At its General Meeting on January 14, 2016 the Los Angeles Consular Corps has adopted new Rules of Procedure. These Rules replace all previous texts and regulations.
The County of Los Angeles currently has the following information on its official website:
"Whenever more than one consul is posted to a location there is a body known as a consular corps. It is a body sui generis (without legal standing) to act collectively. Each government must act for itself. For convenience, most consular corps organize themselves to exchange information and meet with local leaders. The senior consul (by rank and/or longevity) is called a dean and usually represents the corps for protocol purposes.
"The Los Angeles Consular Corps consists of 102 consulates (66 career and 36 honorary). Career consular officers are appointed by their Head of State or Foreign Minister and are full-time servants of their government. Honorary consular officers are United States citizens and need not possess the nationality of the country they serve. They are generally assigned to provide a degree of consular representation in places not covered by career consular officers. All career and honorary consular officials are accredited by the U.S. Department of State and are accorded the courtesy title of ‘The Honorable.”"
Rules of Procedure
The following are the rules of procedure for the Los Angeles Consular Corps:
The Consular Corps is composed of all current Heads of Consular Posts duly recognized by the United States Department of State, regardless of their class, whose jurisdiction includes Los Angeles County.
The Los Angeles Consular Corps is nonprofit and nonpartisan. The Corps does not practice political lobbying and does not participate or intervene in any political campaign. Collective action or public statements made by or on behalf of the Consular Corps involving politics, religion, contributions of third party organizations, and charities shall not be permitted.
Any organization wishing to advertise or announce their activities at a Consular Corps event, or wishing to distribute a document concerning their activities shall first obtain written authorization from the Dean. In conformity with the Consular Corps’ nonpartisan and nonreligious position, any announcement regarding political, religious, or similar events or actions is forbidden.
ARTICLE 1: GENERAL MEETINGS
1.01. Annual General Meeting. The Consular Corps shall hold its annual general meeting (AGM) for all members in January of each year at a time and place selected by the Executive Committee. The invitation shall state the agenda of the meeting. The agenda shall be sent to all members at least three weeks prior to the AGM.
1.02. Additional General Meetings. The Executive Committee may call additional general meetings or otherwise consult with the members at any time. The Executive Committee shall call a general meeting when requested by at least three members of Consular Corps. Meetings and consultations can take place in writing or in actual gatherings. Such additional meetings shall be called at least three weeks in advance and the invitation shall identify the agenda.
1.03. Amendments to the rules of procedure. Any Consular Corps member can propose amendments to the rules of procedure in writing. The Executive Committee shall examine the proposed amendments and if it so desires, the Executive Committee can formulate comments or recommendations that will be added to the proposed amendments. Each proposed amendment shall be scheduled for discussion and vote at the AGM.
1.04. Quorum. The quorum for a general meeting shall be 15 members, including either the Dean, the First Vice Dean or the Second Vice Dean. Adoption of an action requires a simple majority of members present.
ARTICLE 2: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
2.01. Powers. Daily Consular Corps affairs shall be administered by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall meet at least four times per year.
2.02. Composition. The Executive Committee shall be composed as follows:
- The Dean, who shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and act as its representative on all occasions requiring its representation.
- The First Vice Dean, who shall act as Dean in the absence of the Dean.
- The Second Vice Dean, who shall act as Dean in the absence of both the Dean and First Vice Dean.
- The Secretary, who shall act as Dean in the absence of the Dean, First Vice Dean and Second Vice Dean.
- The Treasurer, who shall act as Dean in the absence of the Dean, First Vice Dean, Second Vice Dean and Secretary General.
- Up to twelve members-at-large.
2.03. Appointment and Election. For the purpose of this Section 2.03, honorary Consuls and honorary Consuls General are deemed to be part of a single category with no distinction.
Each Executive Committee member, excluding those career Consuls holding office based on seniority, shall hold their office for a four-year nonrenewable term or until departure from Los Angeles or resignation. Following expiration of four years a member may hold a different office on the Executive Committee and following the elapse of one year, a former member shall be eligible to again hold his or her previous office.
- The Dean of the Consular Corps shall be the senior career Consul General.
- The First Vice Dean shall be the next most senior career Consul General.
- The Second Vice Dean shall be the most senior honorary Consul or honorary Consul General.
2.04. Abstention. Should the most senior Consul General qualifying for a position mentioned under A. and B. or honorary Consul or honorary Consul General in C. not assume the position, it shall pass to the next most senior active Consul or Consul General who accepts the position.
2.05. Vote. At the annual general meeting, all Consular Corps members present at the meeting shall elect the elected members of the Executive Committee. Candidates shall present their names with the Dean at least 3 days before the meeting.
2.06. Vacancy. Should a position in the Executive Committee become vacant in the course of the year or if not all positions are filled at a general meeting, the Executive Committee shall elect members of the Consular Corps to assume the vacant position(s) until the next general meeting.
2.07. Absences. Any Executive Committee member who has three consecutive unexcused absences from committee meetings shall automatically forfeit membership on the committee. The Executive Committee shall decide what is an excused absence.
2.08. Gender and Geographic Balance. The composition of the Executive Committee should reflect gender and geographic balance.
2.09. Compensation. No member of the Executive Committee shall receive any compensation. Out of pocket expenses may be reimbursed.
2.10. Quorum. A quorum for Executive Committee meetings shall be a minimum of five members of the committee. The Dean or the person standing in for the Dean (article 2.02) must be one of the five. All decisions are taken by a simple majority of members present.
ARTICLE 3: ADMINISTRATION
3.01. Duties of the Secretary. The Secretary is tasked with drafting reports of all meetings and keeping the information on the website current.
3.02. Duties of the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds of the Consular Corps, collect all contributions, fees and claims of the organization and keep them in a safe manner.
ARTICLE 4: GUESTS
4.01. Guests. At the discretion of a Head of Post, consular officers working under his or her authority may participate in activities of the Consular Corps. At the discretion of the Executive Committee nonmembers may be invited to participate and/or attend activities of the Consular Corps. The Executive Committee shall compile a list of nonmembers customarily invited to the Consular Corps events. Such nonmembers may include, by way of example only, local officials and authorities, private organizations whom the Consular Corps has contact with or other persons of interest to the Consular Corps.
These rules of procedure were adopted by a General Assembly of all Heads of Consular Posts in Los Angeles on January 14, 2016.