Rules of Procedure

Rules of Procedure of the Syrian Journalists Association
Issued in 2013
 
Section One
Definitions
Rule1
This system is called the internal rules of procedure of the Syrian Journalists Association for the year 2013 and shall be effective from the date of approval by the General Assembly.
Rule 2
The following words and phrases wherever mentioned in this regulation shall have the meanings defined below unless the context indicates otherwise.
Rules of procedures: the rules of procedures of the SJA for the year 2013.
Association: Syrian Journalist Association (SJA).
President: the chairman of SJA.
Administrative board: the leadership elected by the General Assembly.
Monitoring and Transparency body: it shall monitor the commitment of the governing bodies to the rules of procedures and decide on the complaints of the members and associates and their excesses. Its decision is binding.
Member: the journalist registered in the Association in accordance with the provisions of rules of procedures.
Journalist: the one who works in a media institution (newspapers, magazines, TV and radio channels, news agency, news editing centers, news web sites) dealing with access to information and news editing, broadcasting and publishing. This includes editors, reporters, news reports authors, photographers, cartoonists, authors of the news programs, independent journalists and collaborators who publish a minimum of thirty items during a year.
General Assembly: It is made up of all the core members registered in the Association.
The Press or Media Foundation: Natural or legal person who issues a printed paper, creates a news website, or carries out any activity similar to the duties of professional journalistic work in the media field. This includes but is not limited to periodically producing or reproducing information and news in visual, audial, or written form, and publishing or broadcasting the news or information to the public. Within this news and editorial departments in news agencies, and radio and television institutions which are registered as media foundations and own a stable headquarter in a country are considered. This definition does not include official institutions, parties, clubs, companies, unions, associations, schools, universities and local diplomatic and military bodies that issue printed or establish a website.
 
Rule 3
Syrians journalists and their equivalents constitute in accordance with the provisions of this procedure an Association called the "Syrian Journalists Association", which has legal personality and has the right to own, sell and dispose of the funds movable and immovable property necessary to achieve its goals and objectives in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations not contrary to the rules of procedure. The administrative board of the association and its various bodies have the right to develop regulations governing their work. relations among members, and members’ relations with the elected association bodies in manner not contrary to the rules of procedures.
 
Rule 4
The Association is an independent professional organization with a pluralistic character that does not follow any governmental or partisan entity. It represents its journalist members regardless of their location, inside Syria or abroad. It practices all its activities in accordance with the decisions of its general assembly and rules of procedure.
 
Rule 5
The Association is committed to its foundational statement and achieving the aims of the Syrian people of freedom, dignity, justice and building a state of law and institutions as a free democratic system.
 
Section Two
Goals and Objectives
Rule 6
Through its activities, the Association is committed to achieving the following goals and objectives:
  1. Protect journalists, defend their rights, freedoms and offer them support and sponsorship to help them advance professionally in their job.
  2. Enable journalists, media professionals and media institutions to perform their professional mission; preserve the freedom of opinion and expression, and access to informational sources and revelation of facts.
  3. Work to develop the profession of journalism to perform their mission with professionalism and consolidate pillars of press freedom.
  4. Strive to promote and protect public freedoms and freedom of press in legislation and regulations in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, charters, laws and conventions of the International Labor Organization.
  5. Commit to the Charter of Journalistic Honor and represent its values.
  6. Work to raise journalists’ professional level, keep up to date with professional and technical developments, modern and innovative methods of work, and seek opportunities for beneficial training and education.
  7. Provide support, assistance and training for media activists, citizens journalists and media students to increase their level of professionalism, enable them to perform their job in a professional manner and preserve their lives.
  8. Strengthen relations and cooperation with Arab and international journalistic federations and unions.
 
 
Section Three
Membership
Rule 7
The Association membership is open to every Syrian citizen and equivalents who took journalism as a career and their main source of income regardless of their political, ideological or religious affiliation. Members must agree to abide by the Association’s rules, respect the fundamental principles of human rights and democracy, and prove that they work in a media institutions concerned with accessing, editing, broadcasting and publishing information and news in accordance with the provisions of Rule 2 of the rules of procedures of the Association.
 
Rule 8
Membership in the Association is divided into:
Primary member: has all rights of membership including the right of running as a candidate for the Association bodies and to vote as stipulated in the rules of procedures and regulations issued by the Association.
Associate member: has all the rights of membership except candidacy and voting.
Honorary member: an honor granted to Arab and foreign journalists sympathetic to Syrian issues, and to the Syrian journalists who have left the profession after a profession spanning more than ten years.
 
Rule 9
The basic conditions for membership:
The "primary member" is anyone who submits a request to join the Association and meets the following requirements:
1. must hold Syrian nationality and its equivalent. The applicant must work in the field of media and meet the membership definition.
2. must have a clean juridical record free of any sentencing for crimes violating public morality, embezzlement of public money, and bribery, etc. Provisions concerning political opinion or activity, and public activity are not included under this clause.
3. Must have completed 21years of age.
4.must have an academic certificate (a university degree or equivalent and above) in one of the media and journalism specialization. The applicant must have worked in the media for a period no less than one year. Or the applicant must hold an academic degree in a field other than media or journalism, but s/he practiced journalism (per Rule 7) for more than three years. Alternatively, the applicant must have worked continuously in the media or journalism for more than five years.
5. must agree to the Association’s foundational statement, its rules of procedures, and commit to its objectives.
6. must pay membership fees and annual subscription.
7. must not be to be affiliated to any journalistic union body in Syria.
8. Journalists who have spent more than five years working in the media and journalism and are now working independently are (temporarily) excluded from having to achieve all the required items in a single year.
 
Rule 10
Associate member requirements:
The “associate member” is the one who has submitted a request for affiliation with SJA and met the basic conditions of membership laid down in Rule 9[ items: 1-2-3-5-6-7] but did not achieve the condition of the length of time for practicing the professional work set forth in item 7.
Associate members may also be independent journalists from the holders of university degree who do not work in a specific journalistic institution or who cooperate with journalistic institutions independently, this work does not constitute their main source of income, and they publish less than 30 articles annually.
Associate members may also be third year students enrolled in media or journalism faculties, citizen journalists and bloggers whose blogs are periodical, news focused, and they publish three subjects per month that meet the requirements of press material.
The title “associate member” is granted to media activists who voluntarily cover events for media institutions, blogs, websites or social media pages [temporarily] unauthorized magazines and newspaper, and their work meets the requirements of journalistic work accepted professionally. The membership committee is responsible for verifying the professional level of bloggers and others’ published material among those who submit a request for affiliation with SJA. The membership committee has the right to ask for samples of applicants’ work.
 
Rule 11
Honorary member:
  1. SJA confers honorary membership on Arab and foreign journalists who care and sympathize with Syrian issues.
  2. SJA grants this membership to Syrian journalists and media professionals who left their journalism career after continuous work for at least ten years.
  3. Honorary members are entitled to attend the Association conferences as observers.
 
Rule 12
Associate member may become a primary member when s/ he meets the requirements for primary membership. They must apply to the Membership Committee and their application approved by the committee.
 
Rule 13
Affiliation Mechanisms:
1. The administrative board forms a membership committee headed by the elected deputy chairman of the administrative board or one of its members within a period not exceeding one month of its election. The former committee should continue its work until the new committee is formed. The committee should take into consideration the geographical distribution when it is formed. The committee has the right to consider membership applications and decide on them according to the membership conditions set forth in this system for each category. The membership committee also has the right to issue regulations that organize its work and are approved by the Administrative Board. In all cases, applicants are accepted as members by voting within the membership committee and each applicant must have an absolute majority of the members of this committee [half plus one].
2. Applicant must personally apply for affiliation to the Association according to the mechanisms announced by Association. The membership committee must issue its decision concerning the membership of this applicant within fifteen days from the receipt of the application.
3.The membership committee is entitled to demand any documents from applicants to verify the information provided in the application form.
4.Obligation to pay the affiliation request fees decided by the Association bodies.
5.In the event the application is rejected, the membership committee informs the applicant of the reasons for the rejection within a week.
6.Any applicant whose application has been rejected may appeal the rejection, within one month of being informed, before the Administrative Board. The Administrative Board will discuss the appeal application within a month of receiving it. The applicant will be informed of the Administrative Board decision within a week of its issuing. Appeal applicants have the right to demand the appeal be brought before the Monitoring and Transparency Committee whose decision is final and binding by majority of the Association members.
7.Every applicant whose application is accepted will be granted the appropriate membership card after paying the fees specified for that.
8.Every primary member has the right to obtain the membership card issued by the International Journalists Federation after the Association’s agreement with the Federation about that. Members must pay the prescribed fees for that.
 
Rule 14
Loss of Membership:
Membership in the Association ends in one of the following cases:
1.The submission of a written resignation to the specialized administrative board in the Association.
2.Lose of one of the membership requirements which were the basis for being accepted as a member in the Association including suspending work for two consecutive years.
3. Association bodies take a decision to dismiss a member after following all the procedures provided for in this system including the appeal before the Monitoring and Transparency Committee.
4. A member is delayed in paying annual subscriptions as determined by the financial regulation unless the member concerned provides legitimate reasons, at the right time, to the finance committee and it is accepted by the committee.
 
Rule 15
Membership Records:
1.The Association maintains an electronic record [and paper record later] for all its members. It registers members’ full names, the date of their affiliation and the membership class that they are classified under.
2.Three united members have the right to submit a signed request to object to the membership of any other member. Their objection must be supported with reasons and documents.
3.The objection is included on the Membership Committee agenda in any of the meetings held within a month from the time of the submission of the request. The committee shall inform its decision to the objecting members and to the concerned member in the event the Membership Committee took a decision affecting his/her membership or transferring his/her membership to another category. The concerned member’s financial rights and duties will be settled according to the Committee`s decision. The member has the right to appeal the decision before the authorized entity specified by the Association in accordance with the rules of procedure and its decision shall be final and binding. Its decision shall be issued by the Administrative Board in all circumstances.
 
Section Four
Duties and Rights of the member
Rule 16
Obligations, Duties and Rights of the member:
I. A member of the Association shall comply with the following:
1.Membership terms, validity of the data and documents submitted to become a member.
2.The foundational statement of the Association, its rules of procedures, executive regulations, decisions, statements, resolutions of its conferences and governing bodies.
3. The Association’s unity within the framework of diversity, active participation in its activities and completing any assignments accepted by the member on time, or providing sufficient justifications for non-completion.
4.The principles, foundations and ethics of the profession of journalism which include:
a. To publish according to the requirements of honor, honesty and truth. Publishing what does not violate the rights of citizens or touches upon one of their freedoms.
b. To avoid being racist, bigoted, or inciting national, religious or sectarian discrimination in their writing and avoiding any invitations to diminish any component of Syrian society.
c. To not publish distorted or truncated facts or presenting them in a dishonest manner.
d. To investigate the accuracy of documented information, quotes, and actions of known sources whenever it is available or feasible in accordance with sound professional rules that consider good intention.
e. To not use journalistic means of publication to accuse citizens without basis or to exploit their lives to slander them or discredit them or to achieve personal benefits of any kind.
f. Members are committed to correct any and every mistake made in disseminated information promptly upon the revelation of the truth. All those engaged with by the journalist are guaranteed their right to reply and correct the journalist. The reply or correction must not exceed the limits of the subject and it shall not involve a crime punishable by law. Journalists have the right to respond to replies and corrections in the same measure as the comment made to them and in the same place of publication.
 
g. Journalists shall not work to bring advertisements or edit them. They shall not receive any reward or merit directly or indirectly due to reviewing, editing or publishing advertisements. Journalists shall not sign their name on any advertising material.
h. No declarations shall be published that are contrary to society’s values, principles and public decency or the journalistic message. Those responsible for publishing shall be committed to maintaining a clear separation between editorial and advertising material. They shall commit to the internationally accepted ratio for advertising space in newspapers which amounts to 30% of the editorial space.
i. Journalists are prohibited from exploiting their professions to obtain gifts, subsidies or special merits from any foreign or local entity directly or indirectly.
j. Journalists shall refrain from covering investigations or trial in civil or criminal lawsuits in a manner that influences the investigation proceedings or the result of the trial. They shall be committed to not revealing news about the crime, to not publishing the names and photographs of suspects or those convicted in juvenile crimes.
k. It is obligatory to respect the right of authors when quoting any publication and publishing it.
l. Journalists heads or subordinates are responsible individually and collectively for maintaining the dignity of the profession, its secrets and integrity. They are committed to not cover for those who abuse the profession or who use their positions for personal gain.
m. Journalists shall refrain in their professional relationships from all kinds of personal libels and physical and moral abuse, including exploiting their power or influence to squander their colleagues’ inalienable rights or to counter professional conscience.
n. Journalists are committed to standing in solidarity to defend their legitimate professional interests, and their rights and benefits determined by laws.
 
II. The Association is committed to defending the rights of its members, and in the case of any violation occurring defending them is considered an obligation that must be respected by other parties towards them. It includes:
 
1. Journalists’ opinions and the accurate information they publish shall not be a reason for violations of their security. Journalists shall not be forced to disclose their resources, and this is within the limits of the law.
2. Journalists shall not be threatened or blackmailed in any manner to force them to disseminate what conflicts with their professional conscience, or to achieve the aims of an entity or person.
3. Journalists have the right to obtain information and news from their sources, the right to receive answers about their inquiries from information, statistics and news, and the right to access to all non-classified official documents.
4. Journalists have the right to protect the sources of their information and not inform any official body that demands they disclose their sources to protect the sources of information as set forth by the international laws.
5. Journalists shall not be deprived of performing their work, illegally prevented from writing, or transferred to non-journalistic work inside the journalistic facility that they work at which can affect their material and moral rights.
6. No journalist should be prevented from attending public meetings and open sessions unless these events are closed or confidential by law.
7. The crime of insulting or assaulting journalists because of their work will not be tolerated. Such crimes will be considered an attack on the freedom of press and the right of citizens to knowledge.
8. Exposing journalists to risk, purposefully failing to provide journalists with the necessary protection during their work at the site of events, disastrous areas and wars, and the resulting physical and moral harm journalists incur shall be condemned in solidarity with the journalist.
9.The right to reveal those who make journalists commit journalistic errors by providing false and unfounded information and news, and those who deny what they have stated for journalists to be held responsible.
 
Section Five
The Association Bodies and Headquarters
 
Rule 17
The Association and its higher bodies’ headquarters is in Damascus, the Syrian capital. The Association has the right to establish branches and committees in provinces and countries of immigration (temporarily) according to the conditions provided in the rules of procedures. (Rule 17 is suspended until the convenient circumstances are available).
 
Rule 18
The Association consists of the following bodies:
1.The general assembly: the General Assembly consist of members registered in the main membership list and who pay annual subscriptions.
2. The Association Council: the Association Council consists of the administration body of the Association, the administration bodies of the elected branches, and heads of the journalist committees formed by decision of the administrative board (this rule is suspended until branches are committees are formed).
3. The Association Administrative Board: the Administrative Board consists of 8 members in addition to the president. They are elected in direct elections by the general assembly. The body leads the Association between two election cycles. The number can be raised to 14 in addition to the president if it is deemed necessary.
4. The Bureau of the Administrative Board: the Bureau consists of the Association chairman, deputy chairman, Association secretary, chief of finance affairs (another member is added in the event the number of members of the Administrative Board is increased to 14 and the member is the chief of freedoms committee).
5. Administrative bodies for branches in Syrian provinces and countries of immigration (suspended).
6. Monitoring and Transparency Committee: the Committee consist of 5 members elected by the general assembly. They must not be members in the Administrative board, branch bodies, or chiefs of journalistic committees. The Monitoring and Transparency Committee is considered an internal court inside the Association that decides on complaints filed by members against any administrative bodies or other members which were not resolved by the remaining Association bodies. The Committee is also an appeal authority for membership complaints, end of membership or reduction of membership classification. The Association bodies can refer cases to the Committee if a satisfactory solution was not reached, if members did not reach an agreement regarding a case, or the case was not resolved by voting within the bodies. The Committee exercises all accountability and disciplinary powers stated in rules of procedure. The Committee considers a member’s failure to abide by the rules of procedures, the charter of journalistic honor, the decisions of the general assembly, administrative board, and its council by request of the administrative board or branches of the administrative bodies. The referral is raised by a decision from the administrative board or branches of the administrative bodies, or by a complaint signed by three members against any member who caused harm or tried to cause harm to the interests of the Association. Disciplinary lawsuits against a member of the Association are raised to the Committee by a decision from the administrative board or branches of the administrative bodies. The Committee decisions are final and binding for Association members and its bodies. The Committee issues decisions with the majority of the votes of its members.
 
Rule 19
The General Assembly convenes its general conference once every two years (every year temporarily) or exceptionally with an invitation from the Association Council or a third of its members or by a request from the absolute majority (half plus one) of the General Assembly who paid their subscriptions. In any case, the invitation is published on the Association website and it is emailed to all Association members. The invitation or request must include the subject up for discussion.
 
Rule 20
The general conference of the General Assembly is considered the highest authority in the Association and its work is conducted in accordance with particularities provided in Rule 23.
 
Rule 21
The legal quorum for the convention of the General Assembly in its general and exceptional conferences is considered complete with the attendance of half the main members plus one. If the quorum is not reached two hours after the appointment, registration is extended once more for an extra hour. In case the quorum is not completed again, the convention of the assembly is delayed to the following day. In the event the quorum is not reached, the conference is delayed for 14 days and it is then convened in the attendance of a third of the main members. If the quorum is not reached then, the conference is delayed for three months and the Administrative Board continues to manage the Association’s affairs during that period.
 
Rule 22
The decisions and recommendations of the General Assembly are to be approved by the majority agreement of the attendees.
 
Rule 23
The general conference is specialized in:
1.Electing the president and conference committees.
2. Approving the work agenda.
3. Discussing the reports presented by the Administrative Board to the Association and take the appropriate decisions regarding the reports.
4. Discussing and approving the financial report between the two cycles.
5. Discussing and approving amendments to the rules of procedures and charter of honor.
6. Electing the chairman and the members of the Administrative Board of the Association.
7. Issuing decisions and recommendations.
8. Approving or denying affiliation to union syndicates on the national or international levels. The conference decides if the Association is to withdraw from any syndicates that it has been affiliated with.
 
Rule 24
The Association Council sets the agenda of the General Assembly at least 10 days before the convention. No item should be added to the agenda without approval from the Council. Association members have the right to present their suggestions regarding the agenda to the Association Council two weeks before the convention of the General Assembly. The preliminary agenda is announced at least a week before the convention on the Association website, its social media pages, and the announcement is sent via email to all members, at least twice, on two consecutive or separate days.
 
Rule 25
The decisions and recommendations issued by the general conference of the General Assembly are binding for the Association Council and its bodies. The bodies take the responsibility of implementing the decisions and recommendations. The resolutions and recommendations of the General Assembly shall require the decisions and recommendations of the Association Council, its Executive Bureau and the rest of the Association's components.
 
Rule 26
  1. Running for the position of Association chairman and membership in the Administrative board opens 25 days before the convening of the conference and close 10 days after the conference. Five days are then allocated for withdrawal and after that the nomination list is considered final.
  2. Members of the General Assembly who attend the voting session or those who vote electronically vote for the candidates freely, directly and confidentially.
  3. The candidate who receives half of the votes plus one wins the position of chairman. In the event, no single candidate receives an absolute majority, an election between the candidates who received the highest number of votes is conducted. The winner is the candidate who receives the majority of votes. In the event the candidates receive an equal number of votes, the election is repeated once more and in case it is equal again, it gets settled by drawing lots.
  4. The candidate who receives a majority of votes among the candidates for membership of administrative board wins the seat. In the event of candidates receive equal votes, the election is settled by drawing lots.
  5. The three (or five in the event the number is raised to 14) candidates who received the highest votes follow the winners of the Administrative Board seats are considered reserve members.
 
Rule 27
The Association Council convenes meetings once every six months. The meeting is headed by the Association chairman or his/her representative and the meeting date is set by the general conference.
 
Rule 28
The Association Council is specialized in the following tasks:
  1. Discussing and approving the concluding account of the finished financial year.
  2. Approving the estimated budget for the new year.
  3. Approving the annual reports presented by the Administrative Board regarding the Association’s activities during that year and the project plans for the following year.
  4. Approving the level of relations with the professional unions, local civil society non-governmental organizations (NGOs), national, regional, Arab and international press unions and federations.
  5. Reviewing the Membership Committee report relating to the membership list and registration records. They comment and make notes or recommendations about the report.  
  6. Discussing and approving regulations issued by the Administrative Board or any recommendations or projects approved by the Administrative Board.
  7. Ratifying the Monitoring and Transparency Committee decisions related to penalty of dismissal.
 
Rule 29
The Administrative Board is the Association’s administrative apparatus and it consists of the chairman and 8 members (temporarily). They are elected every two years (every year temporarily) in the general conference. The chairman is responsible before the General Assembly and the Association Council for all his/her tasks in accordance with the rules of procedures.
 
Rule 30
  1. In the first meeting of the Administrative Board following its election tasks are allocated among the board members by election or agreement in the following way:
  1. Deputy president.
  2. The Association Secretary.
  3. Head of Freedoms Committee.
  4. Head of Finance Affairs and Services Committee.
  5. Head of Training Committee.
  6. Head of Foreign Relations Committee.
  7. Head of Membership Committee.
  8. Head of Internal and Branches Committee.
  1. The Administrative Board has the right to add more committees according to needs and to rename committees.
 
Rule 31
First: The Administrative Board meets with the chairman periodically at least once a month and has the right to hold exceptional meetings when the need arises. The meeting is valid when half the members attend plus one. The body takes decisions by majority votes and in case the votes are even, the chairman’s vote outweighs. The decisions are disseminated to the Association members by publication and advertising.
Second: A member’s membership in the Administrative Board shall be rescinded by force of the rules of procedure in the event the member does not attend four consecutive sessions without an acceptable excuse, and the member shall be replaced by whomever received the highest votes from among the reserve members. In the event of the resignation of a member of the Administrative Board, and after the Board accepts the resignation, the member shall be replaced by the whomever received the highest votes among the reserve members.
Third: The Secretary of the Association shall prepare the agendas of the meetings of the body, record its minutes and decisions in its records, and submit them for signature by the Chairman and the members attending the meeting. The meeting minutes shall be circulated by e-mail to the members.
 
Rule 32
The Administrative Board shall be entitled to appoint the necessary number of employees to carry out administrative and financial tasks, and shall appoint an executive director of the Association.
 
Rule 33
The Administrative Board shall issue instructions regarding the responsibilities of the Executive Director of the Association. The Executive Director shall identify the functions and responsibilities of the staff.
 
Rule 34
If the Association chairman position is empty due to resignation or other reasons, his deputy shall carry out his duties for the remaining period provided he does not serve as acting chairman for more than one quarter of the electoral cycle. In the event the deputy serves for longer, members of the general assembly will hold elections for the chairman position through the electoral mechanisms of the Association. The Administrative Board shall decide on electoral appeals within a week and may hold a re-election the following week if the appeal is valid.
 
Rule 35
The Administrative Board shall be responsible for the following tasks:
1.Establishing the necessary regulations for the conduct of the Association's work and develop appropriate plans and programs to improve its performance.
2. Preserving the independence and unity of the Association and to protect and develop the profession.
3. Defending the interests of the Association and its members.
4. Inviting the members of the General Assembly to hold regular and exceptional conferences and prepare for them.
5. Preparing reports, annual budget and final account, for submission to the meeting of the Association Council.
6. Implementing the resolutions and recommendations of the General Conference.
7. Supervising the chairman's election in the event of an absence in his seat, the elections of the branches' committees and the formation of the Journalistic Committees.
8. Ratifying the branches’ draft projects, the branches’ budgets, and the conduct of their activities.
9. Approving the necessary allocations for the conduct of the Association's work.
10. Accepting government subsidies and other donations, donations and assistance provided by other parties in accordance with rules of procedure.
11. Implementing the rules of procedure and abide by the Charter of Honor.
12. Preparing the regulations governing the work of the Association.
13. Nominating Association representatives to other bodies and institutions, and to form delegations to attend conferences, seminars and professional events locally, Arab and internationally.
14.  Exercising any other functions assigned to it and stipulated in this system of procedures.
 
Rule 36
The Bureau of the Administrative Board shall consist of four (temporarily) members chaired by the chairman, the Deputy chairman, the Secretary of the Association and the Chairman of the Finance Committee. It meets at least once a week under the chairmanship of the Association Chairman.
 
Rule 37
The Bureau of the Administrative Board shall have the following functions:
1. Conducting the day-to-day activities of the Association. It has the right to act according to the necessary recommendations with the condition they are approved by the Administrative Board.
2. Disseminating the decisions of the Administrative Board to the members of the General Assembly via the branch bodies, or advertising and publishing the decisions via e-mail to members.
3. Preparing the agenda of the periodical and exceptional meetings of the Administrative Board.
4. Taking urgent action in the case any member of the Association who was subjected to any arbitrary practice by any party.
5. Executing the duties entrusted to the Bureau by the Administrative Board.
 
Rule 38
The Association Chairman shall exercise the following special tasks:
1. Supervising the administration of the Association affairs and chair the meetings of the Bureau of the Administrative Board, the Administrative Board, the Association Council and the exceptional conferences of the General Assembly.
2. Representing the Association before the internal and external bodies.
3. Monitoring the implementation of decisions of the General Conference and the Council of the Association, the Administrative Board and its Bureau.
4. Ordering expenditure and signing on expenditure permissions and documents with the Secretary of the Association and the Chairman of the Committee on Finance and Services.
5. Supervising the application of the internal rules and regulations of the Association issued by the Administrative Board.
6. Signing all contracts and agreements approved by the Association Council or the Administrative Board.
7. Signing membership cards.
8. Exercising the competences stipulated in this Law, and all the tasks assigned to it by the Council of the Association or the Administrative Board.
 
Rule 39
 
The Deputy Chairman of the Association shall have the following functions:
1. Exercising the specialties of the chairman in the event of his/her absence or his/her inability to carry out his/her work as well as the tasks assigned to him/her by the Chairman.
2. Performing the functions and tasks of the chairman in the event the Chairman’s resignation is accepted or in the event the position of Chairman is vacant for other reasons.
3. Chairing the Membership Committee.
4. Submitting periodical reports to the Administrative Board on the results of the work of the Membership Committee.
5. Any duties assigned to him/her by the Administrative Board or its Bureau.
 
Rule 40
The Association Secretary shall have the following functions:
1. Chairing the meetings of the Association Council, the Administrative Board, or the Administrative Board Bureau in the absence of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman.
2. Preparing for the Association Council, the Administrative Board, and its Bureau meetings. Supervising the transactions within the Association and documenting them in the records.
3.Monitoring the heads of the relevant committees, documenting the Association’s and its publications, and monitoring the implementation of the decisions of the Association Council, the Administrative Board and its Bureau.
4. Supervising the activities of the Association and monitoring the activities of the branches and Journalistic committees.
5. Supervising the financial and administrative work of the Association.
6. Any other duties assigned by the Administrative Board or its Bureau.
 
Rule 41
The Chairman of the Finance and Services Committee shall have the following functions:
1. Presenting the necessary scenarios for developing the financial resources available to the Administrative Body for approval.
2. Establishing a modern and accurate financial and accounting system based on the various sources of funding available and any projects that constitute a source of income for the Association.
3. Following up the collection of members' subscriptions and supervising the execution of procurement, supply and disbursement works.
4. Overseeing the annual inventory of the Association assets and property, and keeping records of the ownership and any other documents related to financial affairs.
5. Signing money exchange documents and checks with the Chairman and the Secretary of the Association.
6. Preparing the end of the year accounts and the draft budget.
7. Preparing plans for service projects that will benefit journalists.
 
Rule 42
The President of Journalistic Freedoms shall have the following functions:
1. Following up legally cases of violation against journalists.
2. Presenting proposals and scenarios that would help to promote an environment of freedom of press to the Administrative Board.
3. Monitoring the violations of press freedoms, arbitrary measures taken against journalists, and professional conditions. Submitting monthly reports regarding their findings to the Administrative Board.
4. Maintaining the necessary records to preserve and record complaints and communications relating to the rights of members, as well as decisions issued by the Administrative Board in respect thereof.
5. Coordinating the work and activities of the Committee with the head of the branch committee and the branch committees (if any) to communicate and exchange information with the Journalistic Freedom Committees in trade unions and professional associations in the country, Arab and foreign countries as well as local, Arab and international organizations concerned with human rights and public freedoms.
6. Submitting an annual report to the Association Council on the status of Journalistic freedoms.
7. Any other duties or duties assigned to him/her by the Administrative Board and its Bureau.
 
Rule 43
A list issued by the Administrative Board shall specify the specialization and structure of the various committees.
 
Rule 44
Forming the Association branches and its Administrative Boards:
The Administrative Boards shall be entitled to establish branches in the governorates and countries of immigration, provided that the number of the members of the branch shall not be less than ten journalists who have the primary membership. They shall form the general body of the branch. They shall elect a Branch Administrative Board composed of a Chairman, Secretary and member. The number of members of the Committee may be increased by a decision of the Administrative Board of the Association if necessary.
 
Rule 45
The Administrative Board shall invite the Administrative Boards of the branches to hold elections for the Chairman and members of the Administrative Boards of the branches following the election of the Association Administrative Board.
 
Rule 46
The Administrative Board of the branch shall approve the general and financial report or other documents submitted by the general branch authority with the approval of the majority of those present.
 
Rule 47
If the quorum is not reached on the first day, the meeting shall be adjourned to the following day. If the quorum is not reached the second day, the meeting is postponed until the third day in which case the vote shall be deemed valid for given those attending as the number of attendees shall not be less than one third plus one.
 
Rule 48
Three members of the Administrative Board will form a committee to supervise the election of the branches and journalistic committees.
 
Rule 49
The Administrative Board shall have the right to set up specialized committees for sports journalists, economists, cartoonists and other journalistic specialties. In the event the number of members working in the same field reaches thirty members, they shall elect an administrative board formed of three members to manage and run the activities of the committee.
 
Rule 50
The organizational specialized committees within the framework of the Association shall be linked to the administrative board that approves its internal regulations prepared by its members. The internal regulations will not be implemented until they are ratified by the administrative board.
 
Rule 51
It is permissible to form trade union committees in journalistic institutions with at least ten Association members, provided they first submit a written request to the Administrative Board. The Board oversees the election of a leadership body for the Committee from three members whose task it is to coordinate with the Association.
 
Rule 52
The Administrative Board shall issue regulations to organize the work of branches and committees.
 
Section Six
Disciplinary responsibility and penalties
 
Rule 53
First: Disciplinary and punitive measures shall be taken against any member who commits any of the following offenses:
1. Violating the duties stipulated in this internal rules of procedure.
2. Violating the ethics of the profession and its noble mission.
3. Submitting incorrect data when applying for membership.
4. Violating the provisions of the Charter of Honor.
Second: Anyone found guilty in accordance with Rule 53 shall be punished by one of the following penalties:
1. A verbal warning.
2. A written blame.
3. A written warning.
4- A fine of no more than five thousand Syrian Pounds which shall be paid to the Association's Fund and shall be paid whole.
5. Freeze membership in the Association for a period not exceeding six months.
6. Suspension from the Association which shall not be considered effective until after the approval of the Association Council and the Monitoring and Transparency Committee.
 
Rule 54
No more than one of the penalties stipulated in Rule 53 may be imposed for a single offense committed by a member of the Association.
 
Rule 55
The Monitoring and the Transparency Committee gives the member directed to it the full rights of defense.
 
Rule 56
The Monitoring and Transparency Committee shall issue a regulation organizing its work functions and its relationship with the Association Council, the Administrative Board and the branches.
 
 
Section Seven
The Association Finances
 
Rule 57
First: The financial resources of the Association consist of the following sources:
1. Member subscriptions. A decision shall be issued annually specifying the amount by a decision of the Administrative Board.
2. Unconditional donations, subsidies and grants, provided that these do not affect the independence of the Association, its basic activity or its objectives and rules of procedure. The Association does not accept any grants or donations from party or political institutions under any circumstances. The Association also does not accept funding from journalistic institutions whose interests may conflict with the objectives of the Association.
3. Membership application fees.
4. Member contributions.
5. Fines determined by the Monitoring and Transparency Committee.
6. Investment returns, if any.
7. Any other legitimate sources of income approved by the General Assembly.
Second: All members are entitled to access the concluding budget of the Association.
 
Rule 58
The Administrative Board shall issue the financial regulations organizing the disbursement process of the Bureau and the branch bodies.
 
Rule 59
The Administrative Board shall be responsible for collecting, maintaining and disbursing the Association resources in accordance with the annual budget and in accordance with the procedures stipulated in the Financial and Accounting Regulations.
 
Rule 60
1. The Association fiscal year shall begin on 1 January of each year and end on 31 December of the same year.
2. The Administrative Board shall prepare a concluding account for each ended financial year, as well as an estimate budget for the new year submitted to the Association Council during its session.
 
Rule 61
The Administrative Board shall prepare the Association annual budget and submit it to the Association Council for approval. The Financial and Accounting Regulations shall explain the rules and procedures for preparing these budgets and the dates of their submission.
 
Rule 62
In the event the Association Council is unable to meet for any reason, the Council will continue to work based on the estimated budget from the previous year until the Council meets and adopts the new budget.
 
Rule 63
1. The Association and its branches’ resources may not be used for purposes other than those assigned to them or for objectives which do not serve their purposes.
2. The Association’s monetary funds shall be deposited in an account with an authorized bank, and any withdrawal shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the Financial and Accounting Regulations of the Association. In all cases, the withdrawal order must be signed by the chairman and two authorized members of the Administrative Board.
3. The Association money shall be protected by all laws protecting public money.
 
Rule 64
It shall not be permissible to disburse or charge the Association, in the center and the branches, any expenses exceeding the approved budget.
 
Rule 65
The Chairman of the Finance Committee and the Chief Financial Officer (financial secretary) of the branches shall keep records and accounting books in accordance with recognized accounting principles. Disbursement shall be limited to the amounts allocated in the budget and with the approval of the Administrative Board with respect to the center, and with the approval of the Branch Administrative Board for the branches. Financial officers’ failures to keep records is considered a matter for disciplinary accountability.
 
Rule 66
The Association and its branches’ properties shall be the property of the General Assembly and it shall not be disposed of except by a decision by the General Assembly.
 
Rule 67
The Administrative Board shall issue a financial regulation organizing disbursement and aids.
 
Section Eight
General and Concluding Provisions
 
Rule 68
1. Only the General Assembly shall have the right to approve or amend the rules of procedure of the Association.
2.Work in the Association system of internal procedure or any of its rules may not be suspended and shall be subject to review by the Assembly.
 
Rule 69
The Association may not dissolve and liquidate its assets except by a decision of a regular or extraordinary general conference with the approval of the entirety of its members or with the approval of three quarters of the members of the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall determine the body to which the Association's assets belong.
 
Rule 70
The Association Chairman and the members of the Administrative Board shall not serve in office for more than two consecutive sessions.
 
Rule 71
It is not possible to combine membership on the Administrative Board and a branch board.
 
Rule 72
A member of the Association may not sue another member of the Association in court or before the public prosecution in a case related to the profession before obtaining a dissenting authorization from the Administrative Board.
 
Rule 73
A member of the Association shall not be entitled to participate in the meetings and work of the General Assembly unless s/he has paid the annual contribution fees prior to the commencement of the General Assembly meetings and work. The member shall not be entitled to benefit from the services provided by the Association to its members unless s/he is committed to paying these fees.
 
Rule 74
Membership in Association shall be rescinded according to the rules of procedure for any member who is proved to have submitted false documents or who is proved to have not meet length of work journalism stipulated in this system.
 
Rule 75
The Appeal Membership Committee, in the event of its exists, or the Monitoring and Transparency Committee decision shall be final. A rejected applicant shall not be entitled to apply for membership again until one year has elapsed from the date of the rejection and the application must be accompanied by sufficient justifications that warrant reviewing the application.
 
Rule 76
The Association membership database shall be renewed in accordance with the form to be announced by the Membership Committee for the purpose of confirming the information submitted, their continued journalistic work, and verifying the applicability of the basic membership conditions in accordance with these rules.
The specialized Association bodies take their decisions including striking (membership) or reducing it for those who acquired it before the ratification of this system and who does not comply with the conditions set out in it. Any member who does not renew their data within the designated period will lose their status as Association member by force of the internal system, and their application will be treated as a new membership application.  
 
Rule 77
The power to amend the whole system or one of its rules or items, or to reformulate them is the specialization of the General Assembly. The absolute majority of the primary members present (half plus one) must agree to the amendments for them to be implemented.