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Constitution ROSS_EN
28.08.2012, 15:11

of the Royal Order of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr

I. Historical Background
Art. 1
.The Royal Order of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr, hereinafter referred to as the "St. Stanislaus Order”, is a continuation of the Royal Order of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr established on 7th May 1765 by the last king of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski.
2. The current activity of the St. Stanislaus Order is based on respecting the cardinal rules established in the Constitution of the St. Stanislaus Order passed by the Grand Chapter of the Order at the request of the Grand Master, Juliusz Nowina – Sokolnicki, on 15th September 1990.

3. Bearing in mind the provision specified in item 1, this Constitution   reorganizes the Order by giving it an organizational and legal form that recognizes the worldwide pursuit to democratize forms of cooperation.

II. General Provisions
Art. 2
. The St. Stanislaus Order is a Polish order, a worldwide fellowship of Chevaliers and Dames who knowingly and voluntarily, through a solemn vow, have taken on the obligation of achieving the goals and carrying out the tasks established in the Constitution, who are united under the patronage of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr of Szczepanów, and wear the Order’s badge bearing his noble image, which was adopted and approved by the Founder of the Order - Stanisław August Poniatowski, king of Poland,.
2. Emphasizing and acknowledging that the St. Stanislaus Order is a part of Polish cultural heritage, the Order wishes to cherish this tradition and hence preserve its character, acquiring exclusive rights to the image of the Order, and to protect it against appropriation and use by unauthorized persons for private or commercial use.

3. All members of the Order are equal regardless of their race, religion, social background and gender.
4. The official languages of the Order are Polish and English.
5. The Grand Master historically presides over the Order.
6. The Grand Master represents the Dames and Chevaliers of the Order around the world.

7. The Grand Master is elected by secret vote for a 5-year tenure, without any limitations to the number of subsequent tenures. Significant decisions regarding the Order’s operation are taken after being approved by the Grand Chapter.
8. The Grand Master is a citizen of the Republic of Poland.
9. The Grand Prior of Poland is the Deputy Grand Master (also acting as the General Prior of the Order).
10. All members of the Grand Chapter and the Constitutional Council are elected from among the representatives of particular priories, usually priors, by a majority of votes obtained in secret vote, for a common 5-year tenure, without limitations to the number of subsequent tenures.
11. An elected member of the Grand Chapter and Constitutional Council submits a written declaration of active participation in the Order’s work and, by doing so, takes on an obligation to participate in its activities during the period of the tenure.
12. The Court of Honour is comprised of:
a) the Grand Master of the Order - the president of the Court
b) the Grand Guardian of the Order - a member of the Court
c) the Grand Prior - a member of the Court, from the Priory of the defendant
d) a Defence Counsel of the defendant - appointed ex officio or selected by the defendant. The Defence Counsel must be a member of the St. Stanislaus Ord
13. Decisions of the Court of Honour are not final and an appeal may be lodged against them to the Constitutional Council. The Constitutional Council’s decisions are final.
14. Dames and Chevaliers of the Order associate in Priories and Commanderies.
15. Priories and Commanderies that have a legal personality act in accordance with their charters approved by appropriate registering authorities, pursuant to appropriate national regulations.
16. A candidate who is accepted into the ranks of the Order’s Dames and Chevaliers during an investiture ceremony is awarded a Chevalier’s Cross, however, in justified cases, while vested for the first time, a Dame or Chevalier may receive an Officer’s Cross, and in extraordinary circumstances (especially in case of clergy members) - a Commander’s Cross.
17. Chevaliers and Dames may be given an Order only one class higher than previously for at least two years of active charity work in the Order, unless the Grand Chapter decides to grant them a higher-class Order.
18. Acceptance of a candidate to the Order, as well as granting higher Order classes must be preceded by a written request and opinion-granting procedure. The National Grand Prior or a selected member of the Order’s authorities is responsible for keeping the documents.
19. All costs of participation in investitures and other ceremonies are financed by Chevaliers and Dames.
20. Charitable actions carried out by the Order are financed exclusively from the resources of individual Priories, in accordance with the charity conducted within their area. Charity funds are established primarily from membership fees and donations made by individual and legal entities. St. Stanislaus Order may not conduct any business activity.

III. Aims of the Order’s activity
Art. 3
.The aims of the Order are as follows:
1) help people, especially those aggrieved, by supporting hospitals, hospices, schools, orphanages, nursing homes for the disabled, with special consideration of children,
2) disseminate and propagate charity by accepting representatives of all races, nationalities and religions to the Order,
3) maintain the spirit of chivalry, mutual respect and honour, favour the ideas of King Stanisław August Poniatowski, create family values and traditions, support education and individual initiatives of the members of the Order.
4. In pursuit of the goals specified in item 1, Chevaliers and Dames of the Order may enjoy of the following entitlements:
a) entitlement to request support and cooperation from other Dames and Chevaliers of the Order – within the bounds of possibility and skills,
b) entitlement to request help of and cooperate with other people who support the Order,
c) entitlement to propose initiatives aimed at acquiring people who share the Order’s values to the Grand Master, the Grand Chapter and other bodies representing the Order in every country by adopting an appropriate procedure,
d) acquisition of financial resources from people
e) promote the Order and assist in organizing exhibitions, seminars, shows or lectures that enhance the Order’s potential,
f) participate in trainings and other forms of educational events that allow the development of skills and acquisition of knowledge necessary to achieve the Order’s goals,
g) participate in all other lawful actions aimed at achieving specific charity goals.

IV. Order Authorities
International Conference of the Order
Art. 4
. The International Conference of the Order is the highest assembly of the Order and is entitled to pass the Order’s Constitution, change it, elect the Grand Master, Grand Chapter and Constitutional Council, as well as make other significant changes to the Order.
2. The Conference is convened by the Grand Prior in concert with the President of the Constitutional Council. The organizers present the agenda of the Conference meeting.
3. The Conference can be also convened at the motion of:
a) 60% of members of the Grand Chapter of the Order,
b) the Constitutional Council,
c) at least 60% of national and foreign priories.
4. Participants of the Conference of the Order that have a deciding vote include members of the Grand Chapter, Members of the Constitutional Council, Grand Priors, Continental Priors, the Chapter of the Grand Priory of Poland, priors and commanders of Polish and foreign priories.
5. The Conference is held once every 5 years. In special circumstances, an Extraordinary International Conference may be convened.
6. Detailed course of the Conference is established in regulations passed each time at the beginning of the Conference.

The Grand Chapter
Art. 5
. The Grand Chapter consists of 7 – 15 members and has supreme authority in the Order in periods between Conference meetings.

During the Grand Chapter’s tenure, personnel changes may occur, but they may concern no more than 40% of the members. Supplementary elections are held by a secret vote of the Grand Chapter, at the motion of the General Prior.
2. All members of the Grand Chapter are entitled to wear the Order Chain and have the related right to place an abbreviated indication of the granted top rank Order class - letters GCCStS after their name.
3. The Grand Chapter is comprised of the following Officers of the Order:
1) The Grand Master of the Order, who is responsible for proceeding with the activities of the Order and observing the Constitution, and: 
a) issues diplomas, nomination documents and other essential documentation, as requested by particular priors,
b) presides over investiture ceremonies ( or grants one-time consent for someone to represent him in case he cannot take part in a ceremony),
e) in the event of not being elected for another tenure, he is entitled to use the perpetual title of Master Emeritus.
4)The General Prior of the Order – the Grand Prior of Poland, who ex officio acts as a Deputy Grand Master, carrying out the obligations imposed on him by the Grand Master, and in the event of expiry of the Grand Master’s mandate during the Grand Prior’s tenure, takes over his responsibilities until the end of the tenure term.
5) The Grand Chancellor,
who presides over the Grand Chapter’s meetings and is responsible for the development of the Order around the world with the support of his direct subordinates - Continental Chancellors, and accompanies the Grand Master during all ceremonies of the Order.
6) The Marshal of the Senior’s Convent
who presides over the group of retired highest rank officers of the Order.

7) The Grand Secretary,
who is responsible for the flow of information from the Grand Master to the Grand Chapter and from the Grand Chapter to other members of the Order so that the information may be forwarded to all other Officers of the Order, for office work and correspondence in the Grand Master’s Office.
6) The Grand Registrar,
who is responsible for proper keeping of the minutes of the Order’s meetings and other documents, keeping registers and forwarding their copies to the Grand Heraldist.
6) The Grand Prelate,
who is responsible for the religious aspects of investiture ceremonies.
7) The Grand Heraldist, who:
a) is responsible for the Order Crest College and, in this respect, closely cooperates with the Grand Master,
b) oversees all Crests worn by Dames and Chevaliers of the Order, as well as places of their storage,
c) recommends Officers who are entitled to wear the Justice Cross to the Grand Master ,
d) is the Keeper of registers related to crests and insignia.
8) The Grand Chronicler,
who is responsible for press and media releases, editing the Order’s Newsletter and appointing appropriate press officers all around the world, as well as collecting and storing all media releases regarding the Order, its activities and Officers.
12. The Order’s Ambassador at European Union

Who represents the Order before the European Commission and Parliament.

13. Grand Advisors,

Who carry out special tasks assigned by the Grand Master and Grand Chapter and further training of the current members of the Grand Chapter.

14) The Grand Guardian of the Order,
responsible for observing the Constitution, respecting honour and discipline in the Order. He is a member of the Constitutional Council and the Court of Honour.

The Constitutional Council
Art. 6
. Members of the Constitutional Council are appointed by the International Conference of the Order from among the Priors of the Order for a term of 5 years.
2. The Constitutional Council is comprised of 3 to 5 members, including a chairman and secretary. The Constitutional Council should be comprised of the most experienced and trusted Officers of the Order.

3. The Constitutional Council’s task is to ensure that the Grand Master and other high-rank Officers of the Order observe the constitutional provisions.
4. A detailed scope of responsibilities shall be specified by the Constitutional Council in agreement with the Grand Chapter.
5. All members of the Grand Chapter are entitled to wear the Order Chain and have the related right to place an abbreviated indication of the granted top rank Order class - letters GCCStS after their name.

Other Officers of the Order
Art. 7
. Apart from the structures of the Grand Chapter of the Order, other Officers of the Order who are not members of the Grand Chapter are appointed as requested by the General Prior or the Grand Chapter in order to serve special functions.
2. The list of candidates and a written request for appointment of a Chevalier or Dame to these functions are provided by National Priors.
3. The following persons are the Officers mentioned in item 1:
1) Ambassadors,
who act on behalf of and represent the Order both at home and abroad, where priories and commanderies have not been established. Their task is to actively promote the Order and recommend valuable people to the Order.
2) Grand Priors, who:
a) act as external representatives of Dames and Chevaliers of a given Priory,
b) carry out their function in geographically-specified Grand Priories,
c) are responsible for Priors and Commanders within their jurisdiction, .
d) are elected in accordance with the valid charter of a given Priory and approved by the Grand Chapter and Grand Master.
3) Priors, who:
a) in agreement with the Grand Prior, may appoint Commanders within the priories they manage,
b) are responsible for organizational and charitable activities taken up within their priories,
c) represent the Oder before the authorities.
4) Commanders,
who organize and manage the activities of Commanderies, take action in favour of the Order membership and fully participate in all activities of their Commandery and Priory.

V. Members of the Order, rights and responsibilities
Art. 8
. A candidate may be accepted to the Order exclusively on the basis of his or her written application approved in writing by a Prior, Commander or any other Officer of the Order. Approval of the candidate’s application and his/her acceptance into the ranks of Dames and Chevaliers of the Order remains at the discretion of the Prior or an individual Commander. Detailed procedures in this regard are regulated by Grand Priors within their territories.
2. Dames or Chevaliers of the Order Persons must be at least 18 years of age and have no criminal record.
3. The Order does not grant any other titles besides the titles of Chevaliers or Dames of the Order of Saint Stanislaus, with the exception of Dames and Chevaliers who have been granted the Grand Cross. They are entitled to perpetual nobility.
4. Dames and Chevaliers of the Order – Members of the Order are entitled to wear a crimson-coloured order robe with the Order’s insignia on a white coat of arms.
5. The title of a Dame or Chevalier of the Order is granted during the ceremonial investiture when making a vow of faithfulness to the Constitution of the Order and putting on the Order’s robe. Detailed procedures in this respect are regulated by Grand Priors within their territories.
6. Chevaliers and Dames of the Order are obliged to participate in the conducted charitable actions, organizational operations, investitures and other ceremonies every year and to pay their membership fees.
7. The Order may be granted posthumously by the Grand Master.

VI. Expulsion from the Order.
Art. 9
. Expulsion from the Order is the most severe punishment imposed on a Dame or Chevalier of the Order and should be used sensibly only in extreme situations.
2. A person lawfully expelled from the Order is immediately deprived of all rights and privileges granted by the Order. Such a person may no longer wear the Order’s insignia, nor can he/she represent the Order in any situation.
3. Reasons for expulsion from the order may include (the following list is not exhaustive):
a) self-proclamation and attempts to usurp the function of the Grand Master or any other Officer of the Order, especially a member of the Grand Chapter,
b) attempts to overthrow the Order’s constitutional legal framework,
c) disseminating propaganda that is harmful to the Order,
d) undignified conduct while carrying the Order’s insignia,
e) taking actions which disqualify a person as a Dame or Chevalier of the Order or is detrimental to the good name of the Order.
4. A Chevalier or Dame accused of any of the acts mentioned in Art. 10 point 3 may be punished with:
1) a written reprimand,
2) a public reprimand,
3) temporary suspension of rights as a Dame or Chevalier of the Order,
4) expulsion.
5. In the event of committing an act which are undisputedly punishable by expulsion, before being expelled, a Dame or Chevalier may be asked to act honourably and submit their own resignation from the Order.
6. A Dame or Chevalier may submit an appeal against the decision imposing the punishment mentioned in item 4 point c and d to the Court of Honour.

VII. Final Provisions
Art. 10
All amendments to the Constitution may be introduced exclusively by the International Conference of the Order.

Art. 11
1. On the effective date of this Constitution, the hitherto effective, amended Constitution of the Order of Saint Stanislaus of 1st March 1999, amended by decrees of the 8th Grand Master of the Order, Juliusz Nowina – Sokolnicki, issued on 31st March 2004 and 22nd November 2006, becomes null and void.
2. Decrees of the Grand Master of the Order, Grand Chapter, Grand Priors, and other legal acts issued on the basis of the Amended Constitution of the Order of Saint Stanislaus on 1st March 1999, as referred to in item 1, retain their effectiveness, unless they are contradictory to the provisions of this Constitution.
3. Nomination acts issued on the basis of the amended Constitution of the Order of Saint Stanislaus of 1st of March 1999, referred to in item 1, remain effective, unless they are contradictory to the provisions of this Constitution.

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