Can you keep a secret?

The Society’s Rules

THE MAGIC CIRCLE – RULES

Reflecting amendments agreed at the AGM 2020
These are The Magic Circle club rules and associated rulings

RULE 1 – NAME

The name of the Society shall be “The Magic Circle”, hereinafter on occasion referred to in these Rules as “the Society”.

RULE 2 – OBJECTS

The objects of the Society shall be:

2.1 To promote and advance the art of magic.

2.2 To maintain permanent headquarters and such other premises as may be found necessary for the furtherance of these objects.

2.3 To maintain a library and museum of works and artefacts relating to the art of magic and to preserve the heritage of magic for the public benefit.

2.4 To arrange lectures, exhibitions, conferences, entertainments and such other functions as may be considered desirable for the furtherance of the above objects.

2.5 To oppose the wilful disclosure of magical secrets other than to magicians or bona fide students and historians of magic.

2.6 To protect from imitation, whenever and wherever possible, original magical inventions and original forms of presentation.

2.7 To publish a magazine relating to magic and to the work of the Society, and such other literature as may be found to be desirable.

2.8 To promote a Benevolent Fund.

2.9 To encourage members and magicians generally to submit to arbitration any differences or disputes which may arise between them.

2.10 To enquire into and report upon unusual phenomena.

RULE 3 – CONSTITUTION

3.1 Membership
3.1.1 The Society shall consist of persons who are aged 18 or over, who have been admitted to any of the following categories which shall have the meanings in accordance with Rule 3.2 below:
• “Apprentices”;
• “Members of The Magic Circle”;
• “Associates of The Inner Magic Circle”; or
• “Members of The Inner Magic Circle”.

3.1.2 Subject to the exception provided in Rule 3.3.3, only a person who has qualified by the appropriate examination as laid down in these Rules shall be eligible for admission as a Member of The Magic Circle or for admission as, or promotion to, an Associate of The Inner Magic Circle.

3.2 Definitions
“Apprentice” shall mean a person who has been elected to such category in accordance with the discretionary powers of the Council under Rule 3.3.4 and who is not entitled to make public reference to their Apprenticeship or membership of The Magic Circle.

“Member” or “Member of The Magic Circle” shall mean a person who has qualified to such degree by the appropriate examination as laid down by Rule 4 or who has been admitted to such degree in accordance with the discretionary powers of the Council under Rule 3.3.3 and who is entitled to be recognised by the insignia of such degree stipulated in Rule 3.3.1 below.

“Associate of The Inner Magic Circle” shall mean a person who has qualified to such degree by the appropriate examination as laid down by Rule 4 or who has been admitted to such degree in accordance with the discretionary powers of the Council under Rule 3.3.3 and who is entitled to be recognised by the insignia of such degree stipulated in Rule 3.3.1 below.

“Member of The Inner Magic Circle” shall mean a person who is elected to such degree in accordance with Rule 3.5.1 or Rule 3.3.3 and who is entitled to be recognised by the insignia stipulated in Rule 3.3.1 below.

As used in these Rules “Member” or “Member of The Magic Circle” shall, unless the context otherwise requires, include Associate of The Inner Magic Circle, Member of The Inner Magic Circle and all Honorary Members admitted accordance with Rule 3.8 below; and, other than in Rules 5 and 6, Apprentice; and the singular shall include the plural and vice versa.

3.3 Degrees
3.3.1 Members of The Magic Circle, other than Apprentices, shall be recognised according to degree, by an emblem with distinguishing coloured ribbons as under:
Degree of Membership Colour of Ribbon
Member of The Magic Circle Emblem suspended from a blue ribbon
Associate of The Inner Magic Circle Emblem suspended from a white ribbon to which may be attached a Silver Star for performing ability
Member of The Inner Magic Circle Emblem suspended from a red ribbon to which may be attached a Gold Star for performing ability

3.3.2 Every Member of the Society, other than Apprentices, shall receive a Certificate indicating the appropriate degree of membership in the Society to which that member has been elected or promoted.

3.3.3 The Council may at its discretion admit a person to any degree of membership without qualification by examination, if it considers that the ability or status of a practising magician, inventor of magical effects, or author of magical works warrants such a course. No person shall be eligible for admission to any degree of membership under this provision unless supported by at least 75% of the members present and voting at a meeting of the Council.

3.3.4 The Council may at its discretion admit a person as an Apprentice without proposer or seconder provided (i) that the person has not previously been an Apprentice; (ii) that it is reasonable to believe that the person is a fit and proper person to be a member; and (iii) on the basis of the investigations of the Examination Secretary or other appropriate information, that the person could pass an examination to become Member of the Magic Circle under Rule 4 and be admitted to such degree within one year of the date of admission.

3.4 Admission
3.4.1 Every application for admission to membership of the Society shall be as a Member.

3.4.2 Application for admission as a Member shall be made using the form available on the Society’s website. Applicants are required to confirm their agreement with an appropriate declaration, oath or promise as approved by Council from time to time.

3.4.3 A candidate shall be certified in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the Council.

3.4.4 The Secretary shall promptly bring all applications recommended for membership before the Council for them to vote on.

3.4.5 Every application for admission as a Member shall be accompanied by the amount of the application fee and such proportion of one year’s membership subscription as Council determines. This shall only be refunded, less an administration fee, in full if the candidate is not elected.

3.4.6 No person may be admitted as a Member of The Magic Circle or enjoy any of the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between the nomination or application for membership and that person’s admission as a Member. Any person who may become a Member without prior application or nomination shall not be admitted to the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between becoming a Member and that person’s admission.

3.4.7 Every application by an Apprentice to become a Member of the Magic Circle shall be made as though they are not a member of the Society, except that such an application need not be accompanied by a further application fee or advance payment of subscription.

3.5 Members of The Inner Magic Circle
3.5.1 Where a person is elected to Membership of The Inner Magic Circle, such election shall be effected by call by the President in Council following due consultation or some other person duly authorised to act on behalf of the President.

3.5.2 The total number of Members of The Inner Magic Circle at any one time shall be restricted to 300.

3.6 Honorary Vice-Presidents
3.6.1 The Council, at its discretion, may elect members of The Magic Circle to become Honorary Vice-Presidents of the Society.

3.6.2 Honorary Vice-Presidents shall be elected or re-elected by the Council each year.

3.7 Honorary Members
3.7.1 The Council may, at its discretion, invite persons, whether members of The Magic Circle or not, to become Honorary Members, either for a limited period or for life, provided that not more than three new Honorary Members may be appointed in any one year.

3.7.2 The Council may, at its discretion, invite professional magicians of distinction to become Honorary Members (Professional).

3.7.3 Honorary Members and Honorary Members (Professional) shall be elected or re-elected by the Council each year.

3.8 Resignation of Members
3.8.1 A Member wishing to resign must forward a written resignation to the Secretary. A Member whose membership of the Society has ceased in accordance with Rule 7.5.3 shall be deemed to have resigned. Any Member who has, or has been so deemed to have, resigned and seeks re-admission to the Society shall be regarded as a new candidate, unless the Council shall otherwise determine.

3.8.2 Any Apprentice who has not been admitted to another degree within one year of their admission as an Apprentice (or such later date as Council may determine having regard to individual circumstances) shall be deemed to have resigned.

3.9 Discipline of Members
The Society’s approach to disciplining members is addressed below in Rules 5.12-5.14

3.10 Effect of Cessation of Membership
Any person ceasing to be a Member of The Magic Circle, whether by resignation, deemed resignation, suspension or expulsion, shall thereupon forfeit all right to and claim upon, The Magic Circle and its Officers or Councillors and its or their property and funds, and shall not be entitled to a refund of the application fee or subscription, nor shall that person be entitled thereafter to wear any emblem of the Society or visit or attend its premises or events or in any way claim to be a Member of The Magic Circle

RULE 4 – EXAMINATIONS

4.1 General Control
4.1.1 The Council shall arrange for the holding of examinations at periodic intervals for the purpose of qualifying as a Member of The Magic Circle or as an Associate of The Inner Magic Circle. Such examinations shall be held in the theory and/or practice of magic at the discretion of the Board of Examiners.

4.1.2 Examinations shall be held at such places and at such times as the Council may consider expedient, with due regard to the number of candidates wishing to participate in such examinations. Exceptionally, the Board of Examiners may permit, subject to prior agreement, a candidate to undergo an examination by providing a live performance from another location or by submitting a recording of a live performance in a form satisfactory to the Board of Examiners.

4.1.3 Any Member who has been invited by the responsible Committee to give a performance at a recognised event of the Society may elect to be examined on that performance in lieu of the orthodox form of examination.

4.1.4 Every candidate shall pay such examination fee as the Council may from time to time determine on each occasion that an examination is taken by the candidate.

4.2 Board of Examiners
4.2.1 The general conduct of examinations and all matters ancillary thereto shall be vested in the Council of the Society which shall appoint an Examinations Secretary and a Board of Examiners. Members of the Board of Examiners shall act in accordance with any directions issued from time to time by the Council.

4.2.2 At the conclusion of every examination, the appropriate Examiners shall report their findings to the Council via the Examinations Secretary. The Council shall be solely responsible for the passing or rejecting of all candidates, but in all cases where a candidate is rejected, the reason therefore shall be communicated to the candidate.

4.2.3 Members of the Board of Examiners shall not be entitled to any fee for their services, but shall be entitled to receive such reasonable out-of-pocket expenses as the Council may determine.

RULE 5 – ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT

5.1 Policy and Administration
5.1.1 The general policy of the Society shall be vested in the Members of the Society, whilst the general administration and conduct of the affairs of the Society shall vest in a Council to be established in accordance with the provisions of these Rules.

5.2 Constitution of Council
The Council shall comprise:

5.2.1 10 Members of the Society of not less than 2 years continuous standing in the Society (not including standing as an Apprentice) to be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Society in accordance with the provisions of Rule 5.4; and

5.2.2 a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary and a Treasurer, of not less than 2 years continuous standing in the Society (not including standing as an Apprentice), who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Society in accordance with the provisions of Rule 5.4.

The Council shall appoint annually a Chair and Deputy Chair from one of its number. No member of the Council shall have more than one vote on any subject before a meeting of the Council, except the Chair, who shall be entitled to a casting vote in the event of there being an equality of votes.

5.3 Officers
5.3.1 The Officers of the Society shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the Chair of Council.

5.3.2 The offices of Vice-President and Deputy Chair of Council shall not carry any right of succession to the offices of President or Chair of Council respectively.

5.3.3 No Member shall hold more than one Officer post in the Society.

5.4 Election of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and 10 Members
5.4.1 A Returning Officer shall be appointed at each Annual General Meeting to conduct a ballot for the forthcoming Annual General Meeting in connection with the election of the President, Vice-President, the Secretary and the Treasurer of the Society and 10 other Members to the Council of the Society.

5.4.2 Nominations for Officers and the Council of the Society, who must be fully paid up Members, shall be in the hands of the Returning Officer not later than a date two months prior to the next AGM. Nominations for new candidates must be proposed and seconded in writing. Every proposer and seconder must have been a Member for a continuous period of two years (not including period as an Apprentice) a and be fully paid up. Serving Officers and Councillors who inform the Returning Officer on or before the above date of their desire to stand for re-election shall be deemed to be duly nominated.

5.4.3 Subject to Rule 6.6.1, all completed voting papers shall be sent to the Returning Officer by the date specified thereon; and all papers received thereafter shall be disqualified.

5.4.4 In the case of elected Members, the 10 candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared by the Chair of the meeting to be duly elected as Members of the Council of the Society until the next Annual General Meeting.

5.4.5 In the case of Officers other than the Chair, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared by the Chair of the meeting to be the duly elected Officer of the Society until the next Annual General Meeting.

5.4.6 In the event of there being an equality of votes for the position of either a Councillor or an Officer other than the Chair, the Chair of the meeting shall be empowered to order a further ballot among such candidates as the Chair may determine if they consider such a course is necessary.

5.4.7 In the event of the number of candidates for either membership of the Council or an Officer being equal to, or less than, the appropriate number of vacancies, the candidates duly nominated for such appointments shall be declared elected by the Chair on a show of hands in accordance with Rule 6.6 and a ballot shall be dispensed with.

5.4.8 If an interpretation of the election rules of the Society is required or, if they do not specifically relate to any particular matter in dispute, the Chair and the Returning Officer may be guided by reference to the society’s own Election Policy and the Association of Electoral Administrators.

5.5 Rights, Duties and Privileges of the Vice-President, Chair of Council and Deputy Chair of Council
5.5.1 The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, exercise all the duties, rights and privileges of the President, appropriate to, or which appertain to, ceremonial and social occasions.

5.5.2 In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall exercise the President’s privilege to call, where necessary, Members to the membership degree of The Inner Magic Circle, and shall also exercise all duties, rights and privileges of the President appropriate to, or which appertain to, business and executive matters.

5.5.3 The Chair of the Council shall preside at all meetings of the Council and at all General Meetings of the Society.

5.5.4 The Deputy Chair of Council shall, in the absence of the Chair of the Council, preside at Council Meetings and General Meetings of the Society. Whilst acting on behalf of the Chair of the Council, the Deputy Chair of the Council shall exercise all duties, rights and privileges appertaining to the Chair of the Council.

5.6 Co-option and Appointments by Council
5.6.1 The Council shall have the power to co-opt additional members in an advisory capacity without power to vote.

5.6.2 The Council shall appoint suitable Members to the Board of Examiners (as specified in Rule 4.2) and to form a Disciplinary Panel (as specified in Rule 5.13).

5.6.2.1 The Council shall have the power to appoint Members to such other committees as it may deem desirable to be limited to the period of office of the Council.

5.6.3 At its first meeting after each Annual General Meeting the Council shall:
5.6.3.1 elect the Chair of the Council and the Deputy Chair of the Council;

5.6.3.2 elect the Honorary Vice-Presidents of the Society;

5.6.3.3 elect Honorary Members and Honorary Members (Professional);

5.6.3.4 table the minutes of the Annual General Meeting, and (although not confirmed) take suitable action to give effect to any recommendations or instructions given at the Annual General Meeting.

5.7 Term of Office of Elected Members of Council
5.7.1 The President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer and the elected members of the Council shall take office at the close of the Annual General Meeting, and shall remain in office until the close of the next succeeding Annual General Meeting subject only to the remainder of Rule 5.7, 5.9.1, 5.12, 5.13 and 5.14.

5.7.2 A person who has held office as President shall not be eligible for re-election as President if that person will have held such office for five consecutive years unless circumstances arise which could not have been foreseen and not less than 75% of the Council as a whole agrees, before the close of nominations for Officers in the fifth year of the President’s term, to the nomination of the President for a further year.

5.7.3 A person who has served as a member of Council shall not be eligible for election or re-election (other than as President, Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer) if that election or re-lection could result in them serving in that role for more than seven years in any consecutive nine year period.

5.7.4 A person who has served as Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer shall not be eligible for election or re-election if that election or re-election could result in them serving in that role for more than seven years in any consecutive nine year period.

5.7.5 A person who has served as two or more of the Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer or member of Council roles shall not be eligible for election or re-election (other than as President) if that election or re-election could result in them serving in any of those roles for more than fourteen years in any consecutive eighteen year period.

5.7.6 If during war-time or a period of declared national emergency it would, in the opinion of the Council, be inadvisable to convene the Annual General Meeting in accordance with Rule 6.1, the existing Council and Officers shall continue in office without re-election until such time as conditions permit the holding of a General Meeting, notwithstanding anything in these Rules to the contrary.

5.7.7 At any AGM, no more than two current members of Council or Officers (being the two members who have furthest exceeded the eligible period under rules 5.7.3, 5.7.4 and 5.7.5) shall become ineligible for re-election under rules 5.7.3, 5.7.4 and 5.7.5.

5.8 Quorum
Seven members of the Council shall form a quorum, except during war-time or a period of declared national emergency, when four members of the Council shall be deemed to form a quorum.

5.9 Vacancies
5.9.1 The seat of any member of the Council who shall fail to attend three successive meetings of the Council without the previous permission of the Chair or the Council as a whole shall automatically be vacated and a vacancy shall be deemed to have arisen.

5.9.2 In the event of any vacancy occurring on the Council by reason of death, resignation or from any other cause, the Council shall fill such vacancy for the remainder of the current year.

5.9.2.1 Where possible the vacancy should be filled by appointing the unsuccessful candidate from the most recent election who received the most votes. If they are now unable or unwilling to fill the vacancy, the candidate with the next highest vote should be approached and so on. There shall be no obligation to consider candidates who failed to secure votes in respect of at least 10% of the valid ballot papers received in the most recent election
5.9.2.2 Once Council has concluded that all of the unsuccessful candidates from the most recent election are unable or unwilling to join Council, or in the event that the most recent election took place without a ballot, Council shall fill such vacancy for the remainder of the current year with such other eligible and willing member it feels most appropriate. Such decision shall be passed by not less than 75% of the members of the Council present and voting at such meeting.
5.9.3 Anyone appointed to fill a vacancy in accordance with this rule shall have the power to vote at meetings of Council as if they had been elected under rule 5.4

5.10 Indemnity
Every Officer and Council member shall be indemnified out of the Society’s property against any liability, loss, cost or expense arising out of or incurred in connection with any action taken by them in the proper performance of their duties and in defending any proceedings, whether civil or criminal, in which judgment is given in favour of such Officer or Council member or in which such Officer or Council member is acquitted.

5.11 Disclosure of Interests
5.11.1 An Officer or Council member who is in any way, directly or indirectly interested in a transaction or arrangement or proposed transaction or arrangement with the Society shall declare the nature of that interest at a meeting of the Council at which the question of entering into the transaction or arrangement is first taken into consideration or, if it has already been made, at the first meeting after the Officer or Council member becomes so interested.

5.11.2 Provided an Officer or Council member has disclosed the nature and extent of any interest in accordance with Rule 5.11.1:
5.11.2.1 it shall be permissible for that Officer or Council member to be a party to or otherwise interested in any transaction or arrangement and that person shall not, by reason of that office, be accountable to the Society for any benefit derived from such transaction or arrangement;

5.11.2.2 the officer or council member in question shall abstain from voting on any issues that would directly or indirectly benefit them financially or that concerns a conflict of a personal nature.

5.11.2.3 the nature and extent of the interest and the decision of the Officer or Council member as to whether or not to vote shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting by the Secretary.
5.11.3 An officer or council member shall abstain from voting on any issues that may directly or indirectly concern them in a conflict of a personal nature.

5.12 Disciplinary proceedings
5.12.1 If Council reasonably believes that a Member or Apprentice may:
– have disclosed one or more methods used for achieving magic effects other than in circumstances specifically approved by Council, or
– have done something or permitted something to be done that has or might reasonably be expected to negatively impact the Society, its reputation or the reputation of magicians generally; or
– no longer be considered to be of good character or a fit and proper person to be a member of the Society; or
– otherwise have behaved in such a way that has caused distress to one or more other members (for example but not limited to online trolling);

Council may refer the matter to the Exposure Committee, to a Disciplinary Panel (see 5.13 below) or for mediation in accordance with Rule 2.9.

5.12.2 Any matter referred to the Exposure Committee or for mediation may subsequently be referred by Council to a Disciplinary Panel.

5.12.3 The Society’s Disciplinary procedures and the processes followed by Disciplinary Panels shall operate according to a framework and policies that must be approved by Council and shared with all Members and Apprentices through the Society’s website or in print on request. A printed copy must also be supplied promptly to any member who is referred to a Disciplinary Panel.

5.12.4 The sanctions that can be recommended by a Disciplinary Panel and imposed by Council include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:
– request a formal apology for the behaviour in question;
– issue a private letter of censure;
– issue a letter of censure to be published in The Magic Circular, on the website, in the Facebook group and/or otherwise online as appropriate;
– reduce the degree of such Member or withdraw any Honorary Membership;
– suspend the Member from Membership of the Society for such period not exceeding three years as the Council deems fit;
– request the Member or Apprentice to resign within ten days;
– expel the Member or Apprentice from membership

In reaching its decision as to appropriate sanctions Council will take into account any previous disciplinary proceedings concerning the Member or Apprentice in question as well as any apology and undertaking provided by the Member or Apprentice concerned.

5.12.5 Any resolution of the Council for the purposes of Rule 5.12.4 shall be passed by not less than 75% of all those members of the Council who are not conflicted (see 5.13.2), whether voting online (permissible only in the event of sanctions involving letters) or at a Council meeting.

5.13 Disciplinary Panel
5.13.1 The general conduct of disciplinary matters and all matters ancillary thereto is ultimately the responsibility of the Council of the Society which shall appoint a Disciplinary Panel of 5 suitably experienced Members, including a Chair and Secretary of the Panel (one of whom shall be a member of Council, but not one of the Officers).

5.13.2 Members of the Disciplinary Panel, including the Chair and Secretary, should not, where possible, be conflicted by a business, close friendship or other personal relationship with any Member or Apprentice who is the subject of disciplinary procedures. In such a situation the Council shall, wherever possible, appoint alternative members to the Panel who are not so conflicted.

5.13.3 The Chair of the Disciplinary Panel shall, directly or via the Secretary of the Panel:
a. communicate promptly with Members and Apprentices who are subject to disciplinary procedures; and
b. keep Council informed of progress.

5.13.4 At the conclusion of every disciplinary case, the Chair of the Panel will report, either directly or via the Secretary of the Panel, a summary of their findings and any recommended sanctions to the Council. The Council shall be ultimately responsible for determining the disciplinary action to be taken in each case and the outcome of each case will be formally communicated to the Member or Apprentice.

5.13.5 Members of the Disciplinary Panel shall not be entitled to any fee for their services, but shall be entitled to receive such reasonable out-of-pocket expenses as the Council may determine.

5.14 Appeals against disciplinary actions
5.14.1 A Member or Apprentice who has been the subject of disciplinary action and who does not accept the outcome of the matter can appeal to the Council of the Society by sending a formal letter or email to the Secretary of the Society within ten days of being informed of the sanction(s) to be imposed.

5.14.2 The Appeal must state clearly the grounds on which it is based.

5.14.3 All decisions by Council in relation to Appeals shall be passed by not less than 75% of all those members of the Council who are not conflicted (see 5.13.2), whether voting online or at a Council meeting. The Council member who chaired or acted as Secretary to the Disciplinary Panel (and any other Council member who might have been involved) will not have a vote in any Appeal.

5.14.4 If Council agrees to hear the Appeal they shall call upon the Member or Apprentice to give an explanation, in writing within ten days, and/or in person at a meeting (at which they may be accompanied, but not represented, by a friend). All Council members shall be invited and at least 5 Council members should be in attendance, subject to all best efforts being made to avoid conflicts – see 5.13.2). Unless the Member or Apprentice otherwise agrees to a shorter timescale, such meeting to take place not less than 14 days from the date Council notifies the Member that their appeal is to be considered.

5.14.5 Following the hearing or consideration of the Appeal the Nominated Council Members shall report to Council so that Council can decide whether to uphold, vary or remove the sanctions originally imposed. Council’s decision in the event of any Appeal shall be final.

5.14.6 A Member or Apprentice who does not resign within ten days of being notified that this sanction is being imposed, or within ten days after an Appeal has been heard, if the resignation is still required, shall automatically cease to be a Member or Apprentice of the Society (as appropriate).

RULE 6 – GENERAL MEETINGS

6.1 Annual General Meeting
The Society shall in each year hold a General Meeting as its Annual General Meeting for the purpose of considering the Annual Report and Statement of Accounts, the election of Officers and members of the Council, the appointment of an Auditor and a Returning Officer and other routine matters, in addition to any other meetings in that year and shall specify the meeting as such in the notices calling it. Subject only to Rule 5.7, not more than 15 months shall elapse between Annual General Meetings.

6.2 Extraordinary General Meetings
6.2.1 All General Meetings other than Annual General Meetings shall be called Extraordinary General Meetings.

6.2.2 The Council may, whenever it thinks fit, convene an Extraordinary General Meeting, and subject to Rule 6.2.4, Extraordinary General Meetings shall also be convened by the Council within two months of receiving a written requisition in accordance with Rule 6.4.5 below; such meeting shall be called for a date not exceeding two months from the date of the notice convening the meeting.

6.2.3 Where the Council considers such action to be justified the Council may, in lieu of convening a General Meeting, conduct a ballot of the membership of the Society on the issue(s) contained in such requisition within the same period as the meeting itself would have been held.

6.2.4 The Council may refuse to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting or conduct a ballot where it determines by not less than 75% of the members of the Council present and voting at such meeting that the purpose or effect of holding such meeting would be to consider business:

6.2.4.1 which may be defamatory or illegal or interfere with an election of Officers or Council, or have the effect of calling into question or overruling any decision of the Council under Rule 5.12.5 or 5.14.5; or

6.2.4.2 substantially the same as the business of a meeting requisitioned under Rule 6.2.2 within the preceding twenty four months.

6.3 Notices of General Meetings
6.3.1 All Annual General Meetings shall be called by at least twenty one days’ notice in writing unless any special business (as described in Rule 6.4.1 below) is proposed in which case not less than thirty days’ notice shall be given. All Extraordinary General Meetings shall be called by thirty days’ notice in writing at least.

6.3.2 The Notice shall be exclusive of the day on which it is served or deemed to be served and of the day for which it is given, shall be sent to every Member and shall specify the place, the day and the hour of the meeting and, in the case of any special business (as described in Rule 6.4.1 below), the general nature of that business. Proxy forms shall be forwarded with every Notice which contains special business, but not otherwise. A copy of the Annual Report and Statement of Accounts shall be forwarded to every Member at least ten days before each Annual General Meeting.

6.3.3 Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 6.3.1 above, Notice of the Annual General Meeting shall be published not later than three months prior to the date of the Meeting and shall refer to Rule 6.4.3 of this Rule and a copy shall be published in the magic circular, the website and other electronically accessible platforms. It shall remain so placed until after the meeting has been held.

6.4 Business at General Meetings
6.4.1 All business that is transacted at an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be deemed special business, and also all that is transacted at an Annual General Meeting with the exception of the matters described in Rule 6.1.

6.4.2 Subject to Rule 6.6.1, any resolution other than a resolution proposed as special business shall be decided by a simple majority of those Members present and voting in person. All resolutions proposed as special business shall require to be passed by a majority of at least 75% of those Members voting in person, or if a poll is demanded, by proxy.

6.4.3 Subject to Rule 6.4.4 below, special business may be proposed at any Annual General Meeting by the Council and by Members upon written requisition in accordance with Rule 6.4.5 below.

6.4.4 Special business proposed for the Annual General Meeting shall be in the hands of the Secretary not later than a date two months prior to the AGM.

6.4.5 Where any provisions of these Rules require the Council to give effect to the requisition of Members of the Society, such requisition must be in writing and be signed by at least twenty of the Members, who must be fully paid up Members, and shall state, concisely, the nature of the business to be transacted.

6.5 Proceedings at General Meetings
6.5.1 No business shall be transacted at any General Meeting other than that for which the meeting has been convened. Subject to the overriding discretion of the Chair of the meeting no amendment (other than a motion for adjournment) shall be moved to any resolution proposed at any General Meeting unless written notice of the amendment shall have been sent to the Secretary not less than seven days prior to the meeting. Whenever any such notice shall be given, it shall be immediately posted on the Society’s official notice board, website and other electronically accessible platform.

6.5.2 No business shall be transacted at any General Meeting unless a quorum of Members is present at the time when the meeting proceeds to business; save as otherwise provided fifty of such persons present in person shall be a quorum. If within half-an-hour from the time appointed for the meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting, if convened on the requisition of members, shall be dissolved; in any other case it shall stand adjourned to the same day in the next week, at the same time and place, or to such other day and at such other time and place as the Council may determine, and if at the adjourned meeting a quorum is not present within half-an-hour from the time appointed for the meeting the members present shall be a quorum.

6.5.3 The Chair of the Council, or in the absence of the Chair, the Deputy Chair shall preside as Chair of every General Meeting, or if neither shall be present within fifteen minutes after the time appointed for holding the meeting, the Council members present shall elect one of their number to be Chair of the meeting.

6.5.4 The Chair may, with the consent of the meeting at which a quorum is present (and shall if so directed by the meeting) adjourn the meeting from time to time, but no business shall be transacted at any adjourned meeting other than the business left unfinished at the meeting from which the adjournment took place. When a meeting is adjourned for thirty days or more, notice of the adjourned meeting shall be given as in the case of an original meeting. It shall not otherwise be necessary to give any notice of an adjournment or of the business to be transacted at an adjourned meeting.

6.6 Voting
6.6.1 Subject to Rule 7.5, only a Member who was admitted to membership of the Society before the closure date for nominations for the year in question in the case of the Annual General meeting or, in the case of an Extraordinary General Meeting, on the date on which the notice is sent in accordance with Rule 6.3.1, shall be entitled to vote.

6.6.2 At any General Meeting a resolution put to the vote of the meeting shall be decided on a show of hands unless, in the case of special business only, a poll is (before or on the declaration of the result of the show of hands) demanded by the Chair or by at least fifty Members present in person. Unless a poll is so demanded, a declaration by the Chair that a resolution has on a show of hands been carried or carried unanimously, or by a particular majority, or lost shall be conclusive evidence of the fact without proof of the number or proportion of the votes recorded in favour of or against such resolution. The demand for a poll may be withdrawn.

6.6.3 If a poll is duly demanded it shall be taken in such manner as the Chair directs, and the result of the poll shall be deemed to be the resolution of the meeting at which the poll was demanded.

6.6.4 In the case of an equality of votes on a show of hands, the Chair of the meeting at which the show of hands takes place shall be entitled to a second or casting vote.

6.6.5 Votes may be given on a poll either in person or by proxy.

6.6.6 The instrument appointing a proxy shall be in such form as the Council shall determine but shall be in writing under the hand of the appointor and shall be valid at any adjournment of the meeting to which it relates. A proxy must be a Member of the Society who is entitled to vote under these rules.

6.6.7 The instrument appointing a proxy must be in the hands of the Returning Officer not less than 48 hours (or such shorter time as set out in the Election Policies) before the time for holding the meeting or adjourned meeting at which the person named in the instrument proposes to vote and in default the instrument of proxy shall not be treated as valid.

6.6.8 A vote given in accordance with the terms of an instrument of proxy shall be valid notwithstanding the death or resignation or cessation of membership of the appointer or revocation of the proxy.

RULE 7 – FINANCE

7.1 Financial Year
The financial year of the Society shall be from 1st April in one year to 31st March of the following year.

7.2 Membership Subscriptions
7.2.1 The membership subscriptions payable by Members shall be determined and published annually by the Council.

7.2.2 In the absence of a Council decision to revise membership subscriptions, there will be no change to the amounts payable.

7.2.3 The subscription year from which any revision to subscription rates will take effect shall run from 1 June to the following 31 May and all subscriptions, except as set out in Rule 7.2.4, shall be payable in advance by the first day of June in each year.

7.2.4 The Council may, at its discretion, offer members who fulfil criteria determined by Council from time to time the opportunity to pay the membership subscription by instalments during the subscription year, on the basis and subject to any appropriate additional charge determined by Council.

7.2.5 New members will be advised of a suitably pro-rated membership subscription for the period from joining through to the next or following 31 May.

7.3 Application Fee
An application fee shall be payable to the Society by all prospective Members in such amount and on such terms as the Council shall from time to time determine.

7.4 Remitted Subscriptions
The Secretary and the Treasurer shall be exempt from payment of subscriptions, and the Council may remit payment of subscriptions and/or application fee by any Member or prospective member for such times as it may think fit.

7.5 Subscriptions in Arrear
7.5.1 The membership of any Member whose subscription is in arrear shall lapse and the lapsed Member shall not be entitled to admission to Headquarters or to any Members’ only events as a Member or to the use of its facilities or to be counted in any vote or ballot unless payment of the subscription has been made in full and this has been confirmed by the Treasurer (or another Officer).

7.5.2. The Council may, but shall not be obliged to, accept subscription renewals from any Member whose subscription has lapsed according to Rule 7.5.1 and in such event, the lapsed Member shall be reinstated as a Member with effect from the due date of payment.

7.5.3. Any Member whose subscription payment is one month in arrear (unless remitted in accordance with Rule 7.4) shall automatically cease to be a Member of The Magic Circle, but may at any time apply for re-admission to membership of the Society in accordance with Rule 3.4 subject to the payment of any amounts due in respect of the subscription year.

7.6 Audit or Independent Review
The Accounts of the Society shall be examined and signed by an independent Auditor elected at the Annual General Meeting who is entitled to be paid a professional fee out of the funds of the Society.

RULE 8 – PROPERTY OF THE SOCIETY

8.1 Powers of Investment
The Council shall have power to invest the funds of the Society. These funds shall be invested only in accordance with Section 3 Trustee Act 2000 except with the express authority of the Annual General Meeting, or of an Extraordinary General Meeting called for the purpose.

8.2 Powers of Purchase
The Council shall have power to acquire by purchase or otherwise freehold and leasehold land for occupation for the purposes of the Society and may for this purpose raise money by mortgaging or charging all or any such land.

8.3 Trustees
8.3.1 There shall be not more than five Trustees of the Society who shall be appointed from time to time as necessary by the Council. Subject as mentioned in Rule 8.9, all property of the Society, including land and investments, shall be vested in the Trustees to be dealt with by them as the Council shall from time to time direct by resolution (of which an entry in the minute book shall be conclusive evidence).

8.3.2 The Trustees shall be indemnified out of the Society’s property against any liability, loss, cost or expense arising out of or incurred in connection with any action taken by them on the direction of the Council or in the proper performance of their duties.

8.3.3 A Trustee shall hold office until death or resignation or until removed from office by a resolution of the Council. Resignation shall be by at least one month’s notice in writing. Where by reason of any such death, resignation or removal it shall appear necessary to the Council for a new Trustee or Trustees to be appointed, or if the Council shall deem it expedient to appoint an additional Trustee or additional Trustees, the Council shall by resolution nominate the person or persons to be appointed the new Trustee or Trustees and shall as soon as possible thereafter take all lawful and practicable steps to procure the vesting of all the Society’s property into the names of the Trustees as constituted after the said appointment. Any resolution of the Council for the above purpose shall be passed by not less than 75% of the members of the Council present and voting at such meeting.

8.4 Creation of Mortgages, etc.
8.4.1 The Council shall have power to borrow money on behalf of the Society for the purpose of acquiring by purchase or otherwise freehold and leasehold land for occupation for the purposes of the Society or for such other purposes as may be authorised from time to time by the Society in General Meeting at such rate of interest, in such form and manner and upon such security as the Council may decide. All Members of the Society, whether voting on such resolution or not, and all persons becoming Members of the Society after the passing of such resolution, shall be deemed to have assented to the same as if they had voted in favour of such resolution.

8.4.2 In respect of any such borrowing as aforesaid, the Trustees shall at the direction of the Council make all such dispositions of the Society’s property or any part thereof and enter into such agreements in relation thereto as the Council may deem proper for giving security for such borrowing.

8.5 Power to lend Property
The Trustees, at the direction of the Council, may from time to time and at any time in furtherance of the Society’s objects lend any property of the Society to any persons or corporations and upon such terms and conditions as the Council may think fit.

8.6 Power to effect dealings
The Trustees, at the direction of the Council, may sell, lease, demise, let, mortgage, charge, license and generally manage and deal with any land or property which, or the proceeds of sale of which, may at any time form part of the Society’s property as if the Council or the Trustees were the beneficial owners thereof absolutely entitled.

8.7 Power to improve Property
The Council may in its discretion and from time to time apply any money for the time being forming part of the Society’s assets in improving or developing in any manner whatsoever any land intended or used for occupation for the purposes of the Society or in building, rebuilding, erecting, enlarging, decorating or improving any buildings or other structure upon such land.

8.8 Power to start and carry on business and to form companies for the purposes of carrying on business
8.8.1 The Council may from time to time carry on or assist in carrying on whether by itself or singly or in partnership with any other person or persons or corporation any business or venture (whether or not for profit) which it shall consider to be for the benefit of the Society.

8.8.2 The Council may at any time promote or join in promoting any company for the purpose of carrying on or taking over any such business as is mentioned in the preceding sub-clause or for the transfer of any such business to another company in such manner as it shall think fit.

8.8.3 All contracts or arrangements made or entered into by the Council or the Trustees at the direction of the Council in pursuance of the exercise of any of the powers contained in this Rule shall be valid and effectual notwithstanding that the Trustees or any of them shall be promoters or a promoter of any such company or partners or a partner in any such business or otherwise interested in the same. This shall not however, relieve any member of Council from the obligations under, and the requirements of, Rule 5.11.

8.9 Administration of Funds
8.9.1 The Officers shall act as administrators of the Society’s funds.

8.9.2 Council shall determine the level of disbursements that can be authorised by the Treasurer alone and at what level the agreement of other Officers or the Council as a whole should be obtained before authorising payments or otherwise committing the Society.

8.9.3 All Officers shall register with the Society’s bankers as any two of them are required to authorise the payment of any sums over £500 (or, if higher, 3 times the highest level of the annual membership subscription).

8.10 Distributions
8.10.1 The income and the property of the Society shall be applied solely towards the objects of the Society and, subject to Rule 8.10.2, shall not be paid or distributed to the Members for their profit or gain.

8.10.2 Where the Society has received gifts and bequests on terms which do not restrict the use of such gifts or bequests to other purposes, the Council may establish a fund to be known as “The Maskelyne Endowment Fund” (Fund), which shall at all times be the property of the Society, to be administered and applied in accordance with Appendix III.

8.11 Dissolution
If at any general meeting a resolution for the dissolution of the Society is passed by the appropriate majority of the Members (and for the avoidance of doubt it is declared that any matter relating to the dissolution of the Society or the distribution of its property shall be special business) the Council must immediately or at such future date as is specified in the resolution proceed to realise the property of the Society (subject to matters referred to below in relation to the collection) and after the discharge of all liabilities must deal with such property in such manner as a majority of the Members shall agree subject to and in accordance with the following matters, namely:

8.11.1 The property shall not be distributed to the Members for their profit or gain;

8.11.2 Insofar as it is not necessary to sell or otherwise deal with the collection of the Society (hereafter defined as the books, posters, papers, recordings, apparatus and other items held in connection with the art of magic and/or the history of the Society) in order to discharge the liabilities of the Society and insofar as it is practicable to do so and not inconsistent with the acquisition and disposal policy of the Society’s museum;
8.11.2.1 the collection as a whole shall be transferred to such national institution (not established or conducted for profit) or charitable body as may house it securely and exhibit it for the public benefit;
8.11.2.2 in the event that it is not possible for the collection satisfactorily to be housed as a whole by one such institution or body then it will be divided between such national institutions (not established or conducted for profit) or charitable bodies as may best house the various parts securely and exhibit them for public benefit;

8.11.2.3 such other surplus as may exist should be transferred to the institutions or bodies (not established or conducted for profit) as will house the collection for purpose of maintaining, preserving and adding to it. If there is more than one such institution or body then the surplus assets will be transferred in proportion to the value in which they hold the various parts of the collection;

8.11.2.4 if for some reason any of the above purposes fail then the property will be transferred to such national institution (not established or conducted for profit) or charitable body which has objects which are most akin to those of the Society.
8.11.3 Failing agreement by the majority of the Members as to the manner in which the property will be dealt with after all liabilities are discharged then the issue may be determined by the Court.

RULE 9 – VISITORS

9.1 Any Member may introduce an adult guest to the Society’s meetings; and the introducing Member shall be responsible for a guest’s conduct.

9.2 The introduction of guests by a Member may be restricted from time to time by the Council.

9.3 No visitor shall be admitted to any closed meeting of the Society without the permission of the Chair or Host of the particular meeting.

9.4 The use of mobile telephones, cameras, video, audio and other recording devices in the club premises is permitted only in accordance with the guidance set out by the Council from time to time and published on the Society website and in The Magic Circular.

RULE 10 – SUPPLY OF LIQUOR

10.1 Intoxicating liquor may be supplied by or on behalf of the Society to Members, and their guests for consumption on the Society’s premises.

RULE 11 – MATTERS NOT PROVIDED FOR IN THESE RULES AND INTERPRETATION OF RULES

The Council shall have power to decide any matter not specifically provided for in these Rules, and give decisions as to the interpretation of any Rule should the occasion arise.

RULE 12 – NOTICES

A notice may be given by the Society to any member either personally or by sending it by post to the address last notified to the Society by such member or by using electronic communication to the number or address last notified to the Society by such member for the purpose of receiving electronic communications. Where a notice is sent by post, service of the notice shall be deemed to be effected by properly addressing, prepaying and posting a letter containing the notice, and to have been effected at the expiration of 7 days after the letter containing the same is posted. A notice contained in an electronic communication shall be deemed to have been effected at the expiration of 48 hours after it was sent.

RULE 13 – GENERAL

13.1 Operation of Rules

These Rules shall take effect from the date of their adoption by the Society in substitution for the previous Rules which are hereby cancelled. These Rules may be added to, repealed or amended at any General Meeting as special business in accordance with Rule 6.4.

13.2 Distribution of Rules
A copy of these Rules and all amendments either in hard copy or machine readable form shall be made available free of cost to each Member of the Society on request.