About Us


History & Mandate

The Canadian Society for the Study of Practical Ethics (CSSPE) /Société canadienne pour l’étude de l’éthique appliquée (SCEEA) was formed in 1987. It mounts an annual conference at a different Canadian university each year in conjunction with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences/Congrès des sciences humaines.

The CSSPE/SCEEA is committed to the study of all the major areas of practical ethics (bioethics, business ethics, environmental ethics, ethics of technology, health care ethics, professional ethics, etc.) as well as to addressing ethical issues and concerns which arise in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, professions, and other areas of activity and learning.

The CSSPE/SCEEA has mounted many interdisciplinary conferences with other societies, groups, and institutions. These include the Queen’s Cross-Faculty Ethics Forum, the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities, the Canadian Philosophical Association, the Ethics Practitioners Association of Canada, the International Society for the Study of Environmental Ethics, the Canadian Theological Association, the Westminster Institute for Ethics and Human Values, and others.

Because of its diverse background and interests, the CSSPE/SCEEA attracts members from a wide variety of fields and occupations, including academia, the business community, the professions, and the civil service. Membership is open to anyone interested in practical ethics.

By Philip MacEwen


Article I: Name

The name of this organization shall be The Canadian Society for the Study of Practical Ethics/Société canadienne pour l’étude de l’éthique appliquée.. It may be referred to as the CSSPE/SCEEA or the Society/la Société.

Article II: Purpose

The CSSPE shall promote the exchange of ideas among scholars, educators and practitioners concerned with ethics to encourage interdisciplinary discussion and research, foster better education and practice, and contribute solutions to present and future problems in practical ethics.

The objectives of the CSSPE are exclusively educational, literary, scholarly and scientific. The Society shall not contribute funds to any organization which is not a tax exempt organization under Canadian tax law. In the event of the dissolution of the CSSPE, its officers shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all the liabilities of the Society, dispose of all the Society’s assets in such a way as to promote only such purposes as are exclusively educational, literary or scientific.

The purposeof the CSSPE shall be served by:

  • holding of conferences at which addresses, symposia, papers, and discussions concerning problems of practical ethics are presented;
  • the publication, if possible, of these proceedings, as well as of any additional items germane to the purpose of the CSSPE;
  • the encouragement of research into and discussion of fundamental problems in practical ethics, and the theory, teaching and practice of ethics.

Article III: Meetings of the CSSPE

  • The CSSPE shall hold an annual conference and other meetings as are deemed appropriate to its purposes.
  • Additionally, executive or other committee meetings shall be held as are deemed appropriate to the purposes of the CSSPE.
  • The annual conference meeting shall include an appropriate program on practical ethics, a business meeting, and such other matters as the Executive Committee shall deem appropriate to the purposes of the CSSPE.
  • The Executive Committee or its delegates shall be responsible for all aspects of the program including time, locations, and local arrangements; the determination of program content, and the setting of conference fees; the solicitation for participation, vetting and selectors of papers, and the setting of conditions for participation.

Article IV: Officers and Terms of Office

(a)  There shall be a President who shall be the Chairperson of the Executive Committee and an ex-officio member of all committees. The President shall preside at meetings of the Executive Committee and otherwise oversee the operations of the Society. The President’s term of office shall be two years.

(b)  There shall be a Vice-President who shall assist the President in such duties as the President may require. The term of office of the Vice-President shall be two years. In the event of the death, disability, or resignation of the President during his or her term, the Vice-President shall assume the office of President. In that event, at the next annual meeting, an election of a new Vice-President shall be held and the continuing President shall begin a new term of office.

(c) There shall be a Secretary-Treasurer who shall maintain membership and budget records of the Society and shall distribute a report of the financial and other affairs of the Society at least annually. In addition, the Secretary-Treasurer shall carry out such other duties as may be deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected for a two-year term of office.

(d)  Two to five Members-at-Large, who shall be elected for a two-year term of office.

(e)  In the event of the death, disability or resignation of the Vice-President or Secretary-Treasurer, the Executive Committee shall appoint a replacement to serve until the next scheduled election. The Executive Committee may also fill any vacancies among the Members-at-Large until the next scheduled election.

Article V: Executive Committee

There shall be an Executive Committee of the Society which shall be composed as follows:

  • The President, during his or her term of office.
  • The Vice-President, during his or her term of office.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer, during his or her term of office.
  • The immediate Past-President of the CSSPE.
  • Two to five Members-at-Large.
  • The Executive Committee shall meet as deemed appropriate to the purposes of CSSPE.
  • A meeting of the Executive Committee may be called by the President at any time. A meeting shall be called when requested by two members of the Committee. Reasonable notice of time and place of meeting shall be given. Meetings may be conducted in person or by Internet exchange, telephone conference call, or other media that permit all members of the Executive Committee to participate.
  • quorum is necessary for a meeting. Matters acted upon shall, however, be submitted to the vote of all members of the Committee by mail, fax, telephone, E-mail or other remote form of balloting, if necessary.

Article VI: Elections

(a)  Elections shall be held in April, whenever necessary to fill a vacancy in office, whether by expiration of term or for any other reason.

(b)  Only members of the CSSPE in good standing shall be allowed to vote in any election or on any change in the constitution or in the by-laws.

(c)  The method of selection shall be as follows: Not later than 45 days before an election, the Executive Committee shall designate candidates for each office to be voted on and, by mail, shall notify all members in good standing of the nominations. Those who desire to nominate others may do so by a petition of nomination signed by a member in good standing plus the consent of the nominees, and mailed to the Secretary-Treasurer at least 20 days prior to the election. The Secretary-Treasurer shall notify all members in good standing of such nominees.

(d)  Elections shall be conducted by the Secretary-Treasurer who, during the month of April, shall send to each member who was in good standing on the first day of April, a ballot stating thereon that, in order to be valid, the ballot must be postmarked by midnight of the stipulated due date, which shall be set at least 15 days after the mailing.

(e) Newly elected officers shall take office at the conclusion of the annual meeting.

Article VII: Members and Dues

  • Anyone interested in the purposes of the CSSPE/SCEEA is eligible for membership. Upon application to the Secretary-Treasurer and payment of the current year’s dues, he or she shall be classed as a member in good standing.
  • Members who shall have paid the current year’s dues shall be members in good standing. Members who have not paid past dues may regain good standing at any time upon payment of the full dues for the current year.
  • dues for annual membership in the CSSPE shall be such as are determined by the Executive Committee as approved at a regular meeting by a majority of those present.
  • The membership year of the CSSPE shall begin on September 1. Notice of dues shall be sent to members during the month of September.
  • The fiscal year of the CSSPE/SCEEA shall run from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.

Article VIII: Committees

The Executive Committee shall create any committees, standing or ad hoc, as it shall judge appropriate, and shall appoint their members and chairpersons.

Article IX: Provisions for By-Laws

  • By-laws may be adopted or amended only at a regular meeting of the CSSPE by a majority of those present.
  • Any proposal for amending the by-laws of the Society must be announced to the full membership at least one month in advance of the meeting at which a vote is to be taken.
  • Members not in attendance at the regular meeting may vote by mail by sending a ballot to the Secretary-Treasurer postmarked not later than 20 days before the meeting.

Article X: Amendments to the Constitution

  • This constitution may be amended only at a regular business meeting of the CSSPE by a majority.
  • Any proposal for amendment of this constitution must be announced to the full membership of the Society at least one month in advance of the meeting at which a vote is to be taken.

Article XI

This revised constitution was adopted at the CSSPE/SCEEA Annual General Meeting on May 28, 1996 at Brock University. It replaces the original constitution, which was adopted on May 31, 1988.