Special General Meeting Overview

Proposal to Modify the RVAHJ Constitution


Following a series of discussions with Melbourne law firm Thomson Geer, acting for the Association on a pro bono basis, the RVAHJ Board has determined that it is appropriate for members to consider a proposal to amend the RVAHJ Constitution:

  • To more accurately reflect the Objects (purpose) of the Association as it has evolved over the past few years
  • To reflect a more community focused approach by the Association
  • To have an outwardly looking purpose that provides services that exceeds local communities expectations
  • To clarify two clauses for the avoidance of any misunderstanding

Summary of Proposed Amendments

Summary Proposed Amendments

The proposed amendments are in 3 parts as follows:

  1. Amend the Objects and Purpose of the Association
  2. Clarification of Limitation of Members Liability
  3. Clarification of Casual Vacancy Process

The following details for each of the above parts are as noted below.

Part 1: Amend the Objects of the Association

Replace existing Objects (Clause 3) with those recommended by Thomson Geer:

Proposed New Clause 3:
3.1        Main Purpose
The purpose of the Association is to directly support and advance the law and legal administration, promote efficiencies in the legal system, and directly provide assistance and relief to the Courts, administering officers and authorised affidavit takers and to support and assist the public participants generally and in distress and need in engaging in the legal system to protect and assert their legal rights, through the provision of volunteer Bail Justice services and Justice of the Peace services, including by:

(a)        providing decision-making services for after-hours bail and remand applications for the accused including children, aboriginal persons, and adults with cognitive, physical, or mental impairments and those in distress and need; and
(b)       providing decision-making services for after-hours interim accommodation order applications for at-risk children and other persons;
(c)        providing witnessing, attestation and certification services to the public in Victoria; and
(d)       improving the law and efficiency of legal administration by law reform benefiting the legal system and the community; and
(e)       representing the interests, integrity, status, efficiency and benefits of the services of the Justices of the Peace and Bail Justices for reform, support and advancement of the law, legal administration and the public participants in the legal system; and
(f)        providing offices and facilities for the use of Justices of the Peace services; and
(g)       providing personal support, information, training, documents, precedents and tools and a forum for exchange of information for Bail Justice services and Justice of the Peace services to ensure compliance with law and efficiency in legal administration; and
(h)      providing opportunities where independent, trusted and respected honourable persons can serve to support law and efficiency in legal administration and improve services for the public in Victoria.

(the Main Purpose).

3.2       Ancillary Purpose
Solely to further the Main Purpose, the Association may:
(a)        invest and deal with moneys for the Association in such manner as is from time to time thought fit;
(b)        raise finance or borrow money upon such terms and giving such security as it thinks fit; and
(c)        do all things incidental or conducive to the attainment of the Main Purposes and the exercise of the powers of the Association.

Part 2: Limitation of Members Liability

For clarification, include detail of member’s liability (wording as recommend Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC)):

Proposed Amendment to Clause 7.1:
7.1 Limited Liability
The liability of the Members of the Association is limited by guarantee to the amount set out in Clause 27.1

Proposed Amendment to Clause 27.1:
Replace existing Clause 27.1 with:
27.1 Member’s Liability
Each member must contribute an amount not more than $10 (the guarantee) to the property of the Association if the Association is wound up while the member is a member, or within 12 months after they stop being a member, and this contribution is required to pay for the:
(a)        debts and liabilities of the company incurred before the member stopped being a member, or
(b)        costs of winding up.

Part 3: Clarification of Casual Vacancy Process

The Clause 15.5(a) regarding the process for replacing Directors during an existing term could be read in a way which conflicts with Clause 15.2   To avoid any potential conflict, it is proposed to modify Clause 15.5(a) by removing some of the wording.

Proposed Amendment to Clause 15.5(a)
(a)        Casual vacancies occurring in any office or amongst Directors of the Board may be filled by the Board, and any member so appointed shall
hold office until the next scheduled election. [and thereafter at the next election for which the Director whom they replaced would have
been required to stand for election.

Proposed Revised Constitution & Branch Byelaws

Explanation of Identification of Changes

Please see below for a full copy of the Constitution and Branch Byelaws showing the proposed amendments. For ease of reading, those words to be removed are shown in red, and those to be inserted are shown in blue.

A Special General Meeting of Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices will be held on Thursday, 1 October 2020 at 7.30 pm AEST at 53 Broadway, Elwood, and online using Zoom, to consider the proposed changes.

Note: Details above of summary of changes, etc. are Pages 1 to 3 of the full version of documented below.  


Proposed Full Version of Revised Constitution


Proposed Full Version of Revised Branch Byelaws