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Constitution ISS/SIC

ARTICLE  I - NAME

The Organization, which was founded on September 9, 1902 in Brussels / Belgium, shall be named
International Society of Surgery (ISS) / Société Internationale de Chirurgie (SIC) 

ARTICLE  II - OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the SOCIETY shall include advancement of the science and art of surgery by research, education and nurturing of surgical practice throughout the world. For implementation of these objectives the following functions are to be provided:

  1. The WORLD CONGRESS OF SURGERY (WCS)
    This Congress shall have four main objectives:
    - to hold the General Assembly with its governing function in all matters pertaining to the administration of the SOCIETY
    - to present progress and problems of interest to all surgeons
    - to function as venues for simultaneous meetings of various surgical specialties
    - to promote scientific exchange between the various surgical specialties by means of joint presentations, panels and workshops
  2. The ISS-Academy shall be responsible for all teaching activities, including REGIONAL SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS AND COURSES held under the auspices of the SOCIETY
  3. The WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY - the official organ of the SOCIETY
  4. NEWSLETTERS, keeping a direct personal contact with the individual members
  5. BOOKS, MANUALS AND OTHER PUBLICATION

ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP

Section 1 - Categories

The category of membership shall be Active, Associate, Trainee Surgeon, Senior and Honorary

Section 2 - Qualifications

All members shall be medical doctors or non-medical scientists who have received academic training in a field of surgery or life science and are or have been engaged as their main professional endeavor in a career involving a recognized field of surgery or life science, including care of the critically ill and/or recognition of expertise in surgical research.

a) Active Members (AM) Medical doctors of good ethical character who have distinguished themselves by well-recognized professional and/or scientific achievements in surgery. Candidates for Active Membership should be members of one of the recognized national societies. Upon recommendation of a National Chapter (or of two Active Members for countries where there is no National Chapter), the Executive Committee can accept nominations for membership of individuals in fields of endeavor related to surgery.

b) Associate Members (XM) Applicants who may not present the complete requested credentials (CV, list of publications, 2 regular members acting as sponsors, approval by the National Delegate), doctors who are not involved in a field of surgery or non-medical scientists. Associate Members have full privileges as Active Member but no voting right.

c) Trainee Surgeons (TS) Surgical residents in training below the age of 40. After this age limit they may become Active Members if they have achieved their surgical training or, if not, Associate Members. To become a Trainee Member, the candidate has to provide a CV and a Diploma attesting the achievement of his/her medical studies. The membership fee of Trainee Members is half the fee for Active Members.

d) Senior Members (SM) Members who have retired from active practice and who have been Active or Associate Members for at least 15 years. They must submit a request for Senior Membership status in writing to the Secretary General directly or through the National Delegate (or Chapter Secretary). For special reasons, the Executive Committee may confer Senior Membership to members having rendered special services to the SOCIETY and who terminate their professional activity after less than 15 years of Active or Associate Membership.

e) Honorary Membership (HM) Awarded by the Executive Committee. Recipients shall be preeminent surgeons or individuals of undoubted international reputation who have rendered distinguished services to the SOCIETY or international surgery. Future Honorary Members do not need to be member of the SOCIETY.

Section 3 - Nomination and election

Nomination and election of candidates shall be as follows:

Members (AM, XM, TS) - Names of candidates nominated for Membership shall be submitted to the Secretary General of the SOCIETY on the standard application form of the SOCIETY. Two Active Members, must confirm the application form in support of the nominee. The support of the applicant by the National Delegate is Mandatory and shall be asked for by the Administrative Office. In case of unavailability of a National Delegate, the application will be directly handled by the Executive Committee of the SOCIETY.
 
In Chapters of more than 150 Active Members the following procedure applies:
 
Complete applications for membership, as described in the first paragraph of Section 3, may be reviewed by the National Committee of the Chapter. A recommendation regarding election of each candidate may be made by the National Committee to the membership at a regular meeting.

The Secretary of the Chapter shall promptly forward copies of application forms of candidates, who are approved for membership by the National Chapter, to the Secretary General of the SOCIETY. Candidates who are not approved for membership by the National Chapter shall be reconsidered automatically for membership by the National Chapter for two consecutive years following the initial vote, unless the application is withdrawn. Candidates who fail to gain election may be again proposed by the Chapter after a one year waiting period.

All completed applications of candidates proposed for membership by the Chapter shall be presented by the Secretary General to the Executive Committee of the SOCIETY for confirmation.
In countries without a Chapter, two Active Members from any country may serve as sponsors of direct nominees, and the usual application forms shall be used. An unanimous favorable vote of the Executive Committee of the SOCIETY shall be required for election of such direct nominees to Active Membershi.

Section 4 - Rights and responsibilities of members

a) Active Members (AM) must pay the annual dues established by the General Assembly. They may vote, serve as officers of the SOCIETY and on committees. They shall receive or have access to all publications of the SOCIETY including WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY.

b) Associate Members (XM) must pay the annual dues established by the General Assembly. They have full privileges as Active Members but no voting right. They may not serve as officers of ISS/SIC.

c) Trainee Surgeons (TS) must pay the annual dues established by the General Assembly. They have full privileges as Active Members but no voting right. They may not serve as officers of ISS/SIC.

d) Senior Members (SM) are not required to pay the annual dues. They may vote but may not serve as officers. They shall receive or have access to notifications of Congresses and Newsletters. The subscription to the official organ (World Journal of Surgery) may be obtained at special rates.

e) Honorary Members (HM) have all of the rights of Active Members. They are not required to pay annual dues. They shall receive or have access to all of the publications of the SOCIETY without charge.

Section 5 - Termination of membership

a) Resignation from the SOCIETY must be submitted in writing to the National Delegate and to the Secretary General at least 3 months prior to the end of the year. Annual dues must be paid in full to the end of the year of resignation.

b) Failure to pay annual dues for 2 years - after due warning in writing annually - will lead to loss of membership. The subscription to the official organ (World Journal of Surgery) will be suspended after the second reminder for owed annual dues.

Section 6 - Related surgical societies

a) Integrated Societies

Members of an Integrated Society have to be members of the SOCIETY. They enjoy full membership privileges with all its rights and obligations. Such societies maintain their identity and structures. Their members are identified in the Membership Roster of the SOCIETY. Integrated Societies with a minimum of 150 Active Members shall delegate one of their members as Councilor with voting rights to the Executive and to the Program Committee of the SOCIETY. Integrated Societies shall be represented on the Editorial Board. (cf. ARTICLE IV, Section 1h, ARTICLE V, Section 2 and 5). Current Integrated Societies are:

  • The International Association of Endocrine Surgeons (IAES)
  • The International Association for Trauma Surgery and Intensive Care (IATSIC)
  • The International Association for Surgical Metabolism and Nutrition (IASMEN)
  • The Breast Surgery International (BSI)
  • The International Society for Digestive Surgery (ISDS)
  • The Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia Presence (ASAP)

b) Associated Societies

Associated Societies may participate in the WORLD CONGRESS OF SURGERY (WCS), and other meetings organized by the SOCIETY without committing their members to individual Active Membership. Their involvement in the Congress will be regulated by mutual agreement.

ARTICLE IV - OFFICERS

Section 1 - Types of elected officers and duties

The elected officers of the SOCIETY shall be the President of the SOCIETY and of the Congress, the President elect, the Secretary General, the General Treasurer, the Editor in Chief of the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY, four Councilors at large and one additional Councilor to be appointed by any Integrated Society with a minimum of 150 members. All officers of the SOCIETY serve in a honorary position. A Secretary General-elect shall be elected as an ex officio officer as soon as the Secretary General has given written notice of his resignation date but at the latest two years before the end of his third term.

The duties of the officers and their terms of office shall be as follows:

a) The President of the SOCIETY shall preside at all meetings of the SOCIETY, preserve order, regulate debate, appoint committees not otherwise provided for, announce results of elections and represent the SOCIETY in undertaking in which a specific representative is not otherwise specified. The President shall be elected by the General Assembly and serves until the end of the following General Assembly at the next congress and shall not be eligible for re-election. The President has a casting vote in any meeting where positive and negative votes are equal. After his/her term, the President will serve as immediate Past-President for one additional term in the Executive Committee.

b) The SOCIETY President will be the Congress President of the congress at which his/her term as SOCIETY President ends.

c) The President-elect shall perform all of the duties of the President of the SOCIETY and Congress in the absence or incapacity of the President of the SOCIETY and Congress. The President-elect shall be elected by the General Assembly for one term only and shall not be eligible for re-election to this office.

d) The Secretary General shall keep minutes of all meetings and proceedings of the SOCIETY and of the standing committees, receive and process applications for membership, notify new members of their election to membership in the SOCIETY, maintain an accurate register of the members with their current addresses, send out announcements of meetings of the SOCIETY, send out a list of candidates for Active Membership in advance of regular meetings of the Executive Committee and conduct the correspondence of the SOCIETY not otherwise provided for by the Constitution. The Secretary General shall perform the duties of the President of the SOCIETY in the absence or incapacity of the President of the SOCIETY and the President elect. The Secretary General shall be elected by the members for a term of four years and shall be re-eligible for two more four-year terms for a total of 12 years.

Two years before the term of the office holder terminates, nomination of a Secretary General-elect should be submitted to and voted upon by the General Assembly. The Secretary General-elect shall be a non-voting ex officio member of the Executive Committee becoming a full member after the two year period.

e) The Assistant Secretary General shall be elected by the Executive Committee as an ex officio member without vote for four years with re-eligibility at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

f) The General Treasurer shall be responsible for the auditing of the annual statements of accounts, prepared by the Administrative Director and audited by a professional auditing firm. The General Treasurer shall present an annual report of the financial condition of the SOCIETY, and shall report annually to the Executive Committee the names of members who have failed to pay their dues and are in arrears. The General Treasurer shall be elected by the members for a term of four years and shall be re-eligible for two more four-year terms for a total of 12 years.

g) The Editor in Chief, Chairman of the Editorial Board of the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY, shall be elected by the members for a term of four years and shall be eligible for re-election at four-year intervals. The Editor in Chief shall be a full member of the Executive Committee.

h) Councilors at Large, shall participate in all of the deliberations and decisions of the Executive Committee as voting members. There shall be four Councilors at Large, and normally two of these shall be elected by the members every two years. Councilors at Large shall serve for a term of four years and shall not be eligible for re-election.

i) Councilors of Integrated Societies, an additional Councilor shall be delegated by each Integrated Society with more than 150 Active Members. Their time in office shall be the same as that of the four Councilors at Large or less, depending on their official terms in the Integrated Societies.

k) Congress Vice Presidents, shall be elected at a regular General Assembly, as recognition of outstanding services to the SOCIETY and to surgery in general. Each integrated Society may nominate one Congress Vice President. Nominated Candidates at large (up to 6 total) shall be selected from nominations from National Chapters and the Executive Committee. Congress Vice Presidents shall not be eligible for re-election.

l) Dean of the ISS-Academy shall be elected by the Executive Committee as a permanent guest in the Executive Committee and ex officio member without vote for four years terms with re-eligibility at the discretion of the Executive Committee. The Dean of ISS-Academy shall be responsible for all education al aspects of the SOCIETY and/or those under the auspices of the SOCIETY.

Section 2 - Election of Officers

Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the members present and voting at the General Assembly of the SOCIETY. Nominations for office shall be presented to the Membership

  • by the Nominating Committee, published in the agenda of the General Assembly.
  • by any 10 Active Members in writing to the Secretary General no later than 12 weeks before the General Assembly of the SOCIETY, the nomination being accompanied by a statement of the nominee to the effect that she/he will agree to accept the office if elected. Such nominations will be published in the agenda of the General Assembly.

The elected officers shall take office immediately upon their election.

Section 3 - Vacancies in Office

Vacancies occurring in office other than that of Presidents shall be filled by appointment of the President until the next regular General Assembly of the SOCIETY, when the usual procedure for election of officers will be used to fill the vacancy.

ARTICLE V - STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1 - Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the SOCIETY shall consist of the President of the SOCIETY and Congress, President-elect, Secretary General, General Treasurer, Editor in Chief of the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY, four Councilors at Large and one Councilor delegate from each Integrated Society with a minimum of 150 Active Members. The Secretary General-elect, the Assistant Secretary General and the Administrative Director shall act as ex officio members without vote. At no time may the Executive Committee be composed of a majority of voting members who are citizens of the same country. The President of the SOCIETY shall serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee and shall call its meetings. The Executive Committee shall constitute a Program Committee (see Section 2).

The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the general administration and financial management of the SOCIETY. In urgent matters, it shall have the authority to take any necessary actions on behalf of the SOCIETY. For such actions to become permanent policy, they must be ratified ultimately by the membership (General Assembly or mail ballot). The Executive Committee shall select the recipients of awards and prizes of the SOCIETY. The Executive Committee in full shall meet at least once every two years at the occasion of the congress. At the discretion of the President, conferences may be called in preferentially within the frame of some larger event attended anyway by a significant number of Executive Committee Members. A majority of the voting members of the Executive Committee present at a meeting shall constitute a quorum for taking actions.

Section 2 - Program Committee

The Program Committee of the SOCIETY shall consist of the Executive Committee of the SOCIETY and the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC). The Executive Committee may invite additional representatives of involved Societies if needed.

The Program Committee shall be responsible for the organization, subject matters, selection of papers and selection of speakers for future congresses.

Section 3 - Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee shall consist of the President of the SOCIETY as Chairman, the President-elect and the Immediate Past President, the Secretary General, the General Treasurer and the Editor in Chief of the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY and the Executive Committee representative of each Integrated Society with more than 150 Active Members.

It shall present to the membership for a vote at a regular meeting of the SOCIETY nominations for the office of the President of the SOCIETY and the Congress, the President-elect, the Secretary General, the General Treasurer, the Editor in Chief and four Councilors at Large. It shall also make recommendations for Honorary Membership to the Executive Committee.

Section 4 - National Chapters

In each country that has 10 or more Active Members of the SOCIETY the members shall constitute a Chapter. The Members of each Chapter shall elect a National Delegate, by the majority vote of the members present and voting at a regular meeting of the Chapter. He/she shall serve for a four-year term, with eligibility for one additional term only. In countries without a Chapter, the Executive Committee of the SOCIETY may appoint a National Representative.
The National Delegate or National Representative shall be responsible for approval of the applications for membership and maintaining communication with the office of the Secretary General of the SOCIETY.
The National Delegate of the country in which a congress is to be held shall have major responsibility for helping to organize the congress.
If a Chapter fails to communicate and to elect a National Delegate once the term of the previous National Delegate comes to its end, the Executive Committee of the SOCIETY shall appoint a new National Delegate or Representative to safeguard communication.

The responsibilities of the National Chapters shall be to:
a) Elect a National Delegate
b) Conduct one business meeting per year
c) Discuss with the membership the policies of the SOCIETY
d) Recommend to the membership the location and dates of future congresses
e) Recommend to the Nominating Committee potential Vice Presidents of the next congress for election by the members of the SOCIETY at a regular General Assembly
f) Recommend to the Executive Committee Members, for vote at a regular meeting, candidates to be awarded the
- Honorary Membership
- Prize of the "Société Internationale de Chirurgie"
- Robert Danis Prize
- René Leriche Prize
- other prizes sponsored by third parties
Such recommendations must be addressed to the Secretary General in writing, no later than by the end of the year preceding the next General Assembly.
g) Recommend to Executive Committee and to the membership, for vote at a regular General Assembly, expulsion of members for due cause

Section 5 - Editorial Board of the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY

The Editorial Board of the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY is composed of ex officio members and members nominated by the Editor in Chief and elected by the Executive Committee. They must be members of the SOCIETY. The ex officio members are the President of the SOCIETY, the President elect, the Secretary General and the Editor in Chief. The other members shall serve for a four-year term with re-eligibility for one additional term only. Nominations for the Editorial Board of the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY are made by the Editor in Chief at the proposal of the Editorial Board. The Editor in Chief of the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY shall serve as Chairman of the Editorial Board and as representative of the SOCIETY in all matters related to the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY.

Integrated Societies with more than 150 Active Members may have one representative on the Editorial Board who shall serve for a four-year term, with re-eligibility for one term only. 

ARTICLE VI - GENERAL ASSEMBLY

A General Assembly of the members of the SOCIETY shall be held during each WORLD CONGRESS OF SURGERY. The President of the SOCIETY shall call the General Assembly, arrange the agenda and serve as Chairman of the meeting. The Agenda shall be published no later than the first day of the Congress and at least 48 hours before the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall receive reports and proposals of the President, the Secretary General, the General Treasurer, the Editor in Chief (Chairman of the Editorial Board of the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY), the Executive Committee and by the Nominating Committee (by the President of the SOCIETY).

The General Assembly shall vote upon
a) Ratification of final decisions taken by the Executive Committee with regard to priorities for the locations and dates of future congresses. The final decision shall be made by the Executive Committee after consultation of the concerned National Delegates and after careful consideration of all relevant questions (convention facilities, visa restrictions, hotels and other important aspects as outlined in the guidelines to host a future International Surgical Week).

b) Election of up to six Vice Presidents for the next congress. Each Integrated Society has the right to elect one Vice President out of the six during its own General Assembly.

c) Nominations by the Nominating Committee or from the membership as specified in Article IV, Section 2, for the President-elect, the Secretary General-elect, the General Treasurer, the Editor in Chief of the WORLD JOURNAL OF SURGERY and four Councilors at Large, according to Article IV, Section 1 and 2.

The General Assembly shall receive from the Executive Committee upon request by the National Chapters recommendations for expulsion of members for due cause and shall vote on such recommendations.

The General Assembly shall consider, discuss and, when indicated, vote upon all other matters placed on the agenda by the President of the SOCIETY or by the Executive Committee. Upon written request of no less than 10 Members to the Secretary General, at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting, any matter - except election of Officers, Honorary Members and Prize Winners - may be placed on the agenda for consideration.

Honorary Membership shall be conferred at the Opening Ceremony of the Congress and the Prizes and Distinctions of the Society shall be awarded.

All votes are by simple majority of voting members present at the General Assembly, except:
a) changes of Constitution (see Article IX)
b) change of location of Headquarters of the Administrative Secretariat (see Article VII)
c) dissolution of the SOCIETY (see Article IX)
Acceptance of these three items requires two thirds of the voting members present at the General Assembly.

ARTICLE VII - ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARIAT

The Headquarters of the Administrative Secretariat to the SOCIETY shall be located in a city/country selected by the Executive Committee of the SOCIETY with the approval of the majority of the members present and voting at a meeting of the General Assembly. The location may be changed upon recommendation of two thirds of the voting members present and voting at a meeting of the General Assembly.
The Administrative Secretariat works at the discretion of the Executive Committee of the SOCIETY and of the Secretary General. The composition of the General Secretariat include a surgeon as Assistant Secretary General, an Administrative Director, an Executive Secretary and perhaps others as proposed by the Secretary General and approved by the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VIII - FUNDS

The funds of the SOCIETY shall be derived from dues as decided by the General Assembly, registration fees at meetings, sale of publications, advertisements in its publications and at its meetings, donations, legacies, interest on reserve funds, investments and other resources as may become available. The SOCIETY shall fulfill all of the requirements for status as a non-profit scientific, educational and professional organization and shall use its funds for the worthwhile objectives stated in the Constitution. Annual Chapter Assessments decided by National Chapters or membership Societies will be regulated separately. There is no personal liability of the members of the SOCIETY for its financial commitments.
The SOCIETY has two permanent funds of special designation.

a) Membership Fund: permitting reduction of annual dues according to specific financial limitations of certain countries.

b) The ISS/SIC Foundation which collects its contributions and directs its activity according to the special bylaws of this Foundation

ARTICLE IX - AMENDMENTS / DISSOLUTION OF THE SOCIETY

Amendments to this Constitution or Dissolution of the SOCIETY may be proposed by majority vote of the Executive Committee, majority vote of the National Delegates or by no less than 20 Active Members of the SOCIETY. Amendments or dissolution of the SOCIETY must be proposed in writing to the Secretary General at least 12 weeks prior to a meeting of the General Assembly and shall be sent to all voting members of the SOCIETY at least 4 weeks prior to a meeting of the General Assembly and shall be adopted only if there is an affirmative vote of at least two thirds of the voting Members present at a regular meeting of the General Assembly.

ARTICLE X - ADOPTION

Upon presentation of this Constitution at a regular meeting of the General Assembly of the SOCIETY and an affirmative vote of at least two thirds of the members present, this Constitution shall be adopted and take effect immediately.
The Constitution of the International Society of Surgery (ISS)/ Société Internationale de Chirurgie (SIC) has been ratified at the General Assembly in TORONTO, on September 13, 1989 and amended at the General Assemblies in 1991, 1993, 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.

Contact

ISS/SIC c/o Allveco AG
Seltisbergerstrasse 16
CH-4419 Lupsingen
Switzerland
Phone: +41 61 815 96 66
Fax: +41 61 811 47 75
E-mail: surgery(at)iss-sic.ch

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