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Statutes of the GTFCh

Article 1 Name and Legal Domicile

  1. The society, founded in 1978, is entered in the Registry of the Frankfurt/Main Local Court under the number VR 7372 as a society with legal capacity and bears the name:GESELLSCHAFT FÜR TOXIKOLOGISCHE UND FORENSISCHE CHEMIE (SOCIETY FOR TOXICOLOGICAL AND FORENSIC CHEMISTRY)
  2. The society is based in Frankfurt/Main. It is a scientifically specialised society.
  3. The society shall hereinafter be referred to as the GTFCh.

Article 2 Mission and Field of Work

  1. The society serves exclusively the public good in its scientific work, with reference to the section "tax concessions" outlined in the [German] tax law. In particular, the society serves to promote toxicological and forensic chemistry in research, teaching and further education, practical application and also the shaping of the next scientific generation.
  2. The mission is further realised by scientific lectures and workshops, through which the members can demonstrate new observations and discoveries made, and convey and discuss experience gained.
  3. The society acknowledges [its members] as "Forensic Toxicologist GTFCh" , as "Forensic Chemist GTFCh", as “Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh”, and as “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh”.
  4. The society is non-profit-making. It does not act primarily for its own financial benefit.
  5. The society's financial resources may only be used as outlined in the statutes. The members do not receive monetary benefits from the society's funds.
  6. No person may be remunerated for activities not concurrent with the society's mission. No one may receive unreasonably high remuneration.

Article 3 Membership and Joining

  1. Members may be individual persons (full members) or groups (joint members).
  2. For membership, proof of activity in the field of toxicological and forensic chemistry is required, or proof that the individual supports the objectives and interests of the society.
  3. Joint members may also be companies and institutes
  4. Membership is independent of nationality.
  5. Honorary members are elected at the general assembly after having been proposed by the committee.
  6. All members except joint members possess both the right to vote and to stand as a candidate for election.
  7. Acceptance of new members is decided by the committee. Its decision requires no justification and is incontestable.

Article 4 Termination of Membership

  1. The membership may be terminated by notice of resignation, expulsion or death, but also through disbandment or abolition of the GTFCh. Notice of resignation is effective at the end of the fiscal year in which it is given. Membership of joint members ends with their disbandment.
  2. If a member or honorary member has grossly violated the objectives and interests of the society, or has behaved in a way detrimental to it, he may be expelled from the society after a majority decision of 2/3 at the general assembly. Before the resolution, the member must be granted a 2 month period in which to make a statement. The reasons for expulsion must be named.
    The person concerned may lodge an appeal to the executive committee within one month after the resolution has been made. The final decision is made at the next general assembly, if in the meantime no other verdict has been expressed by a court of law.
  3. Unequivocal grounds for expulsion exist when a member is 2 years' fees in arrears despite having received reminders. In this case, thus deviating from paragraph 2, expulsion occurs by striking the member's name from the list at the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Article 5 Annual Dues

  1. The level of the fees for the full members is fixed during the general assembly by a majority vote.
  2. The executive committee can in some special cases grant a reduction in fees, and is empowered to fix the subscription fee for the joint members.
  3. Honorary members are exempt from paying subscription fees.
  4. The annual dues are to be paid in advance by no later than the 31st of January of each year.
    The rights of a member are suspended for the current fiscal year if he /she has not settled his /her debt within an additional 2 month period after the due date.

Article 6 Duties

  1. The members are obliged to promote the interests of the society, increase its public recognition and to support it in every respect.

Article 7 Functional Bodies within the Society

1) Functional bodies within the society are:
  1. The general assembly
  2. The executive committee
  3. The approval commissions
  4. Research groups with special tasks

Article 8 The General Assembly

  1. The general assembly is the meeting of all attending members belonging to the society.
  2. In particular, the general assembly shall be responsible for:
a) electing / deselecting the executive committee
b) electing / deselecting two auditors and their deputies
c) acceptance of the annual report from the executive committee and other bodies of the society
d) acceptance of the accounts (annual fiscal report and auditor's report)
e) approval of the actions of the executive committee
f) fixing the level of the subscription fees
g) passing resolutions from proposals tabled by the members according to the regulations
h) passing resolutions concerning amendments to the statutes
i) passing resolutions concerning honorary members
j) passing resolutions concerning expulsions from the society
k) election of commissions for the approval of specialist titles 
l) confirmation of postgraduate professional education regulations
m) passing resolutions concerning the disbandment of the society

Article 9 Convening of The General Assembly

  1. A general assembly must be called at least every 2 years by the president. It shall be chaired either by him or a vice president. If none of these are present, the chairperson for the meeting shall be determined by the attendees.
  2. Special meetings may take place after a resolution has been passed by the executive committee, or if at least a quarter of the members call on the executive committee to convene a meeting, thereby naming the reason or purpose.
  3. The invitation to a general assembly shall be sent in writing by the president at least two months beforehand, and is to include the agenda. An announcement in the society's newsletter counts as a valid invitation.
  4. Items for the agenda for a general assembly must be lodged to the executive committee in writing at least one month in advance. The chairperson of the general assembly must update the agenda at the beginning of the meeting. Items lodged late or brought forward during the meeting itself are to be carried over to the next general assembly to be addressed, unless the general assembly decides otherwise.

Article 10 Passing of Resolutions at the General Assembly

  1. Every full member has a vote.
  2. The right to vote is not transferable.
  3. Expelled members have no right to vote, even throughout the appeal process in accordance with Article 4 section 2, paragraph 4.
  4. For the entire duration of the election and any preceding discussions, the chair must be handed over to an election committee with returning officer. The election committee consists of 3 members chosen by the general assembly, and nominates the returning officer from its own ranks.
    The type of election is determined by the returning officer. The ballot must be performed secretly and in writing if this is proposed, otherwise decided by simple majority via a show of hands in the general assembly.
  5. Every general assembly convened in accordance with the regulations is quorate.
  6. The general assembly passes resolutions by simple majority of the attending members who are eligible to vote. Abstentions are excluded. The returning officer's vote (casting vote) decides in the event of a tie.
  7. The minutes of the general assembly are to be kept by the secretary. In his/ her absence, the general assembly nominates another keeper of the minutes.
  8. When amending the statutes, a majority of ¾ of the members attending who are eligible to vote is required.

Article 11 Executive Committee

1) The society's executive committee consists of
  1. the president
  2. two vice-presidents
  3. the treasurer
  4. the secretary
  5. three other committee members
  6. the editor of the GTFCh's newsletter.
2) The society is represented in and out of court by the president or either of the two vice-presidents.
3) The committee elected by the general assembly holds office for a duration of two years, and remains in office until the next election. Re-election is possible.

Article 12 Duties of the Executive Committee

1) The executive committee is responsible for all matters of the society, as long as these matters are not allocated to other bodies of the society by power of law or as these statutes decree.
2) In particular, it is the executive committee's duty to
a. prepare and convene the general assembly including compilation of the agenda.
b. implement the resolutions passed by the general assembly.
c. manage the society and its assets. 
d. render the accounts (accounting, yearly financial report, tax return including compilation of the annual report).
e. deliver a full statement of accounts.
f. make recommendations concerning the expulsion of members.
3) The executive committee makes its own rules of procedure. The rules of procedure determine, besides other things, the distribution of tasks amongst the committee members, and the calling of committee meetings and the passing of resolutions by the executive committee.

Article 13 Commissions for the Acknowledgement of Specialist Titles

  1. An acknowledgement commission consists of one executive committee member and 4 to 9 other members who must possess the specialist title, taking the different branches of study into account. The commission is proposed by the executive committee and elected by the general assembly.
  2. After their election, the members of the commission hold office for 4 years. Re-election is possible. The titles "Forensic Toxicologist GTFCh", "Forensic Chemist GTFCh", “Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh”, and  “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh” are granted according to postgraduate education regulations set down by the executive committee. These regulations require the approval of the general assembly.

Article 14 Research Groups with Special Tasks

  1. Research groups with special tasks are appointed by the executive committee.
  2. The research group chairpersons report on their work to the general assembly.

Article 15 Finances

  1. The society meets its expenses from the membership fees and donations.
  2. For meeting its liabilities, only the society's capital may be drawn upon; the members themselves are not personally liable.
  3. Two auditors to be elected by the general assembly or their deputies verify the cash management. They submit a report to the general assembly.
  4. The society's fiscal year is the calendar year.

Article 16 Disbandment

  1. The society can only be disbanded by calling a general assembly expressly for this purpose with two months' notice, whereby a ¾ majority of all members—either through personal attendance or in writing—is necessary.
  2. Upon the disbandment or dissolution of the society, or upon the discontinuation of its original purpose, its financial assets fall to the Bund gegen Alkohol und Drogen im Straßenverkehr e.V. (B.A.D.S.) in Hamburg, who has to use it directly and exclusively for non-profit scientific purposes (promotion of research). 

Article 17 Registry Entry

  1. The statutes were entered on the 10th of May 2017 in the register of societies of the local court in Frankfurt/Main with reference VR 7372 .

(In any case of doubt, only the German version is legally binding)