CHARTER

Paragraph  1
Name, domicile, financial year

1) The Society shall bear the name “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädelbasischirurgie e. V.” (German Society for Skull Base Surgery).
2) The Society’s domicile shall be in Hannover.
3) The Society’s financial year shall be the calendar year.

Paragraph 2
Purpose, charitable nature

1) The skull base is, both anatomically and functionally, a very important region of the body. Congenital medical conditions, developmental disorders and other health problems require, as well as sound anatomical knowledge, the application of a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. With regard to the special situation of the skull base, and also to the organism as a whole, medical conditions affecting the skull base area require – owing to the specific problems encountered in this region of the body – the interdisciplinary integration of different surgical and non-surgical fields. The purpose of the Society is to promote the scientific study of the skull base, especially the research, identification and treatment of malformations, injuries and diseases in the skull base region in humans. This purpose enshrined in the Charter shall be achieved by encouraging personal contact between physicians and scientists working in the fields of anatomy, otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, pathology/neuropathology, neuroanatomy and radiology/neuroradiology, as well as by nurturing the exchange of ideas with professional colleagues outside Germany and exponents of related disciplines.

More specifically, the purpose of this Charter shall be fulfilled by the promotion of in-service training and professional development aimed at assuring the quality of different diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, by the organization and staging of scientific events, through the support of scientific, charitable research projects, by the publication of a scientific journal, by the procurement of scientific equipment and literature and the provision thereof for scientific, non-profit research projects and events, and by the bestowing of honours for outstanding achievements or special services in scientific research relating to the skull base.

2) The Society does not act on its own behalf. It does not pursue any goals serving its own economic interest, but solely pursues directly charitable purposes in accordance with the section entitled “Tax-privileged purposes” in the German Tax Code (Abgabeverordnung) and does not seek profits. The funds of the Society may be used only for purposes stated in this Charter. Its members shall receive no allowances from the Society’s funds. No person may benefit from expenditures that are not related to the Society’s purpose, or from inappropriately high payments.

Paragraph 3
Membership

1) The Society has full, associate, corresponding and honorary members; it may also have an Honorary President (acting in an advisory capacity).
2) Only those who are full members of one of the following scientific associations may become an honorary member:

  • 1. German Anatomical Society (Deutsche Anatomische Gesellschaft)
  • 2. German Society of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohrenheilkunde, Kopf-und Hals-Chirurgie)
  • 3. German Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie)
  • 4. German Society of Neurosurgery (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie)
  • 5. German Society of Neuropathology and Neuroanatomy (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neuropathologie und Neuroanatomie)
  • 6. German Society of Neuroradiology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neuroradiologie)
  • 7. German Ophthalmological Society (Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft)
  • 8. German Society of Pathology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pathologie)
  • 9. German Radiology Society (Deutsche Röntgen-Gesellschaft)

3) Physicians or scientists interested in the Society’s aims may become associate members. They are not entitled to vote.
4) Those wishing to be accepted as a full or associate member must submit a written application (endorsed in writing by two full members and together with a brief curriculum vitae) to the Society’s Executive Committee. A decision on admission shall be made, after the Society’s extended Executive Committee has notified its members in good time about the application, by a two-thirds majority of votes cast. No reasons for refusal need be given.
5) Scientists who maintain professional or personal contact with the Society may be appointed as corresponding members. They are not entitled to vote. They shall be elected by the General Meeting, by a two-thirds majority of votes cast, at the nomination of the extended Executive Committee.
6) Leading figures in the field who have significantly advanced the research, identification or treatment of malformations, injuries or diseases in the area of the skull base in humans, or who have rendered outstanding services to the Society, may be appointed as honorary members. Unless they have previously been a full member, they are not entitled to vote. They shall be appointed by the General Meeting, at the unanimous nomination of the extended Executive Committee, by a two-thirds majority of votes cast.
7) A scientist may be appointed Honorary President (an advisory function) if he/she, as a former President of the Society, meets the criteria required for an honorary member (as defined in § 3, Section 6 of the Society’s Charter) exceptionally well, and has rendered particularly outstanding services to the Society and to skull base surgery in general at both national and international level.

Paragraph 4
Termination of membership

1) Membership shall cease in the event of death, withdrawal or exclusion.
2) Withdrawal shall take place by means of a written statement made to the Executive Committee. Withdrawal may be declared only with effect from the end of a given financial year, giving three months’ notice.
3) Members who, through their conduct, undermine the Society’s purposes and standing, may, by a motion of the extended Executive Committee, be excluded by the General Meeting by a two-thirds majority of votes cast. A member who has been sentenced (this sentence being final and unappealable) to loss of civic rights or whose license to practise medicine has been withdrawn shall, once this ruling comes into force, be deemed excluded. The same applies to members who have, for longer than two financial years, and despite repeated reminders, not met the requirement to pay membership dues; they shall lose their membership on completion of the second year.

Paragraph 5
Membership dues

Both full and associate members shall be required to pay annual dues set by the General Meeting. The relevant resolution shall apply until such time as new dues are set by an amending resolution. Corresponding members, honorary members, the honorary president and members who have retired from professional life are not subject to dues. The Executive Committee may, for full and associate members, temporarily suspend the requirement to pay dues if mitigating circumstances apply.

Paragraph 6
The Society’s governing bodies

The Society’s governing bodies are: the General Meeting – the Executive Committee – the extended Executive Committee – the Advisory Committee – and the Commissions.

Paragraph 7
The General Meeting

1) The Ordinary General Meeting is usually held as part of the Annual Conference. The invitation to this Conference must contain the meeting’s agenda and must be sent to members at least thirty days prior to the meeting. Invitations shall be deemed sent if dispatched to a given member’s last known address. Only resolutions relating to points of which members are notified in the agenda may be adopted.  Only in exceptional cases may the Executive Committee add to the agenda such urgency motions as members can be notified of at least one week prior to the meeting, and which are not intended to amend the Charter.
2) Extraordinary General Meetings may be convened in writing by the Executive Committee at any time, giving 14 days’ notice and notification of the agenda. The Executive Committee is required to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting when this is requested by at least one-fifth of the members. For the sending of invitations, Paragraph 7(1) shall apply accordingly.
3) Any properly convened General Meeting shall be quorate irrespective of the numbers of members eligible to vote who are present. Only full members are eligible to vote. The Secretary shall prepare minutes of the General Meetings and send them to members at their last known address. Objections to the minutes must be made to the Executive Committee in writing within one month. If no objections are raised, the minutes shall be deemed accepted. A decision on these objections shall be made by a simple majority of votes at the next General Meeting.
4) At the Ordinary General Meeting, the balance statement for the cash account for the current calendar year shall be submitted. The General Meeting shall decide by a simple majority whether to formally approve the actions of the Executive Committee. The treasurer’s performance shall be assessed by two full members elected annually for this function (for the current financial year) by the General Meeting. They shall report to the General Meeting concerning their assessment and table a motion that the actions of the treasurer be approved.

Paragraph 8
Executive Committee

1) The Executive Committee shall consist of: the President – the Vice-President – the General Secretary  – the Treasurer – the Advisory Member – and the Honorary President (acting in an advisory capacity). The Executive Committee, within the meaning of § 26 of the German Civil Code (BGB), shall consist of the President and the Vice President. Each of them shall have sole power of representation. Internal arrangements shall be such that the Vice President is to act only if the President is prevented from performing his/her duties.
2) The Executive Committee shall run the Society’s business. It shall be deemed quorate as soon as at least three of its members are present, and its decisions shall be taken by a simple majority. In the event of a tie, the President shall have the casting vote.3) The Executive Committee shall be elected, by an absolute majority, by the General Meeting. The vote shall be conducted in secret and separately for each Executive Committee member. The President and the Vice President shall be elected for a two-year term. They may stand for re-election only once and can be re-elected only by a two-thirds majority of votes cast. The General Secretary and the Treasurer are also elected for a two-year term, this re-election being by a simple majority and not subject to restrictions.

Paragraph 9
Advisory Committee

The role of the Advisory Committee is to support and advise the Executive Committee in its running of the Society. It consists of the President’s predecessors in office, the Chairs of the standing commissions and at least one exponent of the disciplines listed in § 3 Section 2. The President shall become a member of the Advisory Committee upon completion of his/her term in office. The Chairs of the standing commissions shall serve on the Advisory Committee for the duration of their term in office. The remaining members shall be elected by the General Meeting for the duration of four years, and by an absolute majority of votes; they may stand for re-election.

Paragraph 10
Extended Executive Committee

The Executive Committee and the Advisory Committee shall form the extended Executive Committee.

Paragraph 11
Commissions

1) The Society shall form standing commissions and ad hoc commissions.
2) The Chairs of the standing commissions shall be elected by the General Meeting for a four- year term. They may stand for re-election. They shall, in agreement with the Executive Committee, elect the members of their commissions themselves.
3) Ad hoc commissions may be used by the Executive Committee or the extended Executive Committee for addressing particular issues. The results of their work shall be presented to the General Meeting by the Executive Committee.

Paragraph 12
Amendments to the Charter

The General Meeting may decide on amendments to the Charter by a two-thirds majority, and only if the members are notified of amendment motions (stating the proposed new wording) together with an invitation to the General Meeting.

Paragraph 13
Dissolution of the Society

1) The dissolution of the Society may be decided upon only by a two-thirds majority of full members and by a written ballot and roll-call vote.
2) Provided the General Meeting does not decide to the contrary, the President and the Vice-President shall act jointly as authorized liquidators.
3) If the Society is dissolved or terminated or its previous purpose no longer applies, its assets are to be used for tax-privileged purposes. Resolutions concerning the further use of its assets may be made only once approval has been obtained from the tax authorities.