Report of the By-Laws Committee
P. Moutard (FR), Chair
1. BLC meetings and the topics discussed during these meetings
Two BLC meetings took place recently, the 1st one on 31 August 2016 and the second one on 13 October.
Following topics were discussed:
- possible amendments to R.154 EPC and to internal regulations of the epi regarding the payment of the membership fee;
- the Terms of Reference of the Editorial Committee, the Electoral Committee and the Online Communication Committee;
- the new rules governing the epi-studentship and the formulation of the Terms of Reference of a new committee in charge of studying the admission of candidates to the epi-studentship;
- the Terms of Reference of a new committee in charge of seeking candidates for positions at the Presidium or in the Board; this proposal, as well as the following ones, are from the Reporting Group (RG);
- the possibility of implementing Internet voting for Council to take decisions outside Council meetings;
- the possibility of shifting the terms of the committees from the spring meeting of each election year to the autumn meeting of the same year;
- a new method to select candidates for the committees.
We make here below a short presentation of the state of these different topics.
2. Rule 154 EPC and amendments to epi internal regulations
The BLC revised the epi internal regulations (epi 3.1.1, 4.2.1, 4.3.2 - 4.3.4, 5.1.1 - 5.1.5 and 5.2.2) which should be amended in accordance with the reform of Rule 154 (1) EPC.
The discussions were based on the versions of the regulations that had been previously prepared by the Legal Advisor and circulated among all members of the BLC.
Due to internal changes in the Legal Division of the EPO, the amendment to Rule 154 EPC – and to the corresponding epi provisions - are postponed to 2017. The work already done by the BLC will form a good basis when the amendments to said Rule are further discussed with the EPO.
3. The terms of Reference (ToR) of the Editorial Committee, the Electoral Committee and the Online Communication Committee.
These 3 provisions were amended based on requests from, and in cooperation with, the respective committees. All the amendments will be presented to the Berlin Council meeting for decision.
3a. The BLC revised the amendments proposed by OCC to its ToR. The amended ToR will be presented at the next C81 Council meeting. The FR and the DE translation of the ToR will be prepared after the Council meeting (provided that the text is approved).
There was a need to amend the Terms of Reference of the OCC, in particular further to the decision of the Council (C80) to entrust the OCC with the task of reminding the EPO that fax reception should not be dismantled until backup measures have been found satisfactory. This task is not clearly compatible with the existing Terms of Reference. There was also a need to adapt the ToR of the OCC to new communication tools, in particular those which should be implemented by the UPC and, possibly, the ePCT.
3b. The BLC revised the amendments proposed by the Electoral Committee to its ToR. These amendments concern the adaptation of the tasks Electoral Committee to the new possibilities of e-voting.
3c. The BLC also revised the amendments proposed by the Editorial Committee to its ToR.
4. Rules governing the epi Studentship
The BLC revised the Rules governing the epi Studentship and provided some comments for the Working group (WG) on "Early Registration" in order to enable the WG to finalize the document.
5. Terms of Reference of the epi studentship admission committee
The BLC revised the ToR of this new committee and made some recommendation.
6. Terms of Reference of the Nominations Committee
The BLC revised the ToR for the Nominations Committee proposed by the RG. This committee would look for candidates for positions belonging to the Presidium or to the Board.
7. Internet voting
The BLC revised the proposal of the Reporting group regarding the Internet voting and also prepared an alternative version. Since there are many articles in the BL (see list here below) that should be amended due to Internet voting, the BLC decided to draft the Articles after the Council decision in Berlin. It will certainly be necessary to elaborate further regulations; however the problems that will be met by this new procedure are impossible to predict now.
8. Shifting of the term of the Committees
The BLC discussed the proposal of the Reporting Group concerning the shifting of the term of the Committees. Generally, there is no inconsistency in shifting the term of the Committees according to Art. 18.2 BL. Nonetheless, the Board (Art. 7.2 BL), the Disciplinary Committee (Art. 11 FR) and the Internal Auditors (Art. 20 BL) have to be elected at the same Council meeting. The BLC recommended to inform the committee Chairs shortly after the decision of Council in Berlin.
9. Populating the Committees
The BLC also discussed the proposal of the Reporting Group concerning new rules for candidates applying for being members of committees. 3 different proposals have been elaborated by the BLC, including an early application, with or without further details – like a cv – from any candidate for some or all committees.