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Parliamentary procedure is the accepted
rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and po ...
,
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, m ...

ethics
, and
customs Vienna Convention road sign for customs Customs is an authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds every ...
governing meetings of an
assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural l ...
or
organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and British English spelling differences#-ise, -ize (-isation, -ization), see spelling differences), is an legal entity, entity—such a ...

organization
. It is supposed to represent the will of the
majority A majority, also called a simple majority to distinguish it from similar terms (see the "Related terms" section below), is the greater part, or more than half, of the total.See dictionary definitions of "majority" aMerriam-Webster
. Its object is to allow
deliberation Deliberation is a process of thoughtfully weighing options, usually prior to voting Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an , in order to make a collective or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or . e ...
upon questions of interest to the organization and to arrive at the sense or the will of the assembly upon these questions.
Self-governing __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In system ...
organizations follow parliamentary procedure to
debate Debate is a process that involves formal discussion on a particular topic. In a debate, opposing arguments are put forward to argue for opposing viewpoints. Debate occurs in public meetings, academic institutions, and legislative assemblies. It ...

debate
and reach group decisions—usually by
vote Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an electorate Electorate may refer to: * The people who are eligible to vote in an Election#Electorate, election, especially their number e.g. the term ''size of (the) electorate'' * The domi ...

vote
—with the least possible friction. In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western , stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital ...

Canada
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in ...

Ireland
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...

New Zealand
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities ...

South Africa
and other English-speaking countries it is often called ''chairmanship'', ''chairing'', the ''law of meetings'', ''procedure at meetings'' or the ''conduct of meetings''. In the United States, parliamentary procedure is also referred to as ''parliamentary law'', ''parliamentary practice'', ''legislative procedure'' or ''rules of order''. Rules of order consist of rules written by the body itself (often referred to as
bylawsA by-law (bye-law, by(e)law, by(e) law) is a rule or law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influe ...
), but also usually supplemented by a published
parliamentary authorityA parliamentary authority is a book of rules on conducting business (parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural law, rules, and Norm (sociology), customs governing meetings and other operations of Club (organi ...
adopted by the body. Typically, national,
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
/provincial and other full-scale
legislative assemblies {{Unreferenced, date=December 2009 Legislative assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, ...
have extensive internally written rules of order, whereas non-legislative bodies write and adopt a limited set of specific rules as the need arises.


History

The term gets its name from its use in the
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
of government. In the 16th and 17th century, there were rules of order in the early parliaments of England. In the 1560s Sir Thomas Smyth began the process of writing down accepted procedures and published a book about them for the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporat ...
in 1583. Early rules included * One subject should be discussed at a time (adopted 1581) * Personal attacks are to be avoided in debate (1604) * Debate must be limited to the merits of the question (1610) * Division of a question when some seem to be for one part but not the other (1640)


Westminster procedures

The Westminster parliamentary procedures are followed in several
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa. In Canada, for example, the House of Commons uses ''House of Commons Procedure and Practice'' as its primary procedural authority. Others include
Arthur Beauchesne Arthur Beauchesne, (June 15, 1876 – April 7, 1959) was a Canadian civil servant who was Clerk of the House of Commons (Canada), Clerk of the House of Commons from 1925 to 1949. He is the author of the parliamentary procedure, procedural manua ...

Arthur Beauchesne
's ''Parliamentary Rules and Forms of the House of Commons of Canada'', Sir John George Bourinot's ''Parliamentary Procedure and Practice in the Dominion of Canada'', and 's ''The Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament'' from Britain.


American procedures

The rules of the
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with ...

United States Congress
were developed from the parliamentary procedures used in Britain. The American parliamentary procedures are followed in many nations, including
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of I ...

Indonesia
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
,
Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; ...

Mexico
and
South Korea South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A cou ...

South Korea
.


Other

The procedures of the
Diet of Japan The is Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Go ...
have moved away from the British parliamentary model. In
Occupied Japan The was a military occupation of Empire of Japan, Japan in the years immediately following surrender of Japan, Japan's defeat in World War II. Led by the United States with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force, support of the British Commo ...

Occupied Japan
, there were efforts to bring Japanese parliamentary procedures more in line with American congressional practices. In Japan, informal negotiations are more important than formal procedures. Written codes of rules govern in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding it, whose territory largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
the life of the Houses of the Parliament: the
Constitutional Court in the building of the former Moravian Parliament in Brno '' (BVerfG) in Karlsruhe A constitutional court is a Supreme court, high court that deals primarily with constitutional law. Its main authority is to rule on whether laws that are chall ...
is judge on the limits beyond which these regulations cannot go, exceeding the parliamentary or political function (judgement n. 120 of 2014), and on their bad application when a law is passed through.


Parliamentary authority usage patterns

Parliamentary procedure is based on the principles of allowing the majority to make decisions effectively and efficiently (
majority rule Majority rule is a decision rule that selects alternatives which have a majority A majority, also called a simple majority to distinguish it from similar terms (see the "Related terms" section below), is the greater part, or more than half, ...
), while ensuring fairness towards the minority and giving each member or delegate the right to voice an opinion.
Voting Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an , in order to make a collective or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or . elect holders of high office by voting. Residents of a place represented by an elected ...

Voting
determines the will of the assembly. While each assembly may create their own set of rules, these sets tend to be more alike than different. A common practice is to adopt a standard reference book on parliamentary procedure and modify it through special rules of order that supersede the adopted authority. A parliamentary structure conducts business through
motions 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its position over time. Motion is mathematically described in terms of displacement, distance Distance is a numerical measurement of ...
, which cause actions. Members bring business before the assembly by introducing
main motion In parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural law, rules, and Norm (sociology), customs governing meetings and other operations of Club (organization), clubs, organizations, Legislature, legislative bodies, ...
s, or dispose of this business through subsidiary motions and incidental motions. Parliamentary procedure also allows for rules in regards to nomination, voting, disciplinary action, appeals, dues, and the drafting of organization
charter A charter is the grant of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social scien ...
s,
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitution
s, and
bylawsA by-law (bye-law, by(e)law, by(e) law) is a rule or law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influe ...
.


Organizations and civic groups

The most common procedural authority in use in the United States is ''
Robert's Rules of Order ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'', commonly referred to as ''Robert's Rules of Order'', RONR, or simply ''Robert's Rules'', is a political book written by Henry Martyn Robert. It is the most widely used manual of parliamentary procedure i ...
''. Other authorities include ''
The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure ''The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure'' (formerly the ''Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure'' by Alice Sturgis) is a book of rules of order. It is the second most popular parliamentary authority in the United States after ...
'' (used by some medical and library organizations) and ''
Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law and Procedure 125px, Demeter's Manual ''Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law and Procedure'' is a parliamentary authority manual by George Demeter. It is included in the bank of study materials used in preparing for the Certified Parliamentarian (CP) designa ...
''. A common text in use in the UK, particularly within
trade unions A trade union (or a labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve common goals, such as protecting the integrity of their trade, improving safety standards ...
, is Lord Citrine's ''''. In English-speaking Canada, popular authorities include Kerr & King's ''Procedures for Meeting and Organizations''. The
Conservative Party of Canada The Conservative Party of Canada (french: Parti conservateur du Canada), colloquially known as the Tories, is a federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ...
uses ''Wainberg's Society meetings including rules of order'' to run its internal affairs. In French-speaking Canada, commonly used rules of order for ordinary societies include Victor Morin's '' Procédures des assemblées délibérantes'' (commonly known as the ''Code Morin'') and the ''Code CSN''.


Legislatures

Legislative assemblies in all countries, because of their nature, tend to have a specialized set of rules that differ from parliamentary procedure used by clubs and organizations. In the United Kingdom, Thomas Erskine May's '' Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament'' (often referred to simply as ''Erskine May'') is the accepted authority on the powers and procedures of the
Westminster parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' an ...
. There are also the Standing Orders for each House. Of the 99 state legislative chambers in the United States (two for each
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
except
Nebraska Nebraska () is a in the region of the . It is bordered by to the north; to the east and to the southeast, both across the ; to the south; to the southwest; and to the west. It is the only triply landlocked U.S. state. Indigenous pe ...

Nebraska
, which has a
unicameral In , unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or . Thus, a ''unicameral parliament'' or ''unicameral legislature'' is a which consists of a single chamber or house. Concept Unicameral legi ...
legislature), ''
Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure 125px, Mason's Manual 2000 ''Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure'', commonly referred to as ''Mason's Manual'', is the official parliamentary authorityA parliamentary authority is a book of rules on conducting business (parliamentary procedur ...
'' governs parliamentary procedures in 70; '' Jefferson's Manual'' governs 13, and ''
Robert's Rules of Order ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'', commonly referred to as ''Robert's Rules of Order'', RONR, or simply ''Robert's Rules'', is a political book written by Henry Martyn Robert. It is the most widely used manual of parliamentary procedure i ...
'' governs four. The
United States Senate The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, politic ...
follows the
Standing Rules of the United States Senate The Standing Rules of the Senate are the parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural law, rules, and Norm (sociology), customs governing meetings and other operations of Club (organization), clubs, organiz ...
, while the
United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the of the , with the being the . Together they compose the national of the . The House's composition is established by . The House is composed of representatives who sit in allocated to ea ...
follows '' Jefferson's Manual''. ''Mason's Manual'', originally written by constitutional scholar and former
California Senate The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature, the lower house being the California State Assembly. The State Senate convenes, along with the State Assembly, at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, Cali ...
staff member Paul Mason in 1935, and since his death revised and published by the
National Conference of State Legislatures The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), established in 1975, is a "nonpartisan public officials’ association composed of sitting state legislators" from the states, territories and commonwealths of the United States. Background ...
(NCSL), governs legislative procedures in instances where the state constitution, state statutes, and the chamber's rules are silent.National Conference of State Legislatures web site
/ref> According to the NCSL, one of the many reasons that most state legislatures use ''Mason's Manual'' instead of ''Robert's Rules of Order'' is that ''Robert's Rules'' applies best to private organizations and civic groups that do not meet in daily public sessions. ''Mason's Manual'', however, is geared specifically toward state legislative bodies.


Parliamentarians

In the United States, individuals who are proficient in parliamentary procedure are called parliamentarians (in other English-speaking countries with parliamentary forms of government, "parliamentarian" refers to a
member of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) p ...
). Several organizations offer certification programs for parliamentarians, including the
National Association of Parliamentarians The National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP) is, despite its name, an organization with international membership that is the largest non-profit association of parliamentarians in the world. NAP is dedicated to the study, promotion, and use o ...
and
American Institute of Parliamentarians The American Institute of Parliamentarians (AIP) is a not-for-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a colle ...
. Agriculture teachers who coach teams in the
National FFA Organization National FFA Organization is an American 501(c)(3) youth organization, specifically a career and technical student organization, based on middle and high school classes that promote and support agriculture, agricultural education. It was founded in ...
(formerly Future Farmers of America) parliamentary procedure contest can earn the title Accredited Parliamentarian (AP). Parliamentarians perform an important role in many meetings, including counseling organizations on parliamentary law, holding elections, or writing amendments to the constitution and
bylawsA by-law (bye-law, by(e)law, by(e) law) is a rule or law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influe ...
of an organization.


See also

*
Group decision-makingGroup decision-making (also known as collaborative decision-making or collective decision-making) is a situation faced when individuals An individual is that which exists as a distinct entity. Individuality (or self-hood) is the state or quality of ...
* Lawmaking procedure in India * Parliamentary procedure in the corporate world


References


External links


The Official Robert's Rules of Order Web Site



National Conference of State Legislatures: Using Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure

National Association of Parliamentarians (parliamentarians.org)

American Institute of Parliamentarians (aipparl.org)
{{DEFAULTSORT:Parliamentary Procedure Political law