OBA Student Divison Constitution
1. NAME AND DEFINITIONS
- “Ambassador” means a Student Member who has the duties ascribed in this Constitution.
- “Annual Period” means a one year period commencing August 15 of each year.
- “Articling Students”mean students who are articling or participating in the Law Society’s Law Practice Program as part of their requirement to be called to the Bar in Ontario.
- “Law School” means the faculties of law at the University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario, Queen’s University, University of Ottawa, University of Windsor and York University (i.e. Osgoode Hall Law School) and Lakehead University (Thunder Bay).
- “Law Students” means students enrolled at Law Schools.
- “Members-at-Large” means members of the Student Division Executive who are appointed by the Chair, subject to the approval of the other members of the Executive.
- “Officers” (or "SD Officers") mean the officers of the SD.
- “Student Division Executive” (or "SD Executive") means the executive committee of the SD responsible for administering the SD.
- “Student Division” (or “SD”) means a division of the Ontario Bar Association (“OBA”), which is a branch of the Canadian Bar Association (“CBA”).
- “Student Member”and “SD Member”) means a student member of the OBA (and therefore of the OBA). Student Members may be Law Students or Articling Students.
- “Student Membership” means membership in the OBA (and therefore the CBA).
The Student Division is comprised of Student Members – both Law Students and Articling Students.
The purposes of the SD are:
- to respond to the needs of SD Members and to encourage and facilitate SD Members to participate in SD and OBA activities;
- to promote Student Membership among Law Students and Articling Students;
- to ensure that SD Members are kept informed of current developments in SD activities and other matters that may affect them and their future in the legal profession;
- to advocate for OBA activities and policy changes that will lead to increased Student Membership and engagement;
- to bring issues of concern for students to the attention of OBA decision-makers and to encourage appropriate responses;
- to facilitate student participation in the governance of the OBA.
This Constitution has been adopted subject to the OBA by-laws.
5. SD EXECUTIVE
- The SD Executive shall be comprised of:
- The Officers, consisting of the Chair, Vice-Chair and Immediate Past Chair;
- One Ambassador from each of:
- The first or second year of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University;
- Osgoode Hall Law School;
- Queen’s University Faculty of Law;
- The University of Toronto Faculty of Law;
- The University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law;
- Windsor University Faculty of Law;
- The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law French Common Law Program;
- The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, English Common Law Program;
- The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law Civil Law Program.
- Three Ambassadors who are Articling Students (i.e. one each from the (a) Toronto, Central West, South Central or Central East Regions (b) The South West or West Regions; and (c) the East Region;
- One Ambassador from and Law Practice Program in Ontario; and
- One Ambassador who is a third year student enrolled in the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law Integrated Practice Curriculum; and
- Subject to section 5(d), Members-at-Large.
- An SD Member may hold more than one of the positions set out in section 5(a). However, each SD Executive member shall have only one vote, regardless of the number of positions the SD Executive member may hold on the SD Executive.
- With the exception of the Immediate Past Chair, who need only be a CBA/OBA member, only Student Members may be Officers or members of the SD Executive.
- Unless the OBA Board of Directors authorises otherwise, the SD Executive shall have no more than 17 members.
The Officers have the following duties:
- Chair – shall preside at all meetings of the SD Executive, oversee the performance of all activities of the SD, provide a report in writing for each OBA Annual meeting on the work of the SD for the Annual Period just ended, and exercise any other powers and duties usually associated with the office. The Chair or the Chair’s designate, shall report in writing and represent the SD at each meeting of the OBA Executive Committee and Council. The Chair shall also act as the liaison to the OBA Membership Committee.
- Vice-Chair – shall assist the Chair in the performance of the responsibilities of that office, act for the Chair during the absence or inability of the Chair, take minutes of business transacted at any meeting of the SD Executive, and provide a copy of all minutes to the OBA staff liaison for distribution to the SD Executive members. The Vice-Chair shall ensure the SD complies with this constitution and OBA’s by-laws and policies and shall exercise any other duties that the Chair designates.
- Immediate Past Chair – shall assist the Chair and the Vice-Chair in the performance of their respective duties as they may request.
- The Ambassadors have the following duties:
- Act as OBA liaisons to their respective Law Schools, on campus and among Articling Students;
- Promote Student Membership and OBA awareness;
- Coordinate OBA promotional events (e.g. “Life After Law School” programs, Articling Career Fairs, and any Law Student events appropriate for an OBA presence);
- Write or solicit one article per ambassador term in accordance with the requirements of JUST.).
- Assume responsibility, as the Chair directs, for the following duties:
- newsletter coordinator to provide SD input for OBA’s JUST.
- website coordinator to provide SD input for the student area of the OBA website. Subject to the OBA bylaws, the Officers; and,
- the Ambassadors shall be members of OBA Council.
7. TERM OF OFFICE
- The term of each position on the SD Executive is for an Annual period commencing August 15.
- The term of each of the Officers shall be one year. The OBA Board of Directors may authorize a person to serve in any one Officer position for an additional one year term.
8. SELECTION OF SD EXECUTIVE
- Students Members shall be notified in January of available Ambassador Positions for the next Annual Period, and invited to submit a statement of interest and their résumé to be received by the OBA staff liaison no later than March 31 in the current Annual Period.
- Should there be no statements of interest received for one or more Ambassador position(s), the current Ambassador(s) shall be asked to submit his/her/their recommendations for a replacement to be received by the OBA staff liaison no later than April 15 in the current Annual Period.
- The SD Officers shall select the new Ambassadors for the next Annual Period, from the names submitted, and appoint them no later than April 30 in the current Annual Period. The SD Officers may consult with the current Ambassadors, OBA Board members and OBA senior staff, during the selection process and prior to the appointment of the incoming Ambassadors. The SD Officers shall consider succession planning for the SD Vice-Chair position when selecting new student ambassadors.
- On or before June 30 in the current Annual Period, the SD Executive shall elect a Vice-Chair from the current SD Executive for the next Annual Period. The Vice-Chair is the Chair-elect and will succeed the Chair when the Chair’s term of office is over. In the event that none of the members of the Executive for the current Annual Period wish to be considered for election to the Vice-Chair position for the next Annual Period, one of the incoming Ambassadors for the next Annual Period may be elected to the position of Vice-Chair (Chair-Elect).
- The OBA Board of Directors must approve all SD Executive members and Council must ratify the Board's approval, before their appointment or election becomes effective.
- The Chair may appoint Members-at-Large and, subject to section 5(d), determine the number of them. Members-at-Large shall be appointed to assist with SD with specific initiatives that will require more involvement, activity or support than the Officers and Ambassadors can reasonably be expected to provide.
- If an SD Executive position becomes vacant for any reason, including resignation, termination, or disqualification, during an Annual Period, the remaining SD Executive members may appoint a Student Member to fill that position for the remainder of that Annual Period.
- An SD Executive member so appointed shall serve from the date of the appointment until the last day of the current Annual Period (the “Stub Period”). If the member is appointed on or before December 1, the Stub Period shall count as one Annual Period in determining term of office under Section 7. If the member is appointed after December 1, the Stub Period shall not count in determining term of office under Section 7..
10. REMOVAL FROM EXECUTIVE
- Subject to final approval by the OBA Board of Directors, the SD Executive may remove any member of the Executive for failure to properly discharge the duties of that position. Notice of the motion to remove the Executive Member must be given to all SD Executive Members at least 15 days before the meeting at which the motion will be presented. The Member proposed to be removed shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard after the motion to remove has been moved and seconded, but before the vote. The vote shall require a 2/3 majority of votes cast in order to be carried and the member removed.
- Subject to section 5(c), an SD Executive member shall cease to hold office upon ceasing to be an SD Member.
- If any SD Executive member misses two consecutive SD Executive meetings, the term of office of the member shall automatically terminate. However, the SD Executive may pass a motion, either before or at the second missed meeting, excusing the member’s absence and confirming the continuation of the member’s term of office. Approval of a motion to excuse the absence and confirm continuation of an Executive Member’s term shall not be unreasonably withheld.
11. EXECUTIVE MEETINGS
- The SD Executive shall meet at the call of the Chair at least four times during each Annual Period. Notice of the time, place, and general purpose of a meeting shall be sent to each SD Executive member at least seven days before the meeting or, in the event of an emergency, upon one business day’s notice. Attendance at SD Executive meetings may be in person, by teleconference or by other electronic means.
- The first meeting of the SD Executive in an Annual Period shall be held at the OBA Annual meeting and fall Council meeting.
A majority of the SD Executive members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any SD Executive meeting.
13. DIVISION EXECUTIVE DECISIONS
Except as set out in section 10(a), decisions of the SD Executive shall be by majority vote of those attending the meeting. In case of a tie, the Chair of the meeting shall cast the deciding vote.
14. DIVISION EXECUTIVE AGENDA
Subject to further agenda items that any SD Executive member may submit, the Chair shall set the agenda for SD Executive meetings. Every agenda shall have as its final item, “other business”.
15. CONDUCT OF MEETING
Meetings under this Constitution shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order (the most current edition) and shall be consistent with OBA by-laws and policies.
Minutes shall be kept for all meetings pursuant to the OBA Minutes Policy.
The Executive may amend this constitution at any SD Executive meeting. However, amendments to the constitution shall only become effective upon the approval of the OBA Board of Directors.