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Guild Byelaws

Byelaws of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists as ratfied on 14 March 2013. A pdf version of these byelaws is available here.

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Byelaws of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists

14 March 2013


A. Any written communication shall be taken to mean any of the following: letter, fax or email

B. Every letter or notice concerning the Guild, sent by the Secretary or the Council, to a member and addressed to him/her with details provided by that member, shall be deemed to have been properly sent and he/she shall be deemed to have sufficient notice of the contents of such letter or notice.



A. Membership amounts shall be fixed by the Council.

B. Membership fees fall due upon joining the Guild and annually in the same month thereafter.

C. All members shall pay their annual subscription by Direct Debit.

D. Members must pay their subscription within three months of the due date. Overdue members shall receive a notice from the Secretary to draw his/her attention to that fact. If the subscription arrear is not paid within seven days of that notification or within such further time as the Council may grant, such member may, by a resolution of the Council be excluded from the Guild and cease to be a member.

E. Members in default of all or part payment of their subscription by the due date each year shall forfeit the right to enter Guild awards or competitions until restitution is made in full. Any entries to such awards or competitions submitted by such members in default shall be deemed ineligible and the entrant disqualified.

F. The name, private residence and place of employment of every member shall be recorded by the Secretary. Any member who at any time changes their private residence and/or place of employment shall inform the Secretary.



A. A candidate for election to membership of the Guild must be proposed in writing and seconded by existing full members who shall satisfy themselves that the candidate has the necessary qualifications for membership. The candidate must complete the necessary application form, comply with any other Guild requirements in force and agree to accept the decision of the Council and abide by the rules of the Guild.

B. Only Full members have full voting rights, including the right to vote for changes in Guild Rules, for election of members of Council, for election of Guild officers and to endorse applications for new members.

C. Applications for membership shall be considered by the Council. Elected candidates are admitted on receipt of the annual subscription, or proportion of subscription as Council determines. An elected candidate is not entitled to any of the rights and privileges of membership until these fees have been paid.

D. The Council may review and alter the classification of members in the light of any alteration in their circumstances. Members will be notified in writing of such a change and have the right to appeal against the alteration within 14 days. Members making such an appeal to Council must agree to abide by Council’s final decision.

E. A person whose membership has been terminated may, after a period of 12 months, from the date of such termination, apply for re-­admission. The Council, if it decides to re-­admit, may impose conditions of re-­admission, as it deems appropriate.



A. If it shall appear to the Council, or shall be represented to it by a requisition in writing signed by at least two full members, that there is reason to believe that a member has been guilty of conduct which appears to bring the Guild into disrepute, or renders him/her unfit to remain a member, the Council shall first consider the matter. If it is decided that there is reasonable ground for further investigation, Council shall send the member in writing a statement of the conduct imputed to him/her. The member will be given the opportunity of an explanation, in writing or by personal appearance as he/she may elect, to Council. Pending such explanation, the Council may suspend him/her from membership.

B. If, for the above or any other reason, the Council deems it necessary or expedient to suspend for such period as it shall decide, or expel any member from the rights and privileges of membership, it shall have power to do so, provided that at least two-­thirds of the members of Council are in agreement.



A member may resign from the Guild only by sending in notice of resignation in writing to the Secretary. A member may resign at any time during the membership year (31 January to 30 January) but no refund of subscription shall be payable.



A. The business of the AGM shall be: election of President; election of Chairman; election of the Chaplain; election of auditors; results of elections to Council; reception of the annual report and accounts; consideration of any proposed motions. Other items may be included at the discretion of the Chairman.

B. Notice of every Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be sent to members at least twenty-­eight days in advance. The notice will state the names of the Council members standing down at the end of their terms.

C. Nominations for Council or for any other office must be in writing and endorsed by two or more eligible members of the Guild. The nominations must be sent to the Secretary to arrive at least ten days before the date appointed for the AGM.

D. If the numbers of nominations are equal to, or less than, the places available to fill, the nominees will be considered duly elected. Otherwise an election will be held amongst the membership and the results announced at the AGM.

E. Motions for consideration at the AGM must be submitted to the Secretary to arrive at least twenty-­one days before the AGM. The Secretary will inform members of any motions at least fourteen days before the AGM.

F. The AGM will be chaired by the President.

G. Minutes will be recorded by the Secretary.

H. Members entitled to vote but unable to attend the AGM shall be given the opportunity to exercise their vote by proxy. Intention to appoint a proxy must be notified to the Secretary at least seven days before the AGM. Proxies shall be entitled to speak at the AGM and may vote on a show of hands.

I. Should an AGM be adjourned (except for the purpose of election to fill vacancies) the business to be transacted at the adjourned meeting shall be specified before such adjournment takes place and shall be entered in the the Minutes. No other business shall be transacted at the adjourned meeting.



A. The Council may make, vary and rescind regulations for its meetings and proceedings subject to the provisions laid out in the constitution, and may delegate responsibilities to such sub-­committees as it sees fit.

B. A list of the Council, showing how many times each elected member has attended meetings of the Council and Committees during the past year, shall be open for inspection by the members at each AGM.

C. The office of a Council member shall be vacated if he/she:

C.a. Fails to attend two consecutive meetings without reasonable cause and apology

C.b. Fails to contribute adequately to the work of the Council and the Council resolves that he/she should resign from the Council for that reason

D. Council members vacating their office under 7C shall be ineligible to stand for re-­election within 12 months of standing down.

E. Eligible expenses include:

E.a. Items or services purchased to fulfil or meet Guild obligations and the purchase of which has previously been approved by the Treasurer

E.b. Travel to and from official Guild Council meetings

E.c. Travel to and from official IFAJ or ENAJ meetings in which the Council member’s trip has been sanctioned by Council

E.d. Travel and delegate fees of the IFAJ representative and Chairman, to the annual IFAJ Congress

E.e. At the discretion of Council under the guidance of the Treasurer, any other expenses that are directly related to the work and principles of the Guild.



A. The Awards Secretary, reporting to Council, is responsible for administering Guild Awards.

B. Guild Awards are open only to full members of the Guild who are up-­to-­date with their subscriptions. No entry fee shall be payable for any award [amended by AGM motion March 2020]

C. Individual Awards may stipulate specific entry requirements that allow non-­members to enter or be nominated.

D. Work submitted for an Award must be that of the member submitting the entry.

E. Only one entry per member is allowed, unless rules clearly state otherwise.

F. The judges’ decision in any Award is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

G. For IFAJ Awards, Council may use its discretion to decide how entries from Guild members should be submitted.

H. Where a British Guild member is also a member of another IFAJ-­affiliated association, he/she must nominate under which association his/her entry is submitted. Duplicate entries will be disqualified.



Amendments to the Byelaws may be made by Council. Dates on which amendments were made shall be recorded in subsequent versions.

A full and up-to-date set of Byelaws shall be available on the BGAJ website.

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