Member Associations are required to apply the law of nobility of their country. All full members of associations must be noble in accordance with the public law of the country concerned, in other words with the current law where nobility is legally recognised or with the historic law at the moment when nobility was last legally recognised, and there must be a public act of nobility for the family in question from the appropriate period. (In some countries a hybrid situation exists, where nobility as a quality is no longer legally recognised but regular titles of nobility are still subject to official recognition and control.)
Foreign noble families
Where members of foreign noble families are admitted to a Member Association, they must be noble in accordance with the law of the country in which their nobility was conferred or recognised, and the persons concerned must first have validated their proofs with the Member Association representing the nobility of that country.
It may be the case, as a result of border changes, that a country with a historic nobility no longer exists within its old borders but its territory is divided between a number of states where nobility is not legally recognised. In such a situation, except where there were autonomous corporate noble structures recognised in public law, the historic nobility should be represented in a single association.
Proofs of nobility
Member Associations must inform CILANE of the full list of proofs of nobility accepted by them, together with the principles of transmission, but must not themselves purport to confer nobility, honours, titles or decorations. Only one Association is admitted for each country, which must be representative of the nobility as a whole, titled and untitled, without regard to religion or politics.
Member Associations do not, however, conform to a single internal model. Some are corporate structures which historically include the whole national nobility, others are subscription-based associations, and one is a federation of regional associations. Others again have their origins in official consultative heraldic councils or committees of privileges.
There are currently sixteen Member Associations, each of whom sends a Delegate to CILANE. Private individuals cannot belong to CILANE in their own right, but join the Commission or take part in CILANE programmes as members of their own national noble associations.