1. Name

The association is called:

2. Mission

The mission of the International Association of Language Commissioners is to support and advance language rights, equality and diversity throughout the world and to support language commissioners so they may work to the highest professional standards.

3. Definition

Membership of the Association is reserved for the following, subject to satisfying the Criteria for Membership published in the Annex:

4. Officers

  1. The association will 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 will usually provide secretarial and administrative functions.
  2. The Chair and Vice Chair will individually be proposed, seconded and elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting and will hold office until the conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting when they may retire or agree to be re-elected. A retiring Chair or Vice Chair will be eligible for re-election for a second or third term but will serve no more than three consecutive terms. Any vacancy occurring by resignation or otherwise may be filled by the association at their discretion. Decisions will be made in accordance with the votes of the majority of members present.
  3. There will be an Executive and Membership Committee, usually comprising of up to 4 members including the Chair and Vice Chair and further members as determined by the association.

5. Membership

  1. Membership is determined according to the present Rules and the association’s policies and Criteria for Membership listed in the Annex.
  2. Applications for membership will be reviewed by the Executive and Membership Committee.
  3. The decision on whether an applicant meets the Criteria for Membership will be made at the discretion of the association.
  4. The IALC will decide on applications for membership by majority vote of the full membership of the association.
  5. If applicants are not satisfied with the decision, an appeal may be lodged to the Executive and Membership Committee.
  6. Membership will be afforded to office holders rather than individuals.
  7. The secretariat will maintain an up-to-date list of members of the association.

6. Membership review and renewal

Memberships will be reviewed periodically by the Executive and Membership Committee to ensure continued alignment with the mission, vision, values, and objectives of the IALC.

7. Subscription

There is currently no joining fee or subscription but requests for voluntary contributions to support the mission of the IALC may be issued from time to time by the association.

8. Resignation

A member will cease to hold membership on giving written notice to the association.

9. Expulsion

The association will have power to expel a member when, in its opinion, the member no longer meets the Criteria for membership. The Executive and Membership Committee will review and make recommendations to the full membership if such a case should arise. A two-thirds majority of members will be required in the case of an expulsion.

10. Annual General Meeting

The Association will hold an Annual Meeting in person or virtually 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.

11. Languages

English will be the working language of the association. Members will voluntarily provide agreed material in their official language or languages of choice for inclusion on the association’s website etc. Conferences of the association will be held in English and the official languages of the host jurisdiction.

12. Alteration of the Rules and Criteria for Membership

The Rules and the Criteria for Membership may be altered by resolution at an Annual General Meeting provided that such a resolution is carried by a majority of the members present.

Any amendment to the Rules and Criteria for Membership will come into effect immediately after their adoption, unless otherwise specified by the association.


Criteria for Membership


Membership is not reserved exclusively for those whose title includes the words ‘Language Commissioner’. The IALC will afford membership to:

Full Membership of the IALC is reserved for those who are:

  1. Independent of any public authority under whose jurisdiction they operate and should not receive any direction from public authority which would compromise their independence.
  2. Able to perform their functions independently of any public authority under whose jurisdiction they operate.
  3. Empowered to make recommendations in order to remedy or prevent any breach of language rights and, where appropriate, to propose administrative or legislative reforms for better governance.
  4. Held accountable by reporting publicly to a Legislature, or other elected body, and by the publication of an annual or other periodic report.
  5. Compliant with the established norms and principles of good governance in fulfilling their functions and in line with their legislative mandate.
  6. Subject to dismissal by a Legislature or other elected body or with its approval for cause as provided by the relevant legislation or Constitution.

Observer Membership of the IALC

Observer Membership may be granted to institutions or organisations that have a mandate to oversee or protect language rights but are unable to fulfil all criteria for full membership set out in the IALC Rules.