SCL Subs and Charges

March 1, 2001

You will shortly be receiving your subscription invoice for2001/2002. The subscription for the coming year is £80. This is the first timethe subscription has been increased since 1992 and equates to a little over £3a year increase over the last nine years.

In the past we have not had to increase the subscription becausethe Society had substantial reserves. These reserves have now been depleted inthe furtherance of the Society’s charitable objectives which included theformation of BAILII (British and Irish Legal Information Institute), a varietyof high-profile academic research projects and improving the quality of themagazine and Web site. While SCL has always tried, and will continue to try, tokeep charges at the lowest practicable level, we had begun to feel constrainedin carrying out the SCL objectives by the low level of subscription income.

If the Society is to survive and move forward substantial sumswill have to be spent on the magazine and Web site, services which are ofbenefit to all our members. I am sure that you will agree that the subscriptionof £80 per year still represents very good value for money, particularly whentaking account of the level of subscription charged merely for the supply of anycomparable magazine. We would be very grateful if you could pay yoursubscription as soon as possible to reduce the additional administrativeoverhead of producing reminder invoices.

Only a small proportion of our members attends group meetings.What is important is that all members in the relevant areas are informed aboutgroup activities. This can be done cheaply and efficiently by the use of e-mail.By September 2001 we anticipate sending out the majority of our group meetingnotices by e-mail. We have already conducted pilot schemes and found that thisis a most effective method of communication as, even if members themselvescannot attend a particular meeting, they can easily forward the e-mail to theircolleagues and thus ensure there is wider dissemination of information about theSociety.

We will also be charging a small fee for attendance at thesemeetings. There will be a discounted rate for members of the Society. There arethree reasons for this. First, it is only fair that those attending meetingsshould contribute to the actual costs of the meeting. Secondly, it means thatthose who do not attend meetings are not subsidising those that do. Thirdly, itwill reduce the appallingly high percentage of no-shows at meetings, whichsimply wastes money.

As you know the Scottish Group has become the Scottish Societyfor Computers and Law. All members of the former Scottish Group have beeninvited to join the Scottish Society in addition to the Society for Computersand Law. They have the right within their own articles to decide how they wishto proceed re fees for meeting.