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  1. Name
    The Association shall be called:
    The International Association of Language Commissioners
  2. Objectives
    The objectives of the Association shall be:
    • To promote, support and advance language rights, equality and diversity;
    • To share experience, insights and connections between language commissioners' offices;
    • To encourage the exchange of information and mutual learning between language commissioners' offices and to provide an avenue to members to advance best practices and a stronger knowledge base on language rights protection efforts;
    • To increase awareness and understanding of the role and value of Language Commissioners among Governments, state agencies, academia, media and the general public;
    • To define, publish and keep under review criteria for the recognition of language commissioners' offices by the Association and to accord recognition to those who satisfy the defined criteria for recognition as language commissioners throughout the world;
    • To support regions that wish to create a language commissioner or improve their language rights;
    • To share training and development or work exchange opportunities;
    • To share evidence based research in the interest of advancing language rights.
  3. Definition
    Membership of the Association shall be reserved for:
    1. Any Language Commissioner who was represented at the inaugural meeting of the Association in Dublin, Ireland on 24 May 2013 and who agrees with the rules of the Association there formed.
    2. Any Language Commissioner's office who is subsequently recognised by the Association as satisfying the Association's Criteria for the Recognition of Language Commissioners Offices. The Criteria are attached in the Annex.
  4. Officers
    1. The Association shall have a Chair and a Vice Chair. The Chair and Vice Chair must be members of the Association. The staff of the Chair's office shall provide secretarial and administrative functions.
    2. The Chair and Vice Chair shall individually be proposed, seconded and elected by the Association Members at the Annual Meeting and shall hold office until the conclusion of the next Annual Meeting, when he or she shall retire. Any vacancy occurring by resignation or otherwise may be filled by the Association at their discretion. A retiring Chair or Vice Chair shall be eligible for re-election for a second term but shall serve no more than two consecutive terms. Decisions shall be made in accordance with the votes of the majority of members present.
    3. Further officers – up to 4 in number – may be added by the Association as required in due course.
  5. Membership
    1. Membership shall be determined according to the present Rules and the Association's criteria for the Recognition of Language Commissioners Offices in annex.
    2. The Association shall decide on subsequent applications for membership by majority vote of members present.
    3. The Secretariat shall maintain an up-to-date list of Members of the Association.
  6. Subscription
    1. Each Member shall pay a once-off nominal subscription equivalent in value to €10 to record their membership.
    2. The amount of any further subscription, should it arise, shall be determined from time to time by the Association.
  7. Resignation
    A Member shall cease to hold membership on giving written notice to the Association of resignation.
  8. Expulsion
    The Association shall have power to expel a Member when, in its opinion, the Member no longer meets the Criteria for recognition of membership. A two-thirds majority of members will be required in the case of an expulsion.
  9. Annual Meeting
    1. The Association shall hold an Annual Meeting in person or by electronic means in each year to transact the following business:
      1. To receive the Chair’s report of the activities of the Association during the previous year;
      2. To elect the Chair and Vice Chair for the subsequent year;
      3. To agree on a work plan for the Association for the subsequent year;
      4. To agree on any relevant business which will promote the objectives of the Association.
    2. The Secretariat shall take minutes at the Annual Meetings and shall distribute them within one month of that meeting.
    3. Any former commissioner or ombudsman, or renowned academic person, who in the opinion of the Association can contribute to its work, may be invited to the Annual Meeting or other meetings of the Association. This also applies to high-level civil servants from multi-lingual nations which express a positive interest in the Language Commissioner institution.
  10. Languages
    English will be the working language of the association with the founding documents translated by members into their own official languages. Members will provide agreed material in their official language or languages of choice for inclusion on the association's website. Conferences of the association will be held in English and the official languages of the host jurisdiction.
  11. Alteration of the Rules and Criteria
    1. The Rules and the Annex to the Rules may be altered by resolution at an Annual General Meeting provided that such a resolution is carried by a majority of the members present.
    2. Any amendment to the rules and schedule shall come into effect immediately after their adoption by the Association, unless otherwise specified by the Association.



Guiding Principles

The Association will afford recognition as Language Commissioner and Membership of the Association to those bodies whose role includes any or all of the following: to investigate and resolve, determine or make recommendations with regard to language related complaints against those whom such Offices are empowered to investigate or who function as compliance or advisory services in regard to language rights and obligations.

Membership is not reserved exclusively for those whose title includes the words 'Language Commissioner' and the Association does not exclude from membership any ombudsman or similar offices which have language related complaint handling or compliance services as an important part of their mandate or where a distinct element of the work of that service is focussed on issues of language rights.


The Association's principle criteria for the Recognition of Language Commissioner’s Offices are:

Role - as ombudsman, compliance or advisory services on language rights and obligations
Independence – independent in fulfilling its function
Fairness –is dedicated to ensuring fairness as a core value
Openness – is transparent in the way it operates
Accountability – is accountable to the public or appropriate parliament


The Association expects Language Commissioner’s Offices to comply with the established norms and principles of good governance in fulfilling their functions and in line with their legislative mandate.


The decision on whether a Language Commissioner’s Office is recognised as meeting the criteria for Membership of the Association will be made at the discretion of the Association.

Application form