Laws of the Hunterian Society

/Laws of the Hunterian Society
Laws of the Hunterian Society 2018-09-17T17:14:57+00:00

(Amended and Revised 1922. 1937, 1949, 1953, 1959, 1962, 1973, 1983, 1984,1988, and 2002)

The Hunterian Society was founded 3rd February 1819, for the cultivation and promotion of the Science and Practice of Medicine. The name was selected as an earnest of the spirit in which its proceeding should be conducted, and the motto, “Ratio Societatis Vinculum,” was subsequently adopted as the basis of its operation.


1. The Society shall consist of Fellows, Honorary Fellows, Life Fellows and Associate Fellows. Fellows, other than Honorary Fellows and Associate Fellows, on admission must be registered Medical Practitioners; but the Council may elect as Honorary Fellows distinguished scientific men or women, who need not be Medical Practitioners.

2. Honorary Fellows shall not exceed twenty in number.

3. The Officers of the Society shall be elected from the Fellows, and shall consist of a President, President-Elect, four Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer, two Trustees, one Secretary, a Curator of the Museum, an Editor, a Web Editor and up to 12 other Fellows who shall together constitute a Council, under whose management the affairs of the Society shall be conducted. An assistant Treasurer, a co-Editor and co-Curator may be appointed who shall be members of the Council. A General Administrator will also be appointed for the day to day running of the Society.


4. Any Candidate for admission as a Fellow shall be proposed by no fewer than two Fellows, who have personal knowledge of the Candidate.
5. An Election shall take place at the first available meeting by a show of hands or by ballot if requested. A three-fourths majority of the Fellows present shall be necessary to elect. A newly elected Fellow shall be admitted by the President or Chairman according to the following form:
In compliance with the vote of the Hunterian Society and by the authority invested in me, I admit you a Fellow thereof.

6. Any candidate who has been unsuccessful at the Ballot shall not be eligible for re-nomination within twelve months.


7.The power of nominating Honorary Fellows shall be vested solely in the Council; but the mode of election shall be the same as in the case of Fellows. A notification signed by the President and the Secretaries shall be sent to him or her.
8. Honorary Fellows shall enjoy the same rights and privileges as ordinary Fellows.


9. Fellows about to retire from medical practice may, at the discretion of Council, after twenty-five years’ membership, be elected Life Fellows. This will be noted by an asterisk against their names in the printed list of Fellows. Life Fellows will no longer be required to pay an annual subscription, but shall continue to enjoy the same rights and privileges as Fellows.


10. Spouses or partners of Fellows in good standing shall be offered the status of Associate Fellowship upon the decease of the Fellow. Associate Fellows, upon the payment of the normal annual membership fee shall receive all normal correspondence sent to other Fellows, have the right to attend all the meetings of the Society in their own right, but would neither possess the power to vote nor to hold Office within the Society. Medical Students may also hold this position and on qualification may be invited to be full Fellows.


11. Any Fellow desirous of resigning must give a written notice of his intention to one of the Secretaries, and will be considered liable for any subscription already due at the time of notice.

12. The name of any Fellow in arrears with his subscription shall, at the discretion of the Council, be erased from the list of Fellows.

13. If the conduct of any Fellow, either without or within the Society, shall, in the opinion of the Council, be injurious to the character and interest of the Society, the Council shall have power, at a Special Meeting, to expel him from the Society, unless a satisfactory explanation of his conduct is forthcoming.


14. All Officers of the Society and all other members of the Council shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. Any Fellow has the right to demand a ballot.

15. The nomination list shall be prepared by the Council, and distributed among the Fellows at least one week before the Annual Meeting.


16. The President shall be a Fellow of five years’ standing and be elected annually. He/she shall regulate all the proceedings of the Society and Council, state and put questions, interpret the application of the rules and regulations, and decide every doubtful point. He shall check irregularities and enforce the observance of the laws. He shall sign the minutes of General and Council Meetings.

17. The President-Elect shall be elected annually.

18. In the absence of the President, the President-Elect, one of the Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer, or some other Fellow chosen by the Council or Meeting shall performed his duties.


19. The Trustees shall consist of not less than two Fellows of not less than ten years’ standing, one of whom shall have held the office of President.


20. The Treasurer, and/or the Assistant Treasurer, shall keep a book of printed receipts for the entrance fee and subscription of each Fellow.

21. The Treasurer shall not ordinarily pay a bill against the Society without the signatures of the President and one Secretary, and of two members of Council. The Treasurer, and/or the Assistant Treasurer, shall be authorised to draw cheques on behalf of the Society.

22. The Treasurer’s accounts shall be prepared and audited for submission to the Council prior to the Annual General Meeting.


23. The Secretary shall attend all the Meetings of the Society, Council and Committees; they shall record business, and conduct the correspondence of the Society; they shall report all gifts, inform Fellows of their election, keep the Minute Books, and prepare, under the authority of the Council, the Annual Report.


24. The Editor and Co-Editor shall be responsible for the preparation and publication of the Transactions.A Web-Editor will be responsible for maintaining of information of the Hunterian Society on the Internet.


24. The Curator and Co-Curator shall be responsible for the maintenance and safe custody of the Museum collection of the Society.

25. A Museum Committee consisting of up to five members will assist the Curator and shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.


26. The Council shall meet from time to time as necessary and five shall form a quorum. The votes shall not be taken by ballot unless at the request of the mover and seconder of any proposition; in cases of equality the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.

27. A Special Meeting of Council may be called on the requisition of three of its Members, a week’s notice being given, and the object of the Meeting specified.

28. The Council shall regulate the ordinary business of the Society, and arrange and issue a programme for the ensuing Session.

29. Should a vacancy occur in any of the offices, the Council shall be empowered to fill the same vacancy for the remainder of the season.

30. The Council shall be empowered to make such Bye-Laws as the welfare of the Society may demand; but no alteration or addition to the Fundamental Laws shall be allowed, unless approved by a two-thirds majority of the Fellows present and voting at a General Meeting and no alteration or addition to these Laws shall affect the objects of the Society or this Law. All intended alterations or additions must be recommended by Council.

31. The Council shall be empowered, by resolution and for reason assigned, to vary the dates and other arrangements of the Meetings of the Society.


32. All property belonging to the Society shall be under the control and guardianship of the Council; the investments, however, being held in the names of the two Trustees.

33. Every Fellow (with the exception of Honorary Fellows and Life Fellows) shall on election pay an entrance fee and an annual subscription fee of such sum as shall from time to time be determined by Council, and for which he shall be entitled to receive a copy of the Annual Transactions. Annual subscriptions shall become due on 1st day of January of each year, or such other date, as shall from time to time be determined by Council.


34. The Ordinary Meetings of the Society shall be held at least once a month, from September to June inclusive, or at such times as the Council consider expedient.

35. Any Fellow shall have the right to introduce visitors at Meetings. The President shall invite them to participate in the discussions.

36. All papers read to the Society shall become the property of the Society and no proceedings of any Meeting, including the Hunterian Society Lecture and the Annual Oration, mentioned below, shall be published other than in the Transactions, without the authority of Council.


37. The Council shall invite some eminent authority to deliver the Hunterian society Lecture at a Meeting during the session


38. The Annual Oration, to be called the Hunterian Society Oration, shall be delivered by the Orator for the current session, at a Meeting of the Society. The primary purpose of the Oration is to Commemorate the life and work of John Hunter, as also of his brother William Hunter, and to set forth the influence of the Hunterian example and tradition in the development of the science and art of Medicine. This tradition includes exact observation, experiment, and the application of anatomical and physiological science, human and comparative, to practical Medicine.

It is not intended to exclude from the scope of the Annual Oration topics bearing upon the History of Medicine, and upon the relation of Medicine to other sciences and to human life in its widest sense, as well as other topics which cannot suitably be made the subject of an ordinary medical communication.

39. All papers read to the Society shall become the property of the Society.


40. An Anniversary Dinner shall be held each year, at a place convenient to the Fellows, in the month of February, near to the birthday of John Hunter (on 13th February).


41. The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held once every year at a date to be determined from time to time, by the Council, for the purpose of electing Officers, receiving the Reports of the Council and Auditors and altering, repealing, or enacting laws.

42. A Special General Meeting shall be convened by the Council, either on the written requisition of a majority of its own members, or of twelve Fellows not on the Council; four weeks’ notice being given, and the object of the meeting specified. No subjects shall be discussed at such a Meeting excepting those for which the Meeting shall have been convened.

Wheresoever the terms “medicine” and “medical” are employed in these Laws, they shall be understood as including surgical, obstetrical and all other branches of medical science and art.