Bylaws of European Hernia Society

New By-laws for the EHS!

“It is easier for a person to be loyal to their society than to their planet; the bylaws are shorter, and they are personally acquainted with the other members.”
Adapted from EB White

The EHS  turned 40  years old on 15 June 2019.  The previous by-laws dated from the mid nineties.  While they had served the Society well, the Board were very conscious of how the Society and the Board have grown and developed since then.  The Board felt that an update to the by-laws were necessary to help the Society in the years ahead.  And thus in 2018, an International firm of lawyers were tasked with the job.  An initial draft was presented to the Board in March 2019.  What followed was a line by line analysis of the wording by the Board, leading to a draft being presented to the EHS membership in May 2019.  A few changes have been made, and the final draft was presented at the AGM in Hamburg during the 41st Annual European Hernia Society Congress, in September 2019.  The bylaws were approval and signed by EHS President, Agneta Montgomery and General Secretary, Salvador Morales Conde.

Why have by-laws?  All societies have a purpose and need rules to guide the society.  The by-laws are in essence the rules – they establish the specific terms of guidance by which the society is to function.  By-laws define things like the society’s purpose, and types of membership.  The new by-laws propose a junior associate type of membership, to encourage surgeons in training to become involved with the activities of the society.  Membership comes with responsibilities, and the rights and duties of the membership are more clearly defined.  In addition, the duties of the Board members are more clearly stated.  A change in the terms of office is also included, reducing all secretary positions from 6 years to 3 plus 2 years.  President elect and President terms of office are also reduced to 2 years from 3 years, and the position of past-president removed.  The current advisory wings of the society are written into the by-laws.  In addition, by-laws help societies handle any new issues or situations that might arise. Accepting that the length of the proposed by-laws have increased significantly, the Board believe that we have a set of by-laws that will serve the EHS well.

Human nature is not so keen on rules!  But let us leave you with the words of Lou Holtz, who though an American football player and coach, left us a line that applies to all herniologists.

“I follow three rules: do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.”

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