HOME

TheInfoList




''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 based on the original Robert's Rules of Order written by
Henry Martyn Robert Henry Martyn Robert (May 2, 1837 – May 11, 1923) was an American soldier, engineer, and author. In 1876, Robert published the first edition of his manual of parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural law, ...

Henry Martyn Robert
. It is the most widely used manual of
parliamentary procedure 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 grou ...
in the United States. It governs the meetings of a diverse range of organizations—including church groups, county commissions, homeowners associations, nonprofit associations, professional societies, school boards, and trade unions—that have adopted it as their
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 ...
. The manual was first published in 1876 by U.S. Army officer
Henry Martyn Robert Henry Martyn Robert (May 2, 1837 – May 11, 1923) was an American soldier, engineer, and author. In 1876, Robert published the first edition of his manual of parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, Procedural law, ...

Henry Martyn Robert
, who adapted the rules and practice of
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...

Congress
to the needs of non-legislative societies. Eleven subsequent editions have been published, including major revisions in 1915 and 1970. The copyright to ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'' is owned by the Robert's Rules Association, which selects by contract an authorship team to continue the task of revising and updating the book. The 12th and current edition was released on September 1, 2020. A number of other versions also based on the original work by Gen. Robert have been published by other authors. In 2005, the Robert's Rules Association published an official concise guide, titled ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief''. A third edition of the brief book was published in 2020.


History

A U.S. Army officer, Henry Martyn Robert (1837–1923), saw a need for a standard of parliamentary procedure while living in
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and financial center in the U.S. state of California. Located in Northern Califo ...

San Francisco
. He found San Francisco in the mid-to-late 19th century to be a chaotic place where meetings of any kind tended to be tumultuous, with little consistency of procedure and with people of many nationalities and traditions thrown together. The first edition of the book, whose full title was ''Pocket Manual of Rules of Order for Deliberative Assemblies'', was published in February 1876 by the then-Major Robert, with the short title ''Robert's Rules of Order'' placed on its cover. The procedures prescribed by the book were loosely modeled after those used in the United States House of Representatives, with such adaptations as Robert saw fit for use in ordinary societies. Although he was in the military, the rules in his book were not based on military rules. The author's interest in
parliamentary procedure 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 grou ...
began in 1863 when he was chosen to preside over a church meeting and, although he accepted the task, he felt that he did not have the necessary knowledge of proper procedure. In his later work as an active member of several organizations, Robert discovered that members from different areas of the country had very different views regarding what the proper parliamentary rules were, and these conflicting views hampered the organizations in their work. He eventually became convinced of the need for a new manual on the subject, one which would enable many organizations to adopt the same set of rules.


Official editions

Henry M. Robert himself published four editions of the manual before his death in 1923, the last being the thoroughly revised and expanded Fourth Edition published as ''Robert's Rules of Order Revised'' in May 1915. By this time Robert had long been retired from the Army with the rank of brigadier general. The revisions were based on the feedback from hundreds of letters that Robert had received through the years. In addition, to explain the rules in ''Robert's Rules of Order Revised'' (abbreviated ROR), Robert published an introductory book for beginners titled ''Parliamentary Practice: An Introduction to Parliamentary Law'' in 1921 and a full book of explanations titled ''Parliamentary Law'' in 1923. Through a family trust, and later through the Robert's Rules Association (which is made up of descendants of Henry M. Robert), several subsequent editions of Robert's Rules of Order have been published, including another major revision of the work. The Seventh Edition, published in February 1970 on the 94th anniversary of the publication of the First Edition, was the first under the title ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'' (RONR). The subsequent editions were based on additional feedback from users, including feedback received by electronic means in recent years. These later editions included material from Robert's ''Parliamentary Practice'' and ''Parliamentary Law''. The current edition of the series became effective on September 1, 2020 under the title ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'', Twelfth Edition. This edition states that it: The authorship team of the current Twelfth Edition consists of a grandson of General Robert, an attorney, a lobbyist and legislative analyst, a mathematics professor, and a copy editor, all of them being experienced parliamentarians. More than six million copies have been printed (which is a total of all editions). The following table lists the official versions of the body of work known as ''Robert's Rules of Order'' developed by Henry M. Robert and maintained by his successors.


''In Brief''

Henry M. Robert III, grandson of the original author and Trustee for the Robert's Rules Association, had acknowledged that "there has been controversy among parliamentarians concerning the length of ''Robert's Rules'' in its various editions and the complexity of the rules it describes." As a result, a supplemental book was developed. In 2005, a shorter reference guide, ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief'' (abbreviated RONRIB), was published by the same authorship team and publisher as the Tenth Edition of ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'' (RONR) and was made to be in accord with that edition of RONR. A third edition of this shorter guide was published in 2020 to conform with the current Twelfth Edition of ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised''. The ''In Brief'' book is the only authorized concise guide for ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'' and is intended as an introductory book for those unfamiliar with
parliamentary procedure 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 grou ...
. The authors say, "In only thirty minutes, the average reader can learn the bare essentials, and with about ninety minutes' reading can cover all the basics." It is meant to be an introductory supplement to the current edition of ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'' and is not suitable for adoption as a
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 ...
in itself.


Unofficial versions

Since the
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
s for several of the original editions (1915 or earlier) have expired, numerous other books and manuals have been published incorporating "Robert's Rules of Order" as part of their titles, with some of them based on those earlier editions (see
List of books with Robert's Rules in the titleRobert'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 pa ...
). The existence of multiple editions and other variations, all published as "Robert's Rules of Order", can sometimes cause confusion, as the various publications may differ in some details. For example: *Robert's Rules of Order, The Modern Edition, revised (1996) by Darwin Patnode, PhD, past President of the American Institute of Parliamentarians. Simplified and updated based on the original 1876 edition *Robert's Rules in Plain English, Second Edition (2009) by Doris P. Zimmerman


Purpose

Generally, ''Robert's Rules of Order'' is a guide for conducting meetings and making decisions as a group. The purpose of the book is "to enable assemblies of any size, with due regard for every member's opinion, to arrive at the
general will In political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. Its topics include politi ...
on the maximum number of questions of varying complexity in a minimum amount of time and under all kinds of internal climate ranging from total harmony to hardened or impassioned division of opinion." The book is designed for use in ordinary societies rather than
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, ...
, and it is the most commonly adopted parliamentary authority among societies in the United States. It is also recognized as "the most widely used reference for meeting procedure and business rules in the English-speaking world." The book states that it is "a codification of the present-day general parliamentary law". "General parliamentary law" refers to the common rules and customs for conducting business in organizations and assemblies. It does not refer to statutory legal requirements nor to common-law precedent derived from court judgments. In other words, the book is about procedures for meetings and not about what is "legal" (i.e. it is not a
law bookA law book is a book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of its chara ...

law book
). As a reference, it is designed to answer, as nearly as possible, any question of
parliamentary procedure 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 grou ...
that may arise. The Twelfth Edition contains 633 pages of text, and all of its original content was included because it "has at some time come up as a question of procedure somewhere". The completeness of the book was made so that organizations would not have to write extensive rules for themselves. In addition, members of different organizations could refer to the same book of rules.


Contents of current (12th) edition

The contents of the current (12th) edition of ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'' (RONR), published in 2020, include details on the types of groups that use the book, the ways that decisions could be made, and the various situations in which decisions are made.


Basics

The Introduction in the book provides a
history of parliamentary procedure The history of parliamentary procedure refers to the origins and evolution of parliamentary law used by deliberative assemblies. Origins '' Demeter's Manual'' traces the origins of parliamentary law, by which is meant orderly deliberation and a ...
and includes the background and history of Robert's Rules of Order. Rules in the book are based on the rights of the majority, of the minority (especially a strong minority that is greater than one third), of individual members, of absentees, and of all these together. Some fundamental principles upon which the book is based include: one question at a time; one person, one vote; and a vote being limited to members present. A group that uses the book is called a
deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a meeting of Collective, members who use parliamentary procedure. Etymology In a speech to the electorate at Bristol in 1774, Edmund Burke described the Parliament of Great Britain, British Parliament as a "deliberativ ...
. The types of deliberative assemblies are a
mass meeting In parliamentary law, a mass meeting is a type of deliberative assembly, which in a publicized or selectively distributed notice known as the call of the meeting - has been announced: (RONR) *as called to take appropriate action on a particular ...
, a local assembly of an organized society (local club or local branch), a
convention Convention may refer to: * Convention (norm), a custom or tradition, a standard of presentation or conduct ** Treaty, an agreement in international law * Convention (meeting), meeting of a (usually large) group of individuals and/or companies in a ...
, a
legislative body A legislature is 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 i ...
, and a
board Board or Boards may refer to: Flat surface * Lumber, or other rigid material, milled or sawn flat ** Plank (wood) ** Cutting board ** Sounding board, of a musical instrument * Cardboard (paper product) * Paperboard *Corrugated fiberboard *Fiberbo ...
. An organization may have rules which could include a
corporate charter Articles of incorporation, also referred to as the certificate of incorporation or the corporate charter, are a document or charter that establishes the existence of a corporation in the United States The United States of America (USA), comm ...
, a
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
or
bylaws A 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 in ...
, rules of order ( special rules of order and
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 ...
), standing rules, and customs. To conduct business, groups have meetings or sessions that may be separated by more than or be within a
quarterly time interval According to ''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 us ...
. The types of meetings are a regular meeting, a special meeting, an adjourned meeting, an
annual meeting File:Christina Magnuson group 2016.jpg, Annual meeting in 2015 of the ''Friends of the Confidencen, Ulriksdal Palace Theatre'' chaired by Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson An annual general meeting (AGM, also known as the annual meeting) is a me ...
, an
executive sessionAn executive session is a term for any block within an otherwise open meeting (often of a board of directors or other deliberative assembly) in which minutes are taken separately or not at all, outsiders are not present, and the contents of the discu ...
, a public session, and
electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow b ...

electronic
meetings. A member of a deliberative assembly has the right to attend meetings, make motions, speak in debate, and vote. The process of making a decision is done through a
motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its position (mathematics), position over time. Motion is mathematically described in terms of Displacem ...
, which is a proposal to do something. The formal steps in handling a motion are the making of a motion, having a second, stating the motion, having
debate Debate is a process that involves formal discourse on a particular topic, often including a moderator and audience. In a debate, argument In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the ca ...
on the motion, putting the motion to a
vote Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an Constituency, electorate, in order to make a collective decision making, decision or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or election campaigns. Democracy, Democracie ...

vote
, and announcing the results of the vote. Action could be taken informally without going through these steps by using
unanimous consent In parliamentary procedure 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, ma ...
. When making a choice, the basic principle of decision is
majority vote 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
. In situations when more than majority vote is required, the requirement could include a
two-thirds vote A supermajority, supra-majority, qualified majority, or special majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which is greater than the threshold of more than one-half used for a majority A majority, also call ...
,
previous notice In parliamentary procedure 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, ma ...
, or a vote of a
majority of the entire membership A supermajority, supra-majority, qualified majority, or special majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which is greater than the threshold of more than one-half used for a majority A majority, also calle ...
.


Motions

The book provides details about
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 including the motion to
ratify Ratification is a principal Principal may refer to: Title or rank * Principal (academia) The principal is the chief executive and the chief academic officer of a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational inst ...

ratify
. In addition, the book
lists A ''list'' is any set of items. List or lists may also refer to: People * List (surname)List or Liste is a European surname. Notable people with the surname include: List * Friedrich List (1789–1846), German economist * Garrett List (1943 ...
other motions and provides details (including explanations, forms, and examples) on these motions which include: * Subsidiary motions –
postpone indefinitely In parliamentary procedure 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, m ...
, amend, commit or refer,
postpone to a certain time In parliamentary procedure 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, maki ...
,
limit or extend limits of debate Debate in parliamentary procedure 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-maki ...
,
previous question In US parliamentary procedure 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, m ...
, and lay on the table *
Privileged 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 – call for the orders of the day, raise a question of privilege, recess, adjourn, and
fix the time to which to adjourn 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, ...
* Incidental motions –
point of order In parliamentary procedure 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, m ...
,
appeal In 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 influenced by its environment, is describ ...
,
suspend the rules In parliamentary procedure, a suspension of the rules allows a deliberative assembly to set aside its normal rules to do something that it could not do otherwise. However, there are rules that cannot be suspended. Explanation of use Rules are es ...
, objection to the consideration of a question,
division of a questionIn parliamentary procedure 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, maki ...
, consideration by paragraph or seriatim,
motions relating to methods of voting and the polls Deliberative assemblies – bodies that use parliamentary procedure 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 tha ...
, motions relating to nominations, request to be excused from a duty, and
requests and inquiries 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, a ...
(
parliamentary inquiry 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, a ...
,
request for information A request for information (RFI) is a common business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise ent ...
, request for permission (or leave) to withdraw or modify a motion, request to read papers, and request for any other privilege) * Motions that bring a question again before an assemblytake from the table, rescind/amend something previously adopted, discharge a committee, and reconsider Details for each motion include its purpose, when it could be made, if it is debatable, if it is amendable, the vote required for adoption, and if it could be reconsidered. The "order of precedence", or rank, of the motions is also described in detail.


Various topics

The second half of the book covers various topics in detail. Brief summaries of these topics are as follows: Depending on the situation, motions could be renewed, or made again. On the other hand, members should not use legitimate motions for dilatory and improper purposes to waste time. A
quorum A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a meeting of members Member may refer to: * Military jury, referred to as "Members" in military jargon * Element (mathematics), an object that be ...
, or minimum number of members, is required to be present at a meeting in order to validly conduct business. The business that is to come up in a meeting could be listed in an
order of business An agenda is a list of meeting activities in the order in which they are to be taken up, beginning with the call to order and ending with adjournment. It usually includes one or more specific items of business to be acted upon. It may, but is not r ...
or an agenda. Each member could get a chance to speak through assignment of the floor and
debate Debate is a process that involves formal discourse on a particular topic, often including a moderator and audience. In a debate, argument In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the ca ...
. Debate may be limited in the number of speeches and time and should be respectful to others at all times. Voting takes place to decide the course of action and it could be done in a multitude of ways, such as voice vote, standing vote, and ballot vote. Officers in an organization could be elected through the process of
nomination Nomination is part of the process of selecting a candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some kind of position; for example: * to be elected to an office ...

nomination
s and
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative dem ...

election
s. Each organization decides for itself which officers to have, but the minimum officers in a deliberative assembly are a presiding officer (usually "
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
" or "
chairman The chairperson (also chair, chairman, or chairwoman) is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a board Board or Boards may refer to: Flat surface * Lumber, or other rigid material, milled or sawn flat ** Plank (wood) ** Cutting ...

chairman
") and a
secretary A secretary, administrative professional, or personal assistant A personal assistant, also referred to as personal aide (PA) or personal secretary (PS), is a job title describing a person who assists a specific person with their daily busin ...

secretary
. The secretary keeps the
minutes Minutes, also known as minutes of meeting (abbreviation MoM), protocols or, informally, notes, are the instant written record of a meeting A meeting is when two or more people A people is a plurality of person A person (plural people ...
, or the official records of the proceedings, for each meeting. As part of their duties, the officers may have reports to give, such as a financial report given by the
treasurer A treasurer is the person responsible for running the treasury A treasury is either *A government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level executi ...

treasurer
. In addition, an organization may have a
board Board or Boards may refer to: Flat surface * Lumber, or other rigid material, milled or sawn flat ** Plank (wood) ** Cutting board ** Sounding board, of a musical instrument * Cardboard (paper product) * Paperboard *Corrugated fiberboard *Fiberbo ...
to handle business on behalf of the organization. Officers and boards only have such authority and powers that are given to them in the governing documents of the organization. There may also be
committee A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons subordinate to an assembly. A committee is not itself considered to be a form of assembly. Usually, the assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more fully than w ...

committee
s that are formed to assist the organization. The boards and committees may have reports to give as well. People may gather in
mass meeting In parliamentary law, a mass meeting is a type of deliberative assembly, which in a publicized or selectively distributed notice known as the call of the meeting - has been announced: (RONR) *as called to take appropriate action on a particular ...
s for a specific purpose or cause. One such purpose of the mass meetings could be for the intent of organizing a permanent society. Each organization has its basic rules contained in its
bylaws A 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 in ...
. The bylaws could describe the name of the organization and its purpose, the requirements to be a member or an officer, how meetings are scheduled, if there are boards or committees (or both), its
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 ...
, and how to amend the bylaws. Representatives from constituent groups may gather as delegates in conventions to conduct business on behalf of the organization. Conventions may consist of several meetings and may last for several days or more on an annual basis or other such infrequent interval. If members do not act according to the organization's rules, they could be subject to
disciplinary procedures In a deliberative assembly, disciplinary procedures are used to punish members for violating the rules of the assembly. Codes and rules According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), discipline could include censure, fine, suspension, ...
. Such action could range from
censure A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is the accepted rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political Politics (from , ) ...
to the extreme of expulsion from the organization. Officers could be disciplined by removal from office.


Charts, tables, and lists

The tinted pages (pages marked by a gray band along the outer edge) in the rear of the book contain the following charts, tables, and lists: (1) Chart for Determining When Each Subsidiary or Privileged Motion Is In Order, (2) Table of Rules Relating to Motions, (3) Sample Forms Used in Making Motions, (4) and (5) Motions and Parliamentary Steps, (6) Motions Which Require a Two-Thirds Vote, (7) Motions Whose Reconsideration Is Prohibited Or Limited, and (8) Table of Rules for Counting Election Ballots.


Additional information related to current edition

In addition to containing a summary of basic points from the current (12th) edition of ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'' (RONR), the following contents are unique to the current (3rd) edition of ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief'' (RONRIB)'':'' an example of an agenda, additional sample dialogues, frequently asked questions, an example of a call of a meeting, an example of a memorandum listing the
order of business An agenda is a list of meeting activities in the order in which they are to be taken up, beginning with the call to order and ending with adjournment. It usually includes one or more specific items of business to be acted upon. It may, but is not r ...
, and the following tables: (A) Handling Motions as chair, (B) When Chair Stands and Sits, (C) Conducting a Meeting as chair, (D) Table of Rules Relating to Motions, and (E) Words to Use as a Member. The Robert's Rules Association has also made the Eleventh Edition available in CD-ROM format (designed for installation on Windows PCs) through American Legal Publishing. The CD contains the current editions of ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'' and ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief'' as well as a Timekeeper's Guide,
Teller Teller or telling may refer to: People * Teller (surname) ''teler'') , variant = cs, Talíř :cs:Talíř (rozcestník), (cs); Jewish: Tellermann, Tellerman, Tellering, Tellerbaum, Tellerroth , footnotes = , nolinklanguage=yes Teller is the na ...
’s Report, Sample Rules for Electronic Meetings, various Forms, and resources for Ballot Voting and Understanding Secondary Amendments. For the first time, an e-book version of the current Twelfth Edition was released by the Robert's Rules Association. Any copy of Robert's Rules of Order that is downloaded online is likely an older edition (1915 or earlier) that is available in the
public domain The public domain consists of all the creative work A creative work is a manifestation of creativity, creative effort including Work of art, fine artwork (sculpture, paintings, drawing, Sketch (drawing), sketching, performance art), dance, wr ...

public domain
. Translations of any edition of Robert's Rules of Order into other languages have not been published by the Robert's Rules Association. Any translated copy of Robert's Rules of Order done by a third party may not accurately reflect the correct meaning in the target language.


Changes between editions

The following table lists some of the changes that were made between the editions of Robert's Rules of Order. The numbered pages may not correspond to the total number of pages in the edition due to additional material in the
preface __NOTOC__ A preface () or proem () is an introduction to a book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus define ...

preface
, introduction, and other miscellaneous pages that were not included in the numbering system. Generally, a fuller list and more details of the changes are found in the preface of each edition. A detailed list of changes for the current (12th) edition is provided on the website maintained by the Robert's Rules Association. All the changes were a result of questions and comments received from users.


Rule explanations

Starting in the period between the Tenth Edition and the Eleventh Edition, the authors released official interpretations of rules in the book onto the website maintained by the Robert's Rules Association. The interpretations from that period were later incorporated into the Eleventh Edition. In addition, the authors addressed common misunderstandings of the rules coming from frequently asked questions. Some of the misunderstandings involve: when the president can vote, if ex-officio members can vote, the definition of
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
, how
abstention Abstention is a term in election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office. Elections have been the usual mecha ...

abstention
s affect the vote, a " friendly amendment", "calling the question", "tabling" a motion, getting items on the agenda, and the contents of minutes. While these misunderstandings are of the rules in the current edition of ''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'', the organization may be governed by other rules which supersede these "default" rules. The official interpretations and addressed common misunderstandings were a result of questions posted in the Question & Answer Forum at the Official Robert's Rules of Order Web Site. This forum is actively moderated by members of the authorship team.


Application to specific organizations

In those cases in which the bylaws or other governing documents of an organization refer to "Robert's Rules of Order," certain rules in the book may be subordinate to other specified rules, including any conflicting provisions in applicable law, the corporate charter, the constitution or bylaws, and special rules of order.


Types of organizations

In the Question & Answer Forum on the website maintained by the Robert's Rules Association, members of the following types of organizations have posted questions regarding how the rules in the book apply to their specific organization:


Law-making bodies

Generally, ''Robert's Rules of Order'' is designed for ordinary societies. However, law-making bodies at the local level (such as a city council or a
county commission A county commission (or a board of county commissioners) is a group of elected officials collectively charged with administering the county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dic ...
) function similarly to boards of societies. The book has found application to such bodies. Such bodies are also subject to open meeting laws (Sunshine laws) and other applicable laws, all of which supersede any conflicting provisions in the book. On the other hand, legislative bodies at the state or national level have their own well-defined set of rules (such as ''
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 ...
''). However, a survey found that four state legislative chambers in the United States still use ''Robert's Rules of Order''.


Corporations

''Robert's Rules of Order'' is based on each member of a group having equal weight as expressed by vote. This book has found application in the corporate world, such as in
shareholder A shareholder (in the United States often referred to as stockholder) of a corporation is an individual or legal entity (such as another corporation, a body politic, a Trust law, trust or partnership) that is registered by the corporation as the ...
meetings and in board of director meetings. However, the rules have to be modified to account for when some individuals within the group have more power than others.


Parliamentarians

A
parliamentarianParliamentarian has two principal meanings. First, it may refer to a member or supporter of a Parliament, as in: *Member of parliament *Roundhead, supporter of the parliamentary cause in the English Civil War Second, in countries that do not refe ...
is an expert on
parliamentary procedure 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 grou ...
. To be effective consultants for the organizations they work for, parliamentarians are expected to be knowledgeable on ''Robert's Rules of Order''. 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 ...
(NAP) is the largest non-profit association of parliamentarians in the world. This organization bases its opinions and instruction upon ''Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised'' (12th ed.). Membership in this organization requires passing an exam which is based on the first half of the concise guide, ''Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief'' (3rd ed.). The
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 c ...
is another non-profit association of parliamentarians. This organization stresses proficiency and familiarity with a variety of parliamentary authorities, although it states on its website that "''Robert's Rules of Order'' is the most frequently used parliamentary authority". The website also states that it "is the premier manual on parliamentary authority" and "a 'must-have' text for every parliamentarian".


Youth organizations

Youth organizations, such as Business Professionals of America (BPA), Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL), HOSA-Future Health Professionals, 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 ...
,
SkillsUSA SkillsUSA is a United States career and technical student organization Career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) are vocational A vocation () is an occupation to which a person is especially drawn or for which they are suited, trained, ...

SkillsUSA
, and the
Technology Student Association The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a national student organization created to develop skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as business education. TSA aims to develop leadership, academic, and business ...
(TSA), sponsor parliamentary procedure competitions (such as Parli Pro) as part of their programs for their student members. These competitions are based on ''Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised''. 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 ...
have partnered with some of these organizations. ''Robert's Rules of Order'' are used in Congressional Debate (also referred to as Student Congress), an event put on by the National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA). ''Robert's Rules of Order'' is also used during
American Legion The American Legion, commonly known as the Legion, is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and ope ...
and
American Legion Auxiliary The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) a separate entity from the American Legion but shares the same values. Composed of spouses, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, and sisters of American war veterans. Founded in 1919, the ALA is dedicated to serv ...
Boys/Girls State programs and in Model United Nations conferences. While the chair of each committee in an MUN conference may sometimes deviate from the written rules for educational purposes, the format of the rules in the specific committees is mostly based on ''Robert's Rules of Order''. Another program in which ''Robert's Rules of Order'' may be used is Model Congress, although the rules in these programs may more closely resemble those in the legislative assemblies that the programs simulate.


Alternative rules for organizations

Even if an organization has adopted ''Robert's Rules of Order'', it can still adopt its own rules which supersede any rules in this book. The only limitations might come from the rules in a parent organization or from national, state, or local law. An example of a rule that organizations sometimes adopt is one that allows the use of proxy voting. Such a rule is not allowed unless the organization specifically provides for it in its bylaws.


Other parliamentary authorities

Parliamentarians have estimated that about 85 to 95 percent of organizations in the United States use ''Robert's Rules of Order''. The remaining percentage of organizations use other books on meeting procedures. Notable examples of such books on
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 ...
include ''The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure'', ''Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law and Procedure'', and ''Riddick's Rules of Procedure''. These books along with ''Robert's Rules of Order'' share the general idea of rule of the majority with respect for the minority. A difference may be a "simplification" of the rules. Henry M. Robert III responded to the simplification by saying the following: Also in response to the simplification was the publication of a supplemental guide to the official book (see #In Brief, ''In Brief'').


Consensus decision-making

In modern parliamentary procedure, the usual practice is having a proposal first, then discussion on this proposal with any modifications to it, and finally a vote on it, with majority vote deciding the issue if there are any disagreements. An alternative to this process is consensus decision-making. In this alternative, discussion of potential proposals is held first, followed by the framing of a proposal, and then modifying it until the group reaches a consensus, when there is no longer any disagreement. As a response to this alternative, the authors of ''Robert's Rules of Order'' stated their belief in using debate and majority vote as part of the process in making decisions for the group.: "Robert saw, on the other hand, that the evolution of majority vote in tandem with lucid and clarifying debate—resulting in a decision representing the view of the deliberate majority—far more clearly ferrets out and demonstrates the will of an assembly."


References


Citations


Primary sources

* *


External links


The Official Robert's Rules Of Order Web Site (robertsrules.com)
Site maintained by the Robert's Rules Association


"Look inside" (limited pages) of current editions

*''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'' (RONR, 12th ed., 2020) throug
Amazon.com
*''Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief'' (RONRIB, 3rd ed., 2020) throug
Amazon.com


Sites providing full text of older editions (from public domain)

The following sites are not maintained by the Robert's Rules Association and have no relation to the Official Robert's Rules of Order Web Site:

Full text of 1915 (4th) ed. (ROR) – This site is not related to the official site despite a similar domain name.

Full text of 1915 (4th) ed. (ROR)
rulesonline.com
Full text of 1915 (4th) ed. (ROR)
bartleby.com
Full text of 1915 (4th) ed. (ROR)
Project Gutenberg
Full text of 1876 (1st) ed. (original edition) {{DEFAULTSORT:Robert's Rules Of Order Meetings Group processes Group decision-making Parliamentary procedure Parliamentary authority 1876 non-fiction books