Murray Member
Kaami Shah Member
Elizabeth Hicks Member

C         Advertising and Sponsorship Policy:

(1)     Advertising and Sponsorship will not be accepted if the advertisement, or sponsorship, or advertiser or sponsor:

a)     contravenes the PLN Constitution;

b)    portrays people or depicts material in a way that discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community or directly or indirectly discriminates against or vilifies a person or section of the community on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability or political belief;

c)     is considered to be misleading or deceptive or is considered to engage in misleading or deceptive conduct;

d)    promotes, supports or contributes to (including by investment) environmental damage including but not limited to:

i.    commercial activities which either import timber or timber products from or actively deforest old growth forests and rainforest

ii.    chemical companies

iii.    companies which fail to attempt to address their contribution to climate change

iv.    companies involved in the mining, processing and sale of petroleum

v.    companies engaged in native forest woodchipping either via woodchip processing, ownership of mills or export of woodchips

vi.    mining companies

vii.    companies that test on live animals

viii.    any company known to have contravened legislation protecting endangered species, emission and production of CFC’s and other Ozone depleting chemicals

ix.    companies which engage in uranium mining, transport or processing, nuclear energy production or

x.    nuclear waste disposal

xi.    companies that generate or sell products containing any genetically modified material

xii.    companies that use plastic bags in any way as part of the sponsorship agreement

e)     promotes the use of or is involved in the manufacture of tobacco products;

f)     promotes the use of illegal substances;

g)    promotes gambling;

h)     promotes weapons and ammunition; or is involved in the manufacture or transfer of armaments, tortureequipment or other equipment used in the violation of human rights;

i)      promotes or engages in “adult services” (such as brothels, escort services, phone sex and similar services) or pornography;

j)      promotes or engages in unethical practices in animal care and husbandry, including caged egg production; blood sports; the fur trade or animal testing;

k)     does not take a responsible position with regard to fair trade or labour rights or:

i.    contravenes union agreed standards of pay and conditions;

ii.    actively seeks to destroy the effectiveness of unions;

iii.    attempts to prevent unions from representing their employees;

iv.    provides inhumane working conditions for some or all of their employees.

l)      or portrays, promotes, implies or suggests any other thing which, in the reasonable view of the PLN Council, would damage the reputation, standing or brand of the PLN.

D         Monash Affiliate Standing Orders

                   1.            Office Bearers:

1.1       Convenor:

An oversight role, similar to a chair or director, keeping track of the network as a whole. Convenor could oversee the completion of tasks, make sure that people are completing their tasks, pulling information together, making sure that tasks are allocated, distributing work and power across the network. The convenor could also introduce new people to the network and be a general fount of knowledge about whats a happenin!

1.2       Admin:

Tasks are similiar to a secretary’s role. Scheduling meetings, publicising meetings to the network, ensuring minutes are sent out, and that there is an agenda for upcoming meetings and making sure the meeting runs smoothly – this could include making sure that there are resources available – eg. computer for minutes, snack breaks, game opportunities, break up if long meeting etc. Making sure that there is a facilitator and minute taker and keeping meetings on time and on topic.

1.3       Communication:

A public relations-type role. Checking and responding to email and letters; maintaining the PLN website and blog with news and updates. First contact point for external groups and people. Liasing with other NGOs and campaign groups.Maintaining the network, keeping people in touch with each other through social events and ensuring lasting relationships between organisers. Liasing affiliated collectives. Making sure new people feel welcomed and included.

1.4       Finance:

A treasurer role. Generating a whole-of-PLN budget, reimbursing costs incurred by folks, overseeing fundraising, acquiring grants.

1.5       Careers:

A person specifically dedicated to keeping abreast of whats happening in legal careers. Making sure that the legal careers guide is published, ensuring education of alternative career paths occurs, breaking the corporate pathway mould.

Careers Working Group:

To support the Careers Co-ord in their role – especially the publication of the alternative careers guide.

1.6       Events:

Taking direction from the network to organise events (like fundraisers, campaign launches, working bees, etc.). Putting together a budget for approval, generating promotional material, doing logistical legwork. This would also cover events such as the (r)evolution conference.

Events Working Group:

To support the Events Co-ord in their role – especially the planning and promotion of the legal (r)evolution conference.

1.7       Publicity:

To produce material (posters, flyers etc), to promote the PLN, to attract new members and publicise events.

                   2.           Anti-Hierarchical

  • PLN members all have equal participation in PLN: Elected Office Bearers are appointed to areas of responsibility, not power!
  • The PLN is founded on teamwork. PLN members agree to support each other with the goals, projects and responsibilities of the PLN.
  • The PLN encourages consensus, participatory democracy, and the awareness and active challenging of sexism, racism, homophobia and classism in its organising.


                   3.           Consensus Decision-Making:


a.  Initial test for consensus after reading and explanation of proposal.

b.  If, after appropriate discussion and negotiation, full consensus has not been achieved, the issue shall be deferred to a later point in the meeting or if impossible to resolve at the time, adjourned until the next meeting.

c.  If a decision is urgent, and cannot be deferred to another meeting then:

  1. After a delay of at least ten minutes, attempt again to seek consensus. If consensus is not achieved this second time then;
  2. A vote-to-vote must be taken, and passed by an 80% majority after which;
  3. An 80% majority of the members is required to pass the resolution. Abstentions may be recorded but will not count as a vote cast, either for or against.

                   4.           Meetings:

4.1       Meeting Procedure:

  • Weekly meetings throughout semester at regular time
  • Notified 1 week in advance
  • Agenda set 24 hours prior by email
  • Rotating facilitator – and refer to tools for facilitators
  • Minutes distributed weekly

4.2       Email as valid participation:

Where meetings are unable to be held, or minutes/decisions of meetings are to be altered – email is considered valid means of expressing consent/dissent.

4.3       Removal of speaking rights/email privileges/membership:

Where it is felt that a PLN member is disrespectful of the PLN objectives, processes or members – after due warning and opportunity to improve – a vote by 80% majority of PLN members can remove member privileges.

4.4       Quorum:

  • If less than 5 members hold a meeting, their decisions will not be binding until minutes are posted to the email list to allow for reasonable dissent or alterations and a period of one week has passed.
  • Dissent/consent to PLN decisions communicated via email is valid.
  • Minutes of previous meeting ratified at beginning of every meeting with opportunity to amend decisions.


                   5.           Finance

5.1       Spending money

  • The PLN can delegate someone to inquire and make purchases on behalf of the PLN through a decision in line with these standing orders.
  • PLN members authorised to make purchases on behalf of the PLN will obtain 3 quotes for purchases over $100.
  • Receipts to be given to the Finance Officer.