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Chairperson & Members of the Audit & Governance Committee

The Centre:

The ICEL is a Centre of the School of Law of Trinity College Dublin, constituted as a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, with an independent Board. The Board chairperson is the Centre’s President, Advocate General Anthony M Collins.

It was founded in 1988 by Senator Mary Robinson SC (now the Centre’s Patron) as a membership-based association to further education and research in the law of the European Union and European human rights.

The Centre serves the legal professions, legal academics, law students, public institutions, the voluntary sector, businesses and the wider public.

The Centre organises conferences and seminars across the island of Ireland in various areas of EU law (in particular, environmental, public procurement, data protection, Brexit and competition law) and in human rights law. The Centre is also the Irish member of the European Law Association for Criminal Law and the Protection of the Financial Interests of the EU, which is run by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

The Centre has annual revenues of at least €120k and 2 part-time members of staff based in Trinity. The Centre has recently launched activities in Northern Ireland, and additionally has recruited a part-time Assistant Director for Northern Ireland based in Belfast.

The Role:

The Audit & Governance Committee is a Committee of the Centre elected by the Members, to which the Treasurer, Secretary and Board account, and advises the Board on financial controls, regulatory compliance and reports.

The ICEL seeks applications for appointment as Chairperson and members of the Audit & Governance Committee. A vacancy in the role of Chairperson arises due to the retirement of the founding chairperson, Emma Dickinson FCG, for personal family reasons. Additionally, the Committee wishes to increase its financial. (A further vacancy arises by constitutional rotation of an additional member, Rosemary Craig JP.)

The Chairperson and Members of the Audit & Governance Committee are volunteers, and are not members of the Board or Charity Trustees.

The Audit & Governance Committee meetings occur quarterly, in advance of Board meetings.

Responsibilities will include the following:

The Audit & Governance Committee will be increased at the AGM to five members and is independent of the Board. The Centre’s governance is set out here.

  • Chairperson vacancy - The Chair is the responsible for the leading the Audit & Governance Committee in ensuring that appropriate governance, risk management controls (including those relating to financial risk) and compliance are in place to safeguard the Centre’s assets and reputation and to provide assurance to the Board on all matters related thereto. The Chair’s responsibilities include chairing the meetings of the Audit & Governance Committee, assisted by the Secretary to the Audit Committee and by the CEO. The Chair accounts to the Board on an ad hoc as required basis and may also attend other meetings relating to the Centre (including its Advisory Council) as required. The Chair plays a key role in the Centre's governance and assurance, and will be committed to maintaining the highest standards of governance and the charitable purposes of Centre.
  • Finance/Risk vacancy – The Committee evaluates and monitors the adequacy of financial controls and procedures and ensure that the organisation is compliant with best practice It also makes recommendations to the Board on its annual budget, revised forecasts, annual report and financial statements, and on financial policies.
  • Governance vacancy – The Committee evaluates and monitors the Centre’s compliance with statutory requirements, Charites Regulator guidance and best practice for a company limited by guarantee and educational charity.

Desirable skills

  • Professional experience in audit, governance, accountancy, law, financial management, senior business management, a senior level in the public service or equivalent governance experience;
  • A professional qualification in accounting, law or governance;
  • Experience in advising charities on compliance;
  • Experience as a charity trustee, a committee member, school governorship or similar voluntary role;
  • Interest or experience in matters related to the European Union and/or the Council of Europe;
  • Interest or experience in event planning and professional educational seminars, events or similar.

General duties of a Committee Member

  • Comply with the Centre’s governing document
  • Ensuring the Centre is complying with its charitable purpose for the public benefit
  • Acting in the best interest of the Centre
  • Act with Reasonable Care and Skill

Term

The Chairperson and Members of the Audit Committee will be appointed from 23rd September for up to 3 years, with the possibility of renewal.

Time Commitment

  1. Committee Meetings

The Chair is required to attend on 4 days annually, for meetings of 1-2 hours: 4 scheduled Committee meetings (usually in April, June, September and December). Dates of meetings may change to suit the majority of Committee members.

  1. Chairperson only – outside of meetings

The Chair is a core member of the voluntary Committee Member team, and leads the audit actions work carried out by the CEO and Administrator. Outside of scheduled meetings, the expected time commitment for the Chairperson is 1 day a month.

  1. Timings of meetings

Liaison between voluntary members (including most scheduled meetings) frequently takes place outside office hours: liaison with staff takes place during office hours.

  1. Method of communication

Liaison with staff, and Board, Committee and General meetings are normally held online.

NB It is not expected that the Chairperson or members play a role in or attend other voluntary activities of the Centre (in particular events in EU and Human Rights law), although this would be welcome.

Diversity

The ICEL is committed to diversity in appointments to the Board and Committees, in terms of: gender; age; ethnicity; sexual orientation; the inclusion of members of the legal professions and those involved in legal education; geography in terms of residence or place of business on the island of Ireland (including both legal jurisdictions).

Application Deadline

Applications should be made to icel@tcd.ie should be received on or by 16th August 2024 and will be treated strictly in confidence.

Chairperson & Members of the Audit & Governance Committee

Published on 09.07.2024

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