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English translation (unofficial/non-legal) of the by-laws

I've made a translation with Google and I have cleaned up the grammer and tried to make it as clear as possible without changing the meaning.

Some parts of the German document are ambiguous - I have tried not to remove any ambiguity.  It is just a translation.

It would be really useful for people familiar with German to compare this with the original document and share feedback.  If we can do some of this ourselves, it will be easier for a lawyer to look at it and make any final changes.



Statutes of the Association debian.ch

Translated by Google Translate/Daniel Pocock 9-10 July 2012

based on German language version of 31 January 2011

Note: this is a literal translation of the words in the German document, and the legal context of the words has not been analyzed. In some cases there is ambiguity and this has been noted in parentheses.


debian.ch is an association under article 60 of the Civil Code, based in Basel.


  1. debian.ch is the official representative of the Debian project in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

  1. The Society holds on behalf of the Debian project assets in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

  2. It supports the Debian project and its activities using the Association's assets.

    § 3 AVERAGE

The association is financed by donations and other voluntary contributions. There is no membership fee.


1. Persons or companies may request to become a sponsor/patron by making a donation of at least CHF 100. Their status as a benefactor of debian.ch may be noted on the web page.

  1. Their status as a patron or sponsor of debian.ch may be acknowledged in any publications of the association.

  2. The debian.ch patronage is valid for one year


1. Members of the Debian project with permanent residence or citizenship in Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein are eligible for membership of debian.ch on request. (translation note: not clear if the `request' means that the board must accept the request)

2. Any member may propose another person for admission as a member. The General Assembly will decide on their inclusion. The proposed member must be present at the meeting unless it is impractical for them to attend.

3. A member can leave the assocation debian.ch at his own request at any time.

4. The Assembly may choose to exclude a member without cause. A majority of 2/3 of members present must vote in favour of such a motion for it to be carried.


1. The Executive Committee (Board) must call an Annual General Meeting at least once per year. All members must be given at least two weeks notice by email.

2. The invitation period may be less if all members agree.

3. If a General Meeting resolves to amend the by-laws of the assocation, the revised by-laws do not take effect until the close of the meeting.


1. The board consists of president, secretary and Treasurer. It is permitted for one person to hold more than one office, but essential that the Office of the President and Treasurer be occupied by two different people.

2. The Board may undertake business on behalf of the association as permitted by law.

3. Non-executive officers may be
elected to the board. (translation note: Beisitzer could be `non-executive officer' (with voting rights) or maybe it means `observer' (without voting rights) – clarification needed)
4. The AGM elects the members of the board for a term of one year.
5. The Board members vote amongst themselves to select the office holders.


The Debian Project Leader
may direct the way in which the assets held by the association are used. (translation note: does not distinguish project assets from assocation's operating account/assets)


A digital signature may be made in place of a hand written signature, provided the key used is compliant with the specification of a Debian Developer key.


The accountin
g year is the calendar year.

§ 11 of Resolution

1. A decision to dissolve the association requires a two thirds majority of the annual meeting. It must be attended by at least 50 members or, if the club has fewer than 66 Members, three-quarters of all members must be present.

2. Upon dissolution, all assets
must be transferred to Software in the Public Interest, Inc., Indianapolis, USA.

The actuary
Adrian von Bidder

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