This article reports largely the perspective of a single source . (December 2019)
A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure to make decisions.
In a speech to the electorate at Bristol in 1774, Edmund Burke described the British Parliament as a "deliberative assembly," and the expression became the basic term for a body of persons meeting to discuss and determine common action.
Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised describes the following characteristics of a deliberative assembly:
A member of a deliberative assembly has the right to attend meetings, and make and second motions, speak in debate, and vote.Organizations may have different classes of members (such as regular members, active members, associate members, and honorary members), but the rights of each class of membership must be defined (such as whether a "member" in a class has the right to vote). There may also be ex-officio members, or persons who are members by virtue of some other office or position they hold. Ex-officio members have the same rights as other members.
Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised identifies several types of deliberative assemblies.
A mass meeting, which is an unorganized group meeting open to all individuals in a sector of the population who are interested in deliberating about a subject proposed by the meeting's sponsors. Examples include meetings to discuss common political concerns or community interests, or meetings to form a new society..
A local assembly of an organized society, which is a membership meeting of a local chapter or branch of a membership organization.Examples include local chapter meetings of organizations like the Sierra Club.
A convention, which is a meeting of delegates who represent constituent units of a population. Conventions are not permanently established bodies, and delegates are normally elected for only one term. A convention may be held by an organized society, where each local assembly is represented by a delegate.
A legislative body, which is a legally established public lawmaking body. It consists of representatives chosen by the electorate. Examples include national legislatures such as parliaments, and local government councils such as state legislatures, regional assemblies and city councils.
A board, which is an administrative, managerial, or quasi-judicial body. A board derives its power from an outside authority that defines the scope of its operations. Examples include an organized society's or company's board of directors and government agency boards like a board of education.
A committee is a body of one or more persons subordinate to a deliberative assembly. A committee is not itself considered to be a form of assembly.
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 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 authority.
Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, rules, and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies.
A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons that is subordinate to a deliberative assembly. Usually, the assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more fully than would be possible if the assembly itself were considering them. Committees may have different functions and their types of work differ depending on the type of the organization and its needs.
Deliberative democracy or discursive democracy is a form of democracy in which deliberation is central to decision-making. It adopts elements of both consensus decision-making and majority rule. Deliberative democracy differs from traditional democratic theory in that authentic deliberation, not mere voting, is the primary source of legitimacy for the law.
A majority, also called a simple majority to distinguish it from similar terms, is the greater part, or more than half, of the total. It is a subset of a set consisting of more than half of the set's elements. For example, if a group consists of 20 individuals, a majority would be 11 or more individuals, while having 10 or fewer individuals would not constitute a majority. "Majority" can be used to specify the voting requirement, as in a "majority vote", which means more than half of the votes cast.
A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly necessary to conduct the business of that group. According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, the "requirement for a quorum is protection against totally unrepresentative action in the name of the body by an unduly small number of persons." In contrast, a plenum is a meeting of the full body.
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. Supermajority rules in a democracy can help to prevent a majority from eroding fundamental rights of a minority. Changes to constitutions, especially those with entrenched clauses, commonly require supermajority support in a legislature. Parliamentary procedure requires that any action of a deliberative assembly that may alter the rights of a minority have a supermajority requirement, such as a two-thirds vote.
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 required to, include specific times for one or more activities. An agenda may also be called a docket, schedule, or calendar. It may also contain a listing of an order of business.
A convention, in the sense of a meeting, is a gathering of individuals who meet at an arranged place and time in order to discuss or engage in some common interest. The most common conventions are based upon industry, profession, and fandom. Trade conventions typically focus on a particular industry or industry segment, and feature keynote speakers, vendor displays, and other information and activities of interest to the event organizers and attendees. Professional conventions focus on issues of concern along with advancements related to the profession. Such conventions are generally organized by societies or communities dedicated to promotion of the topic of interest. Fan conventions usually feature displays, shows, and sales based on pop culture and guest celebrities. Science fiction conventions traditionally partake of the nature of both professional conventions and fan conventions, with the balance varying from one to another. Conventions also exist for various hobbies, such as gaming or model railroads.
An ex officio member is a member of a body who is part of it by virtue of holding another office. The term ex officio is Latin, meaning literally 'from the office', and the sense intended is 'by right of office'; its use dates back to the Roman Republic.
In parliamentary procedure, a motion is a formal proposal by a member of a deliberative assembly that the assembly take certain action. Such motions, and the form they take, are specified by the deliberate assembly and/or a pre-agreed volume detailing parliamentary procedure, such as Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised; The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure; or Lord Critine's The ABC of Chairmanship. Motions are used in conducting business in almost all legislative bodies worldwide, and are used in meetings of many church vestries, corporate boards, and fraternal organizations.
In the United States, a parliamentarian is an expert on parliamentary procedure who advises organizations and deliberative assemblies. This sense of the term "parliamentarian" is distinct from the usage in most other countries to mean a member of parliament.
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.
Debate in parliamentary procedure refers to discussion on the merits of a pending question; that is, whether it should or should not be agreed to. It is also commonly referred to as "discussion".
In a deliberative assembly, disciplinary procedures are used to punish members for violating the rules of the assembly.
In parliamentary procedure, requests and inquiries are motions used by members of a deliberative assembly to obtain information or to do or have something done that requires permission of the assembly. Except for a request to be excused from a duty, these requests and inquiries are not debatable nor amendable.
The history of parliamentary procedure refers to the origins and evolution of parliamentary law used by deliberative assemblies.
Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics, and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies. General principles of parliamentary procedure include rule of the majority with respect for the minority.
A citizens' assembly is a body formed from citizens or generally people to deliberate on an issue or issues of local or national or international importance. The membership of a citizens' assembly is randomly selected, as in other forms of sortition. It is a mechanism of participatory action research (PAR) that draws on the symbolism, and some of the practices, of a legal trial by jury. The purpose is to employ a cross-section of the public to study the options available to the state on certain questions and to propose answers to these questions through rational and reasoned discussion and the use of various methods of inquiry such as directly questioning experts. In many cases, the state will require these proposals to be accepted by the general public through a referendum before becoming law.
According to Robert's Rules of Order, a widely used guide to parliamentary procedure, a meeting is a gathering of a group of people to make decisions. This sense of "meeting" may be different from the general sense in that a meeting in general may not necessarily be conducted for the purpose of making decisions.