Bylaws for Icelandic Bar Association
The Association’s Name
The Association is named the Icelandic Bar Association and is abbreviated LMFI. Its domicile is at Reykjavik.
The Association’s object is:-
(a) to exercise legally stipulated supervisory and disciplinary power,
(b) to guard the interests of the legal profession,
(c) to promote the unity and good co-operation between members,
(d) to form a guard for the independence of the legal profession,
(e) to promote the development of justice and judicial security.
Divisions – Parties to the Association
All lawyers are eligible for the Icelandic Bar Association.
In case a lawyer renounce his licence to practice or if his licence be cancelled for other reasons he will be dropped from the register of members.
Members of the Association are subject to rights and duties in accordance with the Lawyers’ Act No. 77/1998 and other Laws. Their rights and duties are also subject to the Association’s Statutes and its other rules, such as the Codex Ethicus.
A special list shall be kept of legal parties operating Law offices. The Board of the LMFI shall be given notice of who own and operate Law offices.
A lawyer acquiring the right to plead before Court in this Country in accordance with Regulations No. 101/1998 may become a member of LMFI.
A special Service Division is operated within the LMFI and all lawyers may become members thereof. Further stipulations concerning the Association’s Service Division are contained in Section 10 of the present Statutes.
Association Meetings – Annual General Meeting
An Association meeting wields supreme power in the Association’s affairs.
Association meetings, other than Annual General Meetings, shall be held when the Association’s Board deems this necessary, according to the resolution of a meeting or when a minimum of 15 members of the Association so require in writing, provided they state why they be requesting a meeting. When a lawful requirement for the holding of a meeting has been presented a meeting shall be held no later than at a month’s respite.
The Board shall convene an Association meeting at suitable advance notice. In the call to the meeting there shall be a brief mention of the matters to be tabled at the meeting.
Each Association meeting will be directed by an elected Chairman of the meeting. The casting of votes on matters at an Association meeting will be in accordance with the further stipulation of the Chairman of the meeting. Written ballots shall be taken if an attendant at a meeting so requires.
In the Association’s Record of Minutes there shall be entered a brief report on that which occurs at Association meetings, particularly so all resolutions of a meeting. Minutes shall be read aloud at the end of a meeting and submitted to votes. The Chairman of a meeting is, however, authorized with the meetings approval to charge the Secretary of a meeting with finalizing the Minutes at a later stage. The Chairman and the Secretary of the meeting thereupon sign the Minutes. This report on a meeting shall constitute complete evidence of that which has occurred at the meeting.
In the Record of Minutes there shall also be entered a report on Board meetings in the selfsame manner and this shall be signed by all Board-members present.
The Annual General Meeting of LMFI shall be held before the end of March each year. It is lawful if it is legally convened.
An Annual General Meeting shall be called by means of an advertisement in at least one media and notification to each individual member at a minimum advance notice of a fortnight counted as of and including the date of despatch of the call to the meeting.
The following matters shall be taken for consideration at an Annual General Meeting:-
1. The Association Board’s annual report for the immediate past year of operations.
2. The Lawyers’ Disciplinary Committee’s annual report for the immediate past year of operations.
3. Audited accounts for the past fiscal year with Auditor’s comments are submitted for decision.
4. Decision on the investment yield of the Association’s funds.
5. Election of the Board of Directors.
6. Election of the Inspectors of accounts.
7. Election of the Association’s representatives on the Lawyers´ Disciplinary Committee and their reserves according to Art. 3 of the Lawyers’ Act.
8. Election of Laws Committee.
9. Other matters which may be submitted.
Each Annual General Meeting will be directed by a Chairman of the meeting. At the outset of the meeting he will investigate whether this has been lawfully called and will thereupon declare whether this be so.
The casting of votes will be undertaken as further stipulated by the Chairman of the meeting. Written ballot shall, however, be undertaken if any attendant at the meeting so requires.
The Board of LMFI
The Association’s Board consists of five persons and at least two of them shall be Advocates to the Supreme Court of Iceland.
A Chairman shall be elected for a year at a time. Directors shall be elected for two years at a time, two each year. For the reserve Board there shall be elected three men for a period of one year. Those contemplating to offer themselves for seats on the Association’s Board or the reserve Board shall notify the Board accordingly no later than 7 days in advance of an Annual General Meeting.
It is not permissible to re-elect the same person for Chairmanship on more than on two occasions running. It is not permissible to re-elect Directors before a year has passed since they left the Board. There are no restrictions on the re-election of reserves.
The Board will themselves detail duties, elect a Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary.
The Board’s task is i.a.:-
(a) to grant Opinions and effect supervision in accordance with the provisions of the Lawyer’s Act,
(b) to nominate candidates for Councils and Committees as stipulated in Laws,
(c) to represent the lawyers’ profession,
(d) to delegate information to lawyers and others as needed on matters concerning the lawyers’ profession and the part to be played and activities of the Board according to the Lawyers’ Act,
(e) to resolve matters in dispute internally between lawyers and take care that good lawyers’ practices be adhered to,
(f) to work for the interests of the members.
The Board will engage for the Association a Secretary General and other staff as required to undertake daily operations of the Association and carry out the Board’s decisions at each given time.
At an Annual General Meeting a Committee of seven shall be elected, a Laws Committee.
The task of the Laws Committee is that of checking the Laws, implementation thereof, Bills and other legal messages from the Althingi (Legislative Assembly) and Ministries and to comment thereon for and on behalf of the Association. In matters concerning the lawyers’ profession and the work of lawyers the Committee shall consult the Association’s Board concerning the preparation of Opinions.
The Committee shall work on matters at their own initiative, but the Association’s Board may also request their Opinion on individual matters if this is deemed convenient.
Upon the granting of Opinion on individual matters the Laws Committee are authorized to consult lawyers or other specialists having extensive knowledge in the field under reference.
The Laws Committee shall lay down working rules for themselves.
Within the Icelandic Bar Association there shall serve an Ethics Committee of three which the Association’s Board nominate.
The task of the Ethics Committee is that of checking the development of ethical rules and see to it that the LMFI’s Codex Ethicus be maintained.
Association meetings or the LMFI Board may appoint Committees ad hoc when special issues not coming under the Laws Committee’s task have to be dealt with.
Lawyers’ Disciplinary Committee
The Lawyers’ Disciplinary Committee function in accordance with the Lawyers’ Act.
The Committee will lay down for themselves special rules of proceedings, cf. Art. 4 of the Lawyers’ Act.
LMFI will sustain the costs of the Committee.
Fiscal Year - Audit
The Association’s fiscal year is the calendar year.
Two Inspectors shall study the Association’s accounts for the immediate past fiscal year and shall pass their comments thereon.
Inspectors are elected at an Annual General Meeting and one reserve.
Before the end of February each year the Association’s Treasurer shall have completed the preparation of the accounts of the immediate past fiscal year and send these to the Inspectors, but they shall again have sent the Board the accounts with their comments within two weeks.
Association members pay an annual subscription accruing to the Association Fund and intended to defray the operations of the Association. The date of maturity of the annual subscription is 1 June each year.
The Association´s Board are authorized to grant a discount off the annual subscription of members in special circumstances, provided that this be applied for in writing.
The annual subscription will be altered only at an Annual General Meeting and two-third of attendants must cast votes in favour of the amendment.
Members being 70 years of age and thereover will not pay annual subscription. Furthermore new members will not pay annual subscription during the calendar year when they became members.
Association Service Division
Under the auspices of the LMFI there shall be operated a special division, Association Service Division, to which all lawyers may be parties. The Service Division is accommodated in LMFI’s premises.
The object of the Service Division is that of undertaking the tasks with which it is charged by the Annual General Meeting of the Division or according to a decision by the Board on each occasion and which do not come under the legally stipulated tasks of the LMFI.
The Board of the LMFI are also the Board of the Service Division.
The Annual General Meeting of the Service Division shall be held in connection with the LMFI’s Annual General Meeting.
The finances of the Service Division shall be separated from the LMFI’s financial affairs.
The organization of the Service Division, its tasks, finances and other items pertaining to its affairs shall be further stipulated in rules relating to the Division.
The Association’s firm is signed for by the Chairman and one Board-member. The Association’s Secretary General holds Power of Procuration.
The Board of the LMFI lay down rules on the election of Honorary Members and the Association’s insignia. The choice of Honorary Members shall be confirmed at an Association meeting.
The LMFI will accept gifts only provided this be in conformity with the Association´s object and the status of lawyers. Gifts other than traditional festive ones or death donations shall be directed to the Study Fund. The Board of the Study Fund will render decisions on whether such gifts shall be accepted and how these are appropriated in conformity with the Association’s Statutes and the Organizational Charter of the Study Fund.
The present Statutes will be amended only at a lawful Annual General Meeting, provided that two-third of the attendants vote in favour of the amendment. Proposals for amendments must have been received by the Board in time to render it possible to mention these in the call to a meeting.
The present Statutes enter into force on 21 March 2003.
The present Statutes were initially effected at the Association’s Extraordinary Annual General Meeting on 15 December 1944, but thereto were subsequently added amendments which have been confirmed by the Minister of Justice on 14 July 1965, 19 June 1967, 21 May 1970, 18 Oct. 1976, 19 April 1978, 11 April 1979, 30 June 1980, 21 April 1981, 6 April 1989, 26 March 1993 (amendment to para. 1, Art. 6) and 29 June 1993 (amendment to para. 1, Art. 4). Overall revision was undertaken during 1998 and at an Extended Annual General Meeting on 12 November of that year extensive amendments thereof were approved. Amendments were effected to the Statutes at an Annual General Meeting on 15 March 2002 (para. 2, Art. 7, para. 1 and 4, Art. 17), at an Annual General Meeting on 21 March 2003 (2nd sentence, para. 2, Art. 10), at an Annual General Meeting on 11 March 2005 (para. 4 and 5, Art. 12) and at an Annual General Meeting on 10 March 2006 (Art. 12, Art. 23, Art. 24 and Art. 25).