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PJN - Constitution

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Network for Justice in Palestine

PART 1: Name

1. The PALESTINE JUSTICE NETWORK, or PJN is the  name to be used in all official and formal representations and submissions, in all forms, written, verbal and all other forms of communication, made for, and on behalf of, the members of this Network.

PART 2: MISSION

To build a global network of activists and organizations that work together in advocacy in order to support the goals set forth by the Palestinian Civil Society Call to Action 2005.

PART 3: Goals

The Network for Justice in Palestine will:

3.1. Promote awareness of the Palestinian cause and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in a truthful and balanced manner, and to expand this awareness and education to any person, authority or government where the opportunity arises;

3.2. Mobilize Palestinians and Internationals to work together to achieve restoration and respect for Palestinian rights including the right to return and live in a society that promotes democracy and equality.

3.3. Promote the desire and right of the Palestinian people of self determination per International law;

3.4. Invite and encourage participation from internationals in the network and carry and promote their input, ideas, aspirations, advice and counsel with respect to the objectives of the Network;

3.5. Engage with and call upon governments of the world to provide political, financial, environmental and humanitarian support for the Palestinian people,

3.6. Providing a forum whereby Internationals and Palestinians cooperate and collaborate in effecting change on the ground in Palestine towards a more just, peaceful, and prosperous future;

3.7. Participate and provide input on relevant regional and international issues whether such issues are environmental, economical, political, or humanitarian;

3.8. Engage in dialogue and cooperation with other Palestinian Cause supporters and coordinate our joint efforts, assist them in achieving common objectives and draw on their experiences and wisdom;

3.9. Engage the media at all levels and to achieve coverage and publicity of our background, objectives, efforts, initiatives, projects and achievements when and wherever the opportunity arises;

3.10. Expand the Network’s presence internationally via establishing or incorporating branches or organizations in different countries and online.

3.11. Operate within a flexible framework observing and adhering to the local legal requirements. This includes only peaceful activities proscribed by local and international laws.

3.12. Reach out to all people including those who hold opposing views in the spirit of respectful exchange of views to arrive at common ground that would help bring peace with justice,

3.13. Engage with and invite the participation of politicians, celebrities, analysts, journalists, artists, and other public figures to contribute to the Palestinian cause and the objectives of the Network for Justice in Palestine.

PART 4: MODE OF OPERATIONS

1. The network operates within the laws of each country where we have branches. Branches must accept to abide by these laws and also abide by International law especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The latter for example specifies that racism and prejudice of any kind because of sex, religion, ethnicity, or background are prohibited.

2. Decisions by the senior coordinating body are done by simple majority vote except for any amendment to these bylaws which require approval of 2/3rds of the senior coordinators.

PART 5: Membership

5. Membership at the Network is open for any person or organization regardless of location, race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, colour, or religion as long as they identify with the mission and goals of the Network. Whilst membership is free, members and non-members may be required to pay a fee in order to access subsidiary services offered or owned by the Network. All ‘Senior Coordinators’, ‘Public Representatives’, ‘Senior Branch Representatives’, ‘Branch Representatives’, ‘Government Liaison Representatives’ and ‘Project Coordinators’ must be admitted members of the Network for Justice in Palestine.

5.1. Member Admittance Process

5.1.1. Prerequisites

a) Persons interested in becoming members of the PJN must express their interest and provide, at least, the minimum required information for admittance into the Network. Expression of interest may be delivered via any instrument the Network utilizes for such purpose whether this instrument is an online application, a postal application or a verbal application; and,

b) All membership applicants must agree to the terms and conditions of their admittance into the Network including the ‘Members Conduct Standards’.

5.1.2. Approval

a) Membership applications that meet the prerequisites stipulated in 7.1.1 will be automatically granted unless a senior coordinator of the Network contests a membership approval;

b) Approved memberships may be contested by an senior coordinator at any time after approval.

5.2. Members Conduct Standards

All members must agree to, observe and act in accordance with the ‘Mission, Goals, Ethics and limitations of the Network’, in carrying out tasks and duties associated with the Network, and, in any circumstances in which they declare their affiliation with the Network regardless of the place and time at which these circumstances may occur.

5.3. Representatives

The PJN Representative Members include:

5.3.1. SENIOR COORDINATORS

Senior Coordinator are responsible for setting the direction of the Network and enjoy administrative and decision making privileges in accordance with their powers as defined in 5.3.1.ii. Senior Coordinator can be at any location, and, the same location may have more than one senior coordinator performing their roles at the same time.

i. Appointment of Senior Coordinator

The network is founded by key people who agreed with its mission and goals. Those founders will form the initial Coordinative body of the network and appoint additional Senior Coordinator. Appointment may be initiated by verbal or written application from prospective Senior Coordinators. Current Senior Coordinators may also nominate others who must submit an application.

In considering applications for prospective Senior Coordinators, the following factors may be evaluated

a. The geographic location of the prospective senior coordinator;

b. The knowledge and experience of the prospective senior coordinator;

c. The overall benefit the prospective senior coordinator may bring to the Network;

ii. Powers of Senior Coordinators

Note: The powers of Senior Coordinators are defined in the body of this constitution and form part hereof. The amendment thereof is, therefore, subject to the ‘Amendments’ part of this constitution.

Senior Coordinators can exercise the following powers

a. Rescind the admittance of members;

b. Make written and oral submissions and representations for and on behalf of the Network;

c. Instruct public representatives, government liaison representatives, media liaison representatives, senior branch representatives, branch representatives, public representatives, project coordinators and standard members in relation to projects and events;

d. View and initiate audits of the Network’s financial affairs;

e. Seek and obtain, or, issue instructions to Network members to seek and obtain expert advice on issues relating to the operation of the Network;

f. Approve, amend or halt the production, distribution or publishing of Network’s material where this material is not produced by media representatives, correspondents or journalists;

g. Vote on the appointment of ‘Network Presiding Coordinator’ who must be a Palestinian living in Palestine

h. Act and carry out duties, tasks and projects in the capacity of Senior Branch Representative, Branch Representative, Government Liaison Representative, Public Representative, Media Liaison Representative and Project Coordinator.

5.3.2. BRANCH REPRESENTATIVES

Branch Representatives are responsible for the overall coordination of the Network’s activities in their respective locations. Branch representatives are the point of contact for Government Representatives, Project Coordinators and Public Officers seeking information and research that may facilitate the completion and success of their tasks and projects. Branch Representatives will engineer the gathering of information, plan the best possible approaches and coordinate the contact between the Network’s members in connection with ongoing projects as the needed.

They are responsible for coordinating representations and submissions to politicians, members of their communities, and occasionally the media, with respect to the Network, its objectives and activities. They also maintain records and information concerning all projects carried out by the Network in their respective locations and to draw on the Network’s achievements and experiences in promoting the PJN

To achieve the goals set forth by PJN and/or their local branch, the branch representative may create positions of government liaison office, media office, or other positions as needed within their respective location.

Appointment of Branch Representatives is subject to the expressed interest of the prospective Branch Representative in performing these roles at the PJN , and, the approval of, at least, two Senior Coordinators geographically closest to the location at which the prospective Senior Branch Representative proposes to operate.

Branch Representatives may be dismissed from their roles subject to their expressed request that their roles with the Network cease, or by a decision by the majority of the PJN ’s Senior Coordinators.

5.3.3 LOCAL COORDINATORS

Local Coordinators are the driving engine of the Network’s activities. They are responsible the implementation of specific projects or plans along with recommendations as to the participation of other members’, the stages at which the project will progress and ensuring that the transition of stages and communications between members involved in projects are carried out smoothly. Local coordinators review and implement plans to deal with any difficulties or hindrance that may affect the overall progress.

Local coordinators can be specialized in certain areas depending on local needs. But usually this involved media/public relations coordinators, government coordinators, and outreach coordinators.

Appointment of Local Coordinators is subject to the expressed interest of the prospective Coordinator in performing this role at the PJN , and the approval of the branch representative.

5.3.4 EXPERTS

There are two kinds of experts needed in advocacy work: those who can help at the local level and those who can lend their advice and support in International arenas (e.g. the United Nations and the International Court of Justice). Branch Representatives would use the former more and Senior Coordinators of the network are likely to use the latter.

Field experts are active members who are qualified in areas of science, medicine, the law, literature, culture, the art and all other specialized areas. Experts will be requested to provide opinions, analysis and reports on matters where the Network requires such expert opinions in the process of carrying out a project or making a submission or representation. Specialized experts can also initiate campaigns in their respective areas to effect change in policies for example in professional associations or unions.

5.3.5. TRANSLATORS

Translators are charged with translating documents and statements, written and verbal, and where these documents are for the Network’s internal use and publication, media releases and material, correspondence and communications.

PART 6: Branches

6. Branches of the Network for Justice in Palestine are established in local areas in one of two ways:

a) An existing local Palestine advocacy group asks or is nominated to join the network and it fits the criteria of supporting the mission and goals of the network AND is approved to join by a majority of the existing network senior coordinators.

b) A new branch or chapter maybe created but must have at least 20 members who also approve of the mission and goals of the network AND is approved to join by a majority of the existing network senior coordinators.

6.1. Branch Function

Each PJN branch must elect one branch representative. The branch will:

a) Coordinate, oversee and take courage of the any of the Network’s activities at the city or country in which the branch is located; and,

b) Receive, review and provide input on proposed projects by the Network’s members and Senior Coordinators; and,

c) Allocate projects to project coordinators for planning and implementation; and,

d) Liaise with, and facilitate communication between, members of the Network performing tasks in connection with the Network’s projects and activities; and,

e) Provide periodical reports to the Network’s administration with respect to the presence, ongoing and proposed projects, progress and achievements of the Network at the locations under the geographical coverage of the branch.

PART 7: Internal Communications, Access, Co-ordinating and Liaison

7. The Network for Justice in Palestine adopts and applies an ‘open access’ policy with respect to internal communication between its members at all levels. The Network shall, in carrying out its business, make all Senior Coordinators, branches and their representatives, project coordinators, public representatives, government liaison representatives and media liaison representatives contactable by, at least, email, and accessible one to another as well as to other members of the Network.

7.1. Record Keeping

All branches admitted to the network must maintain written records of all communications and activities. Such records should contain dates, individuals responsible, descriptive statements, and outcomes.

7.2 Access to Senior Coordinators

Senior coordinator of the PJN must, at all times, be accessible by members and non-members of the PJN . Senior coordinator must respond to all communication including correspondence, digital and electronic mail, telephone contact and any other form of communication unless the senior coordinator has reason to believe that the communication is not relevant to the Network, or, is initiated as menace or harassment where responding to it will have no bearing on the Network’s image or benefit. Any person may contact the Presiding coordinator with a complaint should they attempt to make contact with an senior coordinator and, at the same time, have reason to believe that the same senior coordinator has failed to respond to their communication for an unsatisfactory reason.

7.3 Liaison and Referral of Communication

A member or a branch who receives communication that may be better answered by another member or branch may refer the communication to that more appropriate member or branch and, in such an event, the first member or branch must:

a. Inform the sender or initiator of the communication of the referral, and, give reason for the referral; and,

b. Refer the communication to the appropriate member or branch as soon as practically possible.

PART 8. FINANCES:

8.1. Local branches have independent finances but must comply with local laws and regulations on financing of non-profit and/or organizations that they fall under geographically.  They must also make their budgets and accounting transparent and available to their members and to at least the senior coordinator charged with overseeing the network's accounting (see below). 

8.2. Beyond local financing, the senior coordinators can set fees or solicit donations to operate the network.  This may include centralized management of the network, paying for international travel needed to coordinate, hosting international conventions, or any other expenses beyond the local expenses in different countries that fit within the guidelines of these bylaws.  To manage this, the senior coordinators must elect from among themselves a treasurer on a yearly basis who should issue at least quarterly reports of financing.

Part 9: Media Activities

9.1. PJN considers media work to be critical in advocacy for Palestine.  By media we refer to all forms of communications to reach the widest audience and mobilize people for action. This includes mainstream media, alternative media including the most up-to-date web enabled communication strategies.  Communication intends to relate the truth and justice of the cause.  We intend to provide accurate information on the situation in Palestine. We prefer to have specific news agency/agencies that are professional enough to publish the network press releases and news, currently, as Part of the Rapprochement Center, we can use IMEMC, www.imemc.org, as our first news agency that can stream our activities and news.

9.2. The Senior Coordinators can decide to include/exclude available news agencies that can be useful/harmful to the needs of the Network.