Statutes of the World Archaeological Congress
(Adopted 1990. Revised January 1999, June 2003 and July 2008)
The organisation shall be called World Archaeological Congress, hereinafter referred to as 'WAC'.
2.1 WAC is an international non-profit making organisation concerned with all aspects of archaeological theory and practice. Its main emphasis is on academic issues and questions which benefit from a widely oriented and comparative approach. It attempts to bridge the disciplinary divisions of the past into chronological periods (such as prehistoric or protohistoric or historic archaeology), and to avoid exclusive, particularistic regional concerns.
2.2 WAC is based on the explicit recognition of the historical and social role, and the political context, of archaeological enquiry, of archaeological organisations, and of archaeological interpretation. Its distinctive aims are:
a] to discuss themes which truly reflect the interest of its worldwide membership;
b] to make explicit the relevance of its studies to the wider community.
2.3 In the pursuit of its aims it shall:
a] promote the study of archaeology by the organisation of international conferences concerning any aspect of the archaeological sciences. These may include specialist regional and chronological subjects including historical and culture-specific investigations;
b] promote scientific publications and contributions to such publications on archaeological subjects;
c] generally in collaboration with scholars from any country engage in or foster any enterprise which will promote or further the knowledge of archaeology or disseminate knowledge or information on archaeological subjects;
d] respect in all its activities the principles of the UN and UNESCO regarding Human Rights and it may affiliate to any other organisation which respects those principles.
3.1 The head office of WAC shall be at the place designated, from time to time, by the Executive.
3.2 The languages of Congresses and their publications shall be any of the official languages of UNESCO which may be used in any of WAC's transactions and in the transactions of any of its constituent bodies.
3.3 Any dispute as to the meaning or application of these Statutes shall be determined in accordance with English law.
3.4 Members of WAC hereby confer on the courts of England and Wales jurisdiction to determine any dispute which may arise under these Statutes.
ARTICLE 4: Membership
4.1 Institutions or individuals with a genuine interest in, or concern for, the past who support the principles set out in Article 2 hereof may become members of WAC by completion of an application form and the payment of the appropriate subscription.
4.2 Institutions eligible for membership include research institutions, university departments, museums and archaeological societies and academies.
4.3 The Assembly may elect Honorary members on the recommendation of the Council. Honorary members shall not be required to pay any subscriptions.
4.4 The rates of membership subscription shall be determined by the Council and there shall be a reduced rate for student membership.
4.5 Individual membership of WAC shall entitle the member to the following privileges:
a] membership of a Regional Electoral College;
b] eligibility for nomination for election as a Regional Representative to the Council and thus to the Assembly;
c] eligibility for nomination for election as a National Representative to the Assembly;
d] eligibility for nomination as an Officer of WAC;
e] the right to attend Congresses or Inter-Congresses at a concessionary fee;
f] free receipt of the WAC journal Archaeologies;
g] concessionary rates for other activities organised by WAC.
4.6 Institutional members shall be entitled to:
a] free receipt of the WAC journal Archaeologies and concessionary rates for any other WAC publications;
b] participate in the organisation of appropriate general and specialist meetings of WAC.
Any dispute about the participation of any Institutional member in the organisation of any meeting shall be determined by the Assembly whose decision shall be final.
ARTICLE 5: Regional Electoral Colleges
5.1 WAC shall be divided into Regions known for the purposes of elections to WAC's constituent bodies as Regional Electoral Colleges. (Endnote 1)
5.2 The Assembly may create additional Regional Electoral Colleges or amalgamate Colleges to reduce the number.
5.3 The Council shall have the power to assign countries to the Regional Electoral Colleges and to transfer any country from one College to another as it shall think appropriate in the interests of WAC and its decision shall be final until the next meeting of the Assembly.
5.4 All individual members on joining WAC shall be assigned to a Regional Electoral College on the basis of residence. Any member who wishes to transfer to a different Regional Electoral College on the basis of geographical area of work may apply at any time to the Council for a transfer.
ARTICLE 6: International Congresses
WAC shall normally hold an International Congress every four years or at other times as it shall from time to time decide. Inter-Congresses may be held on such other occasions and under such terms as the Council may decide.
ARTICLE 7: The Assembly
7.1 The principal policy-making body of WAC shall be the Assembly which shall:
· decide all matters relating to policy;
· elect the officers of WAC; and
· determine the venue and organisation of future International Congresses.
7.2 Elections to the Assembly shall be held at each International Congress and the members of the Assembly shall hold office until the end of that International Congress.
7.3 Meetings of the Assembly shall be held during each International Congress.
7.4 Membership of the Assembly shall consist of:
a] one National Representative per country, members from which are attending the International Congress, selected by the individual members from that country attending that International Congress;
b] any member of the Council not a member under the above;
7.5 Each member of the Assembly shall have one vote. Any member of the Council or the Assembly who cannot attend any meeting of the Assembly should notify the Secretary by the opening date of the Assembly and may by nomination to the Secretary authorise another member of the Assembly to cast his/her vote by proxy or to propose any motion on his/her behalf.
7.6 The agenda for a meeting of the Assembly shall be circulated to the Council by the Secretary if possible at least one month before the date of the meeting. The agenda shall include matters referred to it from regions, Inter-Congresses and from Congress sessions.
7.7 The Officers of WAC shall be nominated and elected during Assembly meetings at international congresses to serve until one calendar year after the end of the Assembly meeting at which new Officers are elected. For this period new Officers will be known as ‘President-elect’ etc. Each member of the Assembly shall have a single vote in all such elections.
7.8 The Assembly shall decide any dispute as to the meaning of these Statutes or the eligibility of any person for office or election to the Assembly or the Council and the decision of the Assembly on any such dispute shall be final.
ARTICLE 8: Officers
8.1 The Officers of WAC shall be:
a] the President, who shall be the Chair of the Assembly, Council, and of the Executive and who shall act as returning officer for all elections;
b] the Vice President who will assist the President in conducting WAC business and promoting the aims of WAC;
c] the Secretary, who shall be the principal executive officer of WAC and is in charge of the office administration of WAC and, on behalf of the Council, of the hiring and dismissal of any employees of the organisation. Together with the President, Vice President, and Treasurer he/she shall manage all the affairs of WAC. He/she will report to the Executive, Council, and Assembly on his/her activities at each meeting;
d] the Treasurer, who will prepare the budget of WAC for consideration by the Council and Executive and is responsible for the supervision and management of the financial affairs of WAC.
8.2 The Officers shall be ex officio voting members of the Executive, Council, and of the Assembly.
8.3 The Officers shall hold office for the period from one calendar year after the end of the Assembly meeting at which they are elected, until one calendar year after the Assembly meeting at which new Officers are elected, and may be re-elected.
ARTICLE 9: The Council
9.1 The Council shall be the main governing body of WAC between meetings of the Assembly and shall carry into effect the policies established by the Assembly, including the receipt of annual reports from international organising committees. It is hoped that the Council will be able to meet biennially.
9.2 The members of the Council shall be:
a] the Officers of WAC;
b] two representatives from each Regional Electoral College, a Senior Representative and a Junior Representative;
(To be eligible for election as a Senior Representative a person shall at that time have been in permanent employment within archaeology or a related discipline for a period of more than five years. To be eligible for election as a Junior Representative a person shall not at that time have been in permanent employment within archaeology or a related discipline for a period of more than five years.)
c] eight representatives of Indigenous peoples/the Fourth World to be appointed by organisations such as the World Council of Indigenous Peoples, and the International Indian Treaty Council for a limited period as determined from time to time by the Council.
d] members of WAC appointed to positions by the elected officers, including the editor(s) of Archaeologies; and the Membership Secretary. These appointed positions will not have voting rights but will attend to report on their activities as and when necessary.
e] one Student representative.
9.3 Each member of the Council shall have one vote.
9.4 The Regional Representatives shall be elected by secret postal ballot of the individual members within each Regional Electoral College. The ballot shall be conducted as follows:
a] there shall be a separate list of candidates for the position of Senior Representative and for that of Junior Representative;
b] the ballot for each position shall be by the single transferable voting system;
c] where there are three or more candidates for election, and the two sexes are represented, a member's vote shall be valid only if three votes have been cast in rank order, at least one of which must be for a female and one for a male;
d] within each Regional Electoral College, members shall only be eligible for nomination to the Council if they are not from the same country as the continuing incumbent Regional Representative on the Council.
9.5 Members of the Council other than Officers of WAC (whose term on the Council shall be determined by their period in office) shall be elected for a term of eight years. Half the Council shall retire every four years and a new Council will take office immediately after each International Congress (i.e. at a Council meeting convened immediately following the last Assembly meeting during a Congress).
9.6 Members of the Council shall be eligible to serve for more than one period of office.
9.7 The Council shall administer the affairs of WAC in accordance with these Statutes and the decisions and policy of the Assembly. The Council will have full power to take any decisions which may be necessary or desirable in the interests of WAC, including the waiver or modification of particular subscriptions, as well as any termination of membership. Meetings of the Council shall take place at such times and places as it shall decide. Members of the Council who are unable to attend meetings may vote in all matters arising at any meeting by post or by duly authorised proxy. To enable such members to consider the issues properly the Secretary shall circulate to all members of the Council the agenda for each meeting at least 1 month before the date of the meeting.
9.8 The Council shall prepare and present a report to each Assembly on all matters of concern to WAC which have occurred since the previous meeting of the Assembly.
9.9 In the event of there being a vacancy on the Council, for whatever reason, the Executive shall decide whether and how to fill it but in no case shall the term of a member of the Council selected pursuant to this clause exceed that remaining of the vacancy to be filled.
ARTICLE 10: The Executive
10.1 The Executive shall be the main governing body of WAC between meetings of Council and shall carry into effect the policies established by the Assembly, including the receipt of annual reports from international organising committees. The Executive is expected to meet at least annually.
10.2 The Members of the Executive shall be:
a] the Officers of WAC;
b] three members of the Council, from different electoral regions and, if possible, from Regions other than those of the elected officers, elected by the Council to sit on the Executive;
c] one Indigenous member elected by the Indigenous Group of the Council;
d] one Student representative.
10.3 Only those members of the Executive who have been elected as either officers or members of Council will have the authority to vote at meetings of the Executive.
10.4 The regional representatives shall be elected at one of the Council meetings during an international congress. They will serve until the next international congress. When electing regional representatives to serve on the Executive, Council is urged to ensure as wide a geographical representation on Executive as possible.
10.5 Members of the Executive shall be eligible to serve for more than one period of office.
10.6 The Executive shall administer the affairs of WAC in accordance with these statutes, the decisions and policy of the Assembly, and the decisions of Council. The Executive shall have full power to take any decisions which may be necessary or desirable in the interests of WAC between meetings of the Council. However, the Executive is expected wherever possible to take into consideration the views of Council and should, where appropriate, attempt to ascertain these views before making decisions. Meetings of the Executive shall take place at such times and places as it shall decide. Members of the Executive who are unable to attend meetings may vote in all matters arising at any meeting by post or by duly authorised proxy. To enable such members to consider the issues properly the secretary shall circulate to all members of the Executive the agenda for each meeting at least 1 month before the date of the meeting.
10.7 The Executive shall prepare and present a report to each Assembly and Council on all matters of concern to WAC which have occurred since the previous meeting of Assembly and Council.
10.8 In the event of there being a vacancy on the Executive, for whatever reason, the Executive shall decide whether and how to fill it but in no case shall the term of a member of the Executive selected pursuant to this clause exceed that remaining of the vacancy to be filled.
These Statutes may be amended by a two thirds vote of the Assembly. Any proposed amendment must be proposed by members from at least three different Regions and submitted to the Secretary not less than 2 months before the date of the Assembly.
At time of writing the 14 Regional Electoral Colleges of WAC are:
1 Central Africa
2 Eastern and Southern Africa
3 Northern Africa
4 Western Africa
5 Central America and the Caribbean
6 Northern America
7 Southern America
8 Eastern Asia
9 South-eastern Asia and the Pacific
10 Southern Asia
11 Western Asia
12 Eastern Europe and Central Asia
13 Northern Europe
14 Southern Europe.