Proposed New NEC Constitution

There are three ways to view the proposed new NEC Constitution on this site:

  1. Simple pdf formatted version, which is basically what we plan to submit to the Charity Commission.
  2. Simple interactive view. This reads like the formatted document, but is in html and includes links that you can click for further explanation.
  3. Detailed working document with model comparison. This is the document that the NEC Constitution Committee and NEC Executive Committee have been working on. If you want to explore and understand this document please read the explanatory information below.

The NEC Constitution Committee has been working on revising the old constitution since the first half of 2019. Their working document basically consists of the General Conference Model Conference Constitution side by side with the proposed new NEC Constitution. There are notes in a third column and an explanation of the structure at the end of the document. Before looking at this working document there are some important points to note, as follows:

  1. Structure. The General Conference Model Conference Constitution follows the typical American structure for a constitution, with articles and bylaws. In the UK constitutions do not usually have bylaws, they simply have a list of articles. This may be to avoid confusion with 'byelaws' (note the slightly different spelling), which, according to Wikipedia, are 'laws of local or limited application made by local councils or other bodies, using powers granted by an Act of Parliament, and so are a form of delegated legislation'. However, the General Conference Model Mission Operating Policy, whilst very similar to the Model Conference Constitution, is structured differently, and only has articles. So, in structuring the proposed new NEC Constitution we have gone with the content of the GC Model Conference Constitution, but the structure of the GC Model Mission Operating Policy. A chart of how this has been done is at the bottom of the working document.

  2. GC Annual Council Amendments. General Conference Working Policy is updated every year at their Annual Council, which is usually held in October. This year the changes to the GC Model Conference Constitution were quite significant as you can see in the 2020 Annual Council Model Conference Constitution - Voted Revisions document.

  3. BUC Model Conference Constitution 2016. In preparation for updating its own constitution in 2016 the BUC produced a Model Conference Constitution for adoption by the SEC and NEC at their own conferences sessions. However, the NEC did not have time to fully consider this document at its 2016 session and so it was not presented to the delegates. The SEC held its session in 2019, and a new SEC constitution, based on the BUC Model Conference Constitution was presented to the delegates. However it was not adopted for a number of reasons: it was not fully aligned with the GC Model Conference Constitution, and by 2019 it was already quite out of date. Some of the elements of the BUC Model Conference Constitution have been included in the new NEC Constitution, particularly in the 'non-bold' sections, but overall, the new NEC Constitution is more closesly aligned with the GC Model Conference Constitution. It is hoped that, if adopted in September 2020, the new NEC Constitution will itself serve as a model for the BUC, the SEC, and the Missions.

  4. Colour Coding. To help make the working document more readable, some coloured highlights have been added. What was originally bold in the GC Model Conference Constitution is now highlighted in yellow. Changes to the bold (now yellow) sections of the GC Model Conference Constitution are highlighted in purple, and these will need to be approved by the General Conference before they can be presented at the NEC Session.