New bylaws for the International Maritime Economic History Association (IMEHA)

As approved by the Association’s members at the 2016 General Assembly held at Murdoch university, Perth, Western Australia, July 1, 2016 in conjunction with the 7th IMEHA International Congress of Maritime History, June 27-July 1, 2016


  1. Definitions and Interpretation
    1. The International Maritime History Association (hereafter the IMHA) is a non-profit organization and shall be carried on without the purpose of pecuniary gain for its Members or Officers. Any profits or accretions to the IMHA shall be used solely for the support of the objectives of the IMHA. Officers shall receive no remuneration for their services.
    2. The IMHA is non-sectarian, non-racial and non-political, and shall not have any religious, racial or political affiliation.
    3. Maritime history is seen as a broad discipline, covering all aspects of humankind’s relationship with the world’s oceans and seas and inland waterways from ancient times to the present.
  1. Objectives
    1. The objective of IMHA is to promote maritime history globally and facilitate collaboration among maritime researchers. In order to fulfill its mission, the IMHA shall promote:
  • studies in maritime history from ancient times to the present;
  • collaboration among maritime historians across the world;
  • junior researchers within maritime history;
  • maritime history within other fields of historical research;
  • maritime history within other disciplines, which share a maritime focus;
  • academic teaching programs within maritime history;
  • institutional recognition of maritime history.

Following these purposes, IMHA shall:

  • attract junior researchers within maritime history, including the attribution of scholarships within maritime history;
  • promote academic teaching programs within maritime history;
  • participate in joint ventures of scientific research within maritime history.

The IMHA shall develop a range of activities and resources within maritime history, including:

  • publication of the international, peer-review journal International Journal of Maritime History through the International Journal of Maritime History (hereafter the IJMH);
  • publication of a series of research monographs within maritime history;
  • organization of academic conferences within maritime history;
  • organization of scholarships within maritime history.
  1. Membership
    1. Membership of the IMHA is open to any person interested in maritime history or related disciplines that supports the Objectives of the IMHA, as specified in art. 1 and 2. It shall not be limited by residency or citizenship.
    2. Applications for membership are to be made through the application procedure on the IMHA website.
    3. Membership is annual.
    4. Membership fees for the ensuing year shall fall due on the first day of January, and shall be in arrears if not paid within 90 days.
    5. Membership fees are determined by the Executive Board.
    6. Membership shall be terminated in the following cases:
  • The Member resigning in writing to the Executive Board Treasurer, in which event all payments due to the IMHA shall accompany the resignation; or
  • The Member omitting to pay the annual subscription prescribed. Termination of memberships occurs when a deadline given in a written reminder from the Executive Board Treasurer to the Member has expired.
    1. The Executive Board has the authority to expel a Member, if the Member has acted contrary to the interests of the IMHA. The Member shall be given the opportunity to explain his or her position in writing. The Member may appeal the Executive Board’s ruling to the General Assembly of the IMHA.
  1. General Assembly

Authority of the General Assembly

  1. The General Assembly (hereafter the GA) is the highest authority of the IMHA.
  2. The GA shall be composed of IMHA members.

Convening of General Assembly

  1. The GA shall take place every four years.
  2. The Executive Board shall determine venue and date and time for the GA and inform members of the IMHA accordingly three months in advance.
  3. Three months in advance of the GA, the Executive Board Secretary shall provide all members of the IMHA with an agenda for GA, minutes of the most recent GA, and financial accounts for the IMHA concerning the last four years.
  4. One month in advance of the GA, the Executive Board Secretary shall provide all IMHA members with a list of candidates for the Executive Board election at the GA.

Procedures at the GA

  1. The GA is chaired by the President of the Executive Board or in his or her absence a Vice-president.
  2. The Secretary of the Executive Board shall serve as Secretary of the meeting and take minutes of the meeting.
  3. GA minutes from the most recent GA shall be presented by the Executive Board for approval by the IMHA members at the GA.
  4. The President of the Executive Board shall report to the Members on the Executive Board activities since the last GA and the general state of the IMHA.
  5. The Treasurer of the Executive Board shall provide a financial statement for the period since the last GA, for approval by the Members.
  6. A vote on the election of Executive Board members takes place at the GA.
  7. Members who wish to discuss items belonging to any other business on the agenda shall in writing provide these to the Executive Board Secretary two months before the GA.


  1. Each IMHA member holds one vote.
  2. Decisions shall be taken by a show of hands, by simple majority of Members present, except decisions about members of the Executive Board, which shall be taken by secret ballot.
  3. In case an IMHA member is unable to attend the GA in person, the member may vote in writing to the Secretary of the Executive Board. This should take place at the latest one week before the GA.

Extraordinary General Assembly

  1. An Extraordinary General Assembly or a substitute postal or electronic ballot of the IMHA Members may be called by the Executive Board or by the written demand of at least 10% of IMHA Members. In the latter case the Meeting must take place within 30 days of the receipt of the demand by the Executive Board Secretary.
  1. Executive Board

Membership of the Executive Board

  1. The IMHA shall be governed by an Executive Board, consisting of five persons: A President, two Vice-Presidents, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
  2. The Executive Board members shall be elected by IMHA members.
  3. All individual members of IMHA are eligible for election to the Executive Board.
  4. The Executive Board members serve for a term of four years and are eligible for re-election for the same position for one further term.
  5. A candidate for the IMHA Executive Board shall inform the Executive Board Secretary about his or her candidacy two months before the GA.
  6. Any member of the Executive Board may be removed from office by a 75 % vote of the IMHA Members present at any Extraordinary GA called for by 10 % of the IMHA members or by the Executive Board.

Powers of the Executive Board

  1. The Executive Board is entitled to act in the name of the IMHA in order to advance the objective of the IMHA, as specified in art. 1 and 2.
  2. The Executive Board may utilize the IMHA’s funds in accordance with the objective of the IMHA, specified in art. 1 and 2.
  3. Every member of the Executive Board in the proper performance of his duties shall be liable for default, breach of duty or breach of trust and severe negligence solely. Executive Board members responsible for judicial proceedings for the IMHA of events on behalf of the IMHA shall be indemnified out the assets of the IMHA against any liability incurred by them in the proper performance of their duties.
  4. The Executive Board appoints the editor(s) of the IJMH and the editor(s) for research monograph series, published by the IMHA.
  5. The Executive Board appoints the Editorial Board of the IJMH, according to art. 6.
  6. The Executive Board can decide to grant scholarships within maritime history, in accordance with article 2. The Executive Board has the power to establish scholarship assessment committees for this purpose and appoint committee members.
  7. Membership fees are determined the Executive Board, as specified in art. 3.


  1. The Executive Board may appoint committees to consider and report to the Executive Board on any matter.
  2. The Chair of such committees shall be a member of the Executive Board.
  3. Membership of committees will be open only to members of the IMHA.
  4. No committee may spend any money or enter into any obligation on behalf of IMHA unless expressly authorised to do so in writing by the Executive Board.
  5. The Executive Board will appoint a standing committee to advise the Executive Board on all matters previously the concern of the INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF MARITIME HISTORY. As far as possible, the Executive Board will appoint members to this standing committee who are able to represent the interests of relevant international maritime history organisations.

Duties of the Executive Board

  1. The Executive Board is responsible for advancing the objectives of the IMHA.
  2. The President shall be responsible for execution of the Executive Board’s decisions and for assuring the proper and effective functioning of the IMHA. He or she shall prepare the agenda of all business meetings and preside at them.
  3. The two Vice-presidents shall support the President in the exercise of his duties and take the place of the President as the situation requires.
  4. The Secretary shall prepare the minutes of the GA and shall keep a record of them. Together with the President, he or she shall be responsible for the preparation of the Executive Board activity report to the GA, as specified in art. 4.
  5. The Secretary shall give notice to all IMHA members regarding the GA, as specified in art. 4 and 7.
  6. The Treasurer shall deal with the accounts of the IMHA and will ensure that all accounts of the Association shall be paid by cheques or electronic payments authorised by any two of President or Vice President and any other person or persons as the Executive Committee may from time to time determine.
  7. The Executive Board shall see that all necessary books and records of the IMHA required by the Bylaws of the IMHA are regularly and properly kept.
  8. If an Executive Board member resigns for any reason, the Executive Board may appoint a replacement to serve until the next GA. If the President resigns for any reason, the Board will vote to fill the President position with one of the Vice-Presidents, who will then serve as a replacement until the next GA. The entire Executive Board can only resign at an Extraordinary GA.
  1. Editorial Board
  2. The Editorial Board assists the Editors of the IJMH in promoting the IMJH and recruiting and reviewing papers to the IJMH.
  3. The Editorial Board shall be made up of 21 experienced scholars, who jointly cover a wide range of areas within maritime history, including different time periods, geographical coverage, topics and research methods.
  4. Members of the Editorial Board cannot simultaneously serve as members of the Executive Board.
  5. A Chair, a Vice Chair and a Secretary of the Editorial Board shall be elected by the members of the Editorial Board, from among their number, for a term of two years.
  6. Editorial Board members sit for a term of two years and retiring members are eligible for reappointment by the Executive Board.


  1. Amendment of Bylaws of the IMHA
    1. The Bylaws of the IMHA shall be adopted, amended or repealed by a majority of those present and voting at the GA.
    2. A proposed amendment or repeal of Bylaws must be forwarded by a Member in writing to the Secretary of Executive Board two months in advance of the GA, during which it is to be considered.
    3. The Secretary of the Executive Board shall circulate to the IMHA Members an amendment or proposed repeal one month in advance of the GA.
    4. Where necessary for the efficient and continued operation of the IMHA, the Executive may amend the Bylaws without a vote at a GA except that such amendments will automatically lapse unless approved by a majority of those present at the next GA.
  1. Dissolution of the IMHA
    1. The dissolution of the IMHA can be decided only at a GA by the IMHA Members or a ballot called by one third of the IMHA Members or the Executive Board. The dissolution shall be effective only if a majority of more than 66% votes for dissolution.
    2. In the case of voluntary dissolution of the IMHA, the GA shall name one or more liquidators who thereby receive full powers to realize the assets of the GA and acquit the debts, after recuperating monies known to be owing from any parties.
    3. In case of dissolution, the assets of the IMHA shall be disposed of for charitable purposes agreed upon by the last GA.
  1. Other specifications
    1. All legal and financial documents of the IMHA must be kept in English.
    2. The business year is the calendar year.

The previous version of the Bylaws is available Bylaws_IMEHA.