The Council on Legislation (COL), Rotary’s worldwide parliament, meets every three years and has the authority to amend the Rotary International constitutional documents. The district representative (delegate) must a Past District Governor and attends the COL meetings on behalf of the district. A COL representative can attend no more than three meetings.
The duties of the representative are:
- to help clubs prepare proposals for COL
- to ensure these are discussed at the District conference or other meetings,
- to know the various opinions of Rotarians in the District on any proposals to be discussed at COL
- to attend the COL to consider and vote on items of legislation proposed to the Council
- to report back to the District following each COL they attend.
There are two kinds of proposal: an enactment, which would amend the constitution or by-laws of Rotary International or a club, and a resolution, which expresses an opinion or makes a recommendation to the Rotary International Board.
It may seem a protracted process to change Rotary policy when the COL only meets every three years, but such is the democratic system in our very large and worldwide organisation. There are, however, other ways of advancing some proposals e.g. by way of “Memorial to the RI Board” and this can be done at any time. Advice on any of these matters can be obtained from the District’s COL representative.
Proposals for the next COL have closed, but before the April 2016 meeting, clubs will be asked for their opinions on the proposed legislation. One consequence that usually results from COL decisions is the need to amend Club Constitutions. It is important for clubs to be aware of these changes, and, for their own protection, to keep their constitutions up to date. Bob Wallis, solicitor and member of the Rotary Club of Taradale, is currently helping clubs bring their constitutions into line with the 2013 Council decisions. email@example.com
The closing date for proposals for the 2019 COL will be 31 December 2018. It is important to note that a club’s proposed legislation needs district support and endorsement, and the best time and place to get this approval, is at our district conference.
The District Legislation & Resolutions Advisory Group is convened as and when required, to assist the district or clubs in regard to constitutional issues and on matters relating to compliance with the Charities Commission. The Group comprises the District Legal Advisor, the District Treasurer and the COL Representative; it may co-opt other members as necessary.