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Constitution & Order of Arbitration

Article § 1

Name, Seat, Business Year

  1. The name of the Association, henceforth called “Order” in this document, is:
    « International Order Cordon Bleu du Saint Esprit, registered association »
  2. The Order’s headquarters is in Erfurt, Germany
  3. The Order is a Christian Order referring to the tradition of the Christian European Order of the Holy Spirit, especially the one of King Henry III of France, which was founded in 1579, transferring this tradition to modern times. The re-establishment took place at Landau, Germany, in the year 1969.
  4. The Order operates internationally and neutrally in terms of politics, race, and denominations.
  5. Its official language is German.
  6. The business year of the Order is the calendar year.


Article § 2

Objects of the Charity

    1. The Order supports humanitarian and international endeavours at home and abroad and fosters non-profit projects by providing humanitarian aid and cultural events.
    2. The Order pursues exclusively and directly non-profit and charitable objects in the sense of the section “tax-exempt objects” of the tax order.
    3. The constitution’s object is especially realised by:


      • Aid service for humanitarian objects at home and abroad
      • Support of individuals in need undergoing training at home or abroad
      • Support of church and social institutions at home
      • Holding cultural events (e.g. concerts) Procurement of means for realising tax-exempt objects of another corporation or for realising tax-exempt objects of a corporation under German Public Law §58 No.1 AO


    4. The Order operates non-profitably and does not principally pursue economic objects to its gain.
    5. Means of the Order must be used exclusively for purposes in accordance with this constitution. The members do not receive any dividends and no other financial contributions. The Order uses its means neither directly nor indirectly for fostering order supporting political parties. Upon leaving, the dissolution or cancellation of the Order, members are neither refunded any shares of the capital nor the general value of given assets.
    6. No person must be favoured by expenditures alien to the objects of the Order or unusual reimbursements.
    7. Persons being active on a voluntary basis for the Executive Council are entitled only to compensation of proven expenses.


Article § 3

Structure of Commanders’ Offices

  1. The Order is subdivided into Commanders’ Offices. A Commander’s Office is the  union of all members of the Order in a territory. A Commander’s Office should comprise at least seven members of the Order.
  2. Commanders’ Offices at Home Through its Commanders’ Offices, the Order becomes active at the State (Land) level at home.
  3. Several Federal States can form a common Commander’s Office. A Federal State can have several Commanders’ Offices.
  4. Commanders’ Offices Abroad:

    The Commanders’ Offices abroad likewise seek organisation within existing political borders. In terms of membership, the members are under German Law.
    If, on authority of the Grand Master, the commanders’ offices abroad have a political entity of their own, membership of the Order’s members follows the law of the state of the office’s establishment. The Commander’s Office itself becomes a corporative member of the Order. To the extent it is legally permissible under respective home law, the following regulations are to be incorporated into its constitution:
  • Admission of members only with the Grand Master’s approval
  • Election of the board only after Grand Master’s approval
  • Dissolution by the Grand Master
  • Summon of a members’ assembly by the Grand Master
  • Acknowledgement of insight and revision by the (Mother) Order
  • Acknowledgement of the constitution and rules of the Mother Order as laid down in the order of business
  • Renunciation to name “Cordon Bleu du Saint Esprit” and the insignia upon dissolution or leaving the Mother Order
  • The foreign Commander’s Office performs its membership in the Mother Order through delegates. Each Order’s member counts as a delegate and has a right to vote when attending the General Convention. A transferral of the right or authorization is not permissible.
  • Through loss of corporative membership in the Mother Order, the member loses his/her right to bear the name or insignia. The members of the Commanders’ Offices can apply for membership in the Master Order.

  1. The Commanders’ Offices set up their organisations in their territories independently.
    The Commander’s Office is headed by one Commander. The Commander is appointed by the Grand Master for a term of five years upon recommendation of the members of the Office. Re-appointment is possible. Commanders who have completed their seventieth year of life should not be appointed again.
  2. Each Commander’s Office should annually carry out activities as specified in article §2 of the Constitution and provide proof to the Executive Council.


Article § 4

Orderly Membership (Knighting)

  1. Any person of age acknowledging the objects of the Order and submitting  herself/himself  to its discipline and is willing to become active for the Order can become an orderly member. Admission to the Order is on condition of a successful and honorary activity, commitment to the Christian tradition, to the democratically constituted state founded on the rule of law as well as to the principles for international living in the global community as resolved by the United Nations. In addition, there must be a special interest in the cultivating chivalrous customs.
  2. Membership is to be applied for in writing at the Executive Council through the Commander of the respective Office naming two references affiliated to the Order. 
  3. The Grand Master decides on the admission.
  4. Admission to the Order can be denied without giving reasons.
  5.  Every applicant is first regarded as a postulant for 6 months. The references should make him/her familiar with the Order’s obligations. Shortening the time of postulant is possible.
  6. The fee for admission, as fixed by the General Convention, is to be paid at least 4 weeks prior to the knighting.
  7. The members of the Order bear the following names:
  • Ordensritter / Ordensdame (Order’s Knight/ Order’s Lady)
  • Kommandeur / Kommandantin (Commander/ Lady Commander)
  • Großkreuzritter/ -dame (Grand Cross Knight/Lady)

Article § 5

Honorary Membership (Honorary Knighting)

  1. The Executive Council can resolve to appoint honorary members.
  2. Agreement with the respective Office’s Commander should precede.

Article § 6

Admittance Fee and Membership Dues

Members of the Order have to pay a single admission fee and an annual contribution (Mitgliedsbeitrag/ membership dues). Amount and maturity are to be decided upon by the General Convention. Honorary members are exempt from membership dues.


Article § 7

Termination of Membership

Membership is terminated by:

  1. Death
  2. Resignation - Resignation is possible only at the end of a calendar year with three months’ notice. The resignation becomes effective only when expressed in writing to a member of the Executive Council.
  3. Deletion from members’ roll - On resolution of the Executive Council a member may be deleted from the members’ roll for not paying dues despite being admonished twice, but three months at the earliest after the second writ for payment.
  4. Exclusion

Exclusion is possible only for a grave reason, if a member of the Order has violated the interests of the Order in a malicious way. Exclusion is effected by the Order’s Court.
Termination of a membership is to be documented in writing. Annual membership dues paid prior to  termination are not refunded neither in whole nor in parts.

Article § 8


The organs are:

  1. General Convention  (Assembly of members)
  2. Executive Council (board)
  3. Order’s Chapter
  4. Honorary Council
  5. Auditor of Finances

Officials of the Order must not hold leading positions in other orders.

Article § 9


    1. The General Convention is summoned once a year by the Grand Master in writing.
    2. he invitation must be extended to the members with an agenda at least 30 calendar days (postmark, facsimile or E-mail date of sending) before the General Convention. Additional motions to the agenda must reach the Executive Council 14 calendar days before the General Convention.
    3. The General Convention reaches its resolutions with a simple majority of themembers present in an open vote. Should a member demand a secret vote or a vote by name, the vote is to be conducted accordingly. The vote by name enjoys priority. Only members who have paid their membership dues are entitled to vote.
    4. The General Convention bears decision-making on the following matters of the Order:


      • Laying down and amending the Constitution
      • Setting up the principles of the Order’s work
      • AFixing the membership dues and admission fee
      • Receiving the business report of the Executive Council
      • Approval of the annual budget
      • Relief of the Executive Council
      • Election of the Executive Council
      • Election of the Auditor
      • Dissolution of the Order
      • Decree of an order of business for the Order


    5. The minutes of every General Convention are to be kept in writing, the record is to be signed by the chairperson of the assembly and keeper of the minutes.


Article § 10

Executive Council

1.  The Executive Council consists of:

a) Grand Master (= Superior of the Order)
b) Chancellor
c) General Secretary
d) Treasurer
e) Keeper of the Minutes
f) Legal Advisor

Members mentioned under ciphers b) and c) simultaneously serve as deputies of the Grand Master. 

2. The Executive Council is elected every 5 years by the members’ assembly (General Convention). The members of the Executive Council remain in office up to a new election. Re-election is permissible. Upon completion of the 70th year of life, one should not run for candidacy. If a member of the Executive Council leaves prematurely, the remaining members of the Executive Council elect a substitute member until the next General Convention. 

3. Board in terms of article § 26 BGB are the Grand Master, the Chancellor, the General Secretary and the Treasurer. 

4. Either two of the members mentioned under section 3 are jointly entitled to represent in and out of court. 

5.  The Executive Council is specially responsible for:

  • Fulfilling the Order’s objects
  • Development of the Order
  • Winning young people for leading positions
  • Representation of the Order in public (by Grand Master and his deputies)
  • Controlling and safeguarding the Order’s Law
  • Knighting

6.  The Executive Council reaches its resolutions with simple majority. In a parity of votes the Grand Master decides the issue. Quorum is give if at least three members of the Executive Council are present.

7.  The resolutions of the Executive Council are to be put on the record which is to be signed by the keeper of the minutes and another member of the Executive Council. 


Article § 11

 Order’s Chapter

1.  The Executive Council is assisted by the Order’s Chapter. Besides the members of the Executive Council, the Offices’ Commanders and Chapter’s Councillors belong to the Order’s Chapter.

2.  The Order’s Chapter is to be summoned by the Grand Master once or twice a year.

3.  The invitation must be extended at least 30 calendar days (postmark, date facsimile or E-mail date of mailing) before the meeting also giving an agenda to the members of the Order’s Chapter. Additional motions to the agenda must be received by the Executive Council 14 calendar days before the meeting. Motions received later are to be dealt with under the topic “sundries” if not decided otherwise by the Order’s Chapter. 

Article § 12

Chapter’s Councillor

1.  The Chapter’s Councillors are appointed and dismissed by the Grand Master. They have special tasks to fulfil and support the Executive Council with special competence. 

2.  The members of the Order’s Chapter leave the Chapter’s Council upon completion of their special functions.

Article § 13

Honorary Council 

1.  The Honorary Council is an advisory organ of the Executive Council.

2.  Members of the Honorary Council are former incumbents who honourably held an office of the Order and whose re-election is precluded by the Constitution.

3. The member of the Honorary Council retains the title of his last rank and bears the name honourable or “Honourable-(official title).

Article § 14

Order’s Law Court 

1.  From their midst the members of the General Convention elect for a period of 5 years 2 auditors and 1 deputy.

2.  Their task is to revise accounting to be in compliance with legal rules and the laying down of this Constitution.

Article § 15

Auditor of Finances

  1. The General Convention elects the Order’s Law Court, a chairperson  and two  assessors for the duration of five years. The chairperson mustbe a certified judge. If possible a deputy is to be elected for the chairperson and one for the assessors. The members of the Law Court are to be members of the Order. They must not belong to the Executive Council.
  2. All disputes between members of the Order and the Order, between members of the Order and organs of the Order as well as organs with one another and amongst members of the Order which arise from the Constitution are eventually decided upon by the court henceforth named Order’s Law Court with the exclusion of orderly courts of justice. Exceptions apply to those decisions which, because of the law, cannot be assigned to a court of arbitration. Herewith the Order’s Law of Order has been transferred to the Court of Arbitration.
  3. The General Convention passes a resolution on an Order of Arbitration for the Court of Arbitration which is part of this Constitution.

Article § 16

Order’s Insignia

1.   Order’s insignia serve the Order’s presentation in public.

2.  The Order’s insignia and the manner of wearing them are documented in the enclosure to the Order of business and binding to all members. Order’s insignia are:

  • Standard
  • Sword
  • Mantle
  • Medals.


Article § 17

Dissolution of the Order 

1. The dissolution of the Order is to be decided on by an assembly of the members summoned solely for this purpose with a ¾ majority of the Order’s members present.

2. With the dissolution of the association or the renunciation of its non-profit tax status, the assets of the Order fall to a legal entity of Public Law or to a tax-exempt corporation for its use of  non-profit making, charitable or church-related objects.

3. The resolution on the use of the assets can be executed only on approval of the responsible Internal Revenue Service Office. 

Article § 16

Legal domicile

Legal domicile is the seat of the Order.

Translation from the German by York R. Buttler, Vice-Commander of CBdSE, Office NRW, Germany 
May 15, 2011

N.B. This text merely serves an informative purpose. No legal claims can be derived from the wording of this version of the Constitution.


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