In parliamentary procedure, a point of order occurs when someone draws attention to a rules violation in a meeting of a deliberative assembly.
|In order when another has the floor?||Yes|
|Debatable?||No (but chair can permit explanation), unless it is submitted to the assembly for a vote|
|May be reconsidered?||No, unless it is submitted to the assembly for a vote|
|Vote required||Is ruled by the chair, unless it is submitted to the assembly for a vote (then it requires a majority vote)|
In Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), a point of order may be raised if the rules appear to have been broken. This may interrupt a speaker during debate, or anything else if the breach of the rules warrants it.The point is resolved before business continues.
The point of order calls upon the chair to make a ruling. The chair may rule on the point of order or submit it to the judgment of the assembly. If the chair accepts the point of order, it is said to be ruled "well taken". If not, it is said to be ruled "not well taken".
Generally, a point of order must be raised at the time the rules are broken or else it would be too late.For example, if a motion was made and discussion began on it, it would be too late to raise a point of order that the motion was not seconded. If such a motion was adopted without a second, it remains valid and not having a second becomes irrelevant.
Exceptions to the rule that a point of order must be raised at the time of violation include that a point of order may be raised at any time a motion was adopted in violation of the bylaws or applicable law, in conflict with a previously adopted motion (unless adopted by the vote to rescind it), or in violation of a fundamental principle of parliamentary law.
The ruling of the chair may be appealed to the assembly in most cases. A majority vote against the chair's ruling is required to overturn it.
A point of order is sometimes erroneously used to present a request for information or a parliamentary inquiry. If a member asks such a question, the chair should treat the question as the appropriate request.
Deriving from British practice, in the Australian House of Representatives it continues to be customary for a member raising a point of order while the House is voting to hold a sheet of paper over the top of their head.
In the Indian Parliament, both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, a point of order can raised in relation to the business before the House by any member of the parliament. The decision of the Chair is final and no debate is allowed on the point of order, the Chair may hear the members before giving the decision.
In the Irish Oireachtas (parliament), a point of order can be used in relation to order in the assembly. However, the ruling of the chair in this assembly cannot be appealed.
Until 1998 in the British House of Commons, it was required that a member raising a point of order while the House is voting be wearing a hat so they could be easily seen. Two opera hats were maintained in the House for this purpose.This practice was abolished in accordance with the findings of the Select Committee on the Modernisation of the House of Commons.
In the United States Senate, the chair's ruling on a point of order may be appealed by any Senator. 3⁄5 of the Senate's entire membership. Rule XVI, which prohibits normal legislation in appropriations legislation, may be waived by 2⁄3 of the Senate.Points of order with regard to the Budget Act or annual budget resolution may be waived by
The United States House of Representatives also allows points of order and appeals.
Cloture, closure, or, informally, a guillotine is a motion or process in parliamentary procedure aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for "the act of terminating something". It was introduced into the Parliament of the United Kingdom by William Ewart Gladstone to overcome the obstructionism of the Irish Parliamentary Party and was made permanent in 1887. It was subsequently adopted by the United States Senate and other legislatures. The name cloture remains in the United States; in Commonwealth countries it is usually closure or, informally, guillotine; in the United Kingdom closure and guillotine are distinct motions.
Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics 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.
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 or very close to it.
In parliamentary procedure, a division of the assembly, division of the house, or simply division is a method of taking a vote that physically counts members voting.
A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure, it is a debatable main motion that could be adopted by a majority vote. Among the forms that it can take are a stern rebuke by a legislature, a spiritual penalty imposed by a church, or a negative judgment pronounced on a theological proposition. It is usually non-binding, unlike a motion of no confidence.
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 gavel is a small ceremonial mallet commonly made of hardwood, typically fashioned with a handle. It is used almost exclusively in the United States in legislatures and courts of law, but is used worldwide for auctions. It can be used to call for attention or to punctuate rulings and proclamations and is a symbol of the authority and right to act officially in the capacity of a presiding officer. It is often struck against a sound block, a striking surface typically also made of hardwood, to enhance its sounding qualities. According to tradition, Vice President John Adams used a gavel as a call to order in the first U.S. Senate in New York in the spring of 1789. Since then, it has remained customary to tap the gavel against a lectern or desk to indicate the opening and closing of proceedings, and it is also used to keep the meeting itself calm and orderly.
In parliamentary procedure, unanimous consent, also known as general consent, or in the case of the parliaments under the Westminster system, leave of the house, is a situation in which no member present objects to a proposal.
In parliamentary procedure, the previous question is generally used as a motion to end debate on a pending proposal and bring it to an immediate vote. The meaning of this specialized motion has nothing to do with any question previously considered by the assembly.
A conference committee is a joint committee of the United States Congress appointed by the House of Representatives and Senate to resolve disagreements on a particular bill. A conference committee is usually composed of senior members of the standing committees of each house that originally considered the legislation.
A committee of the whole is a meeting of a deliberative assembly according to modified procedural rules based on those of a committee. The committee includes all members of the assembly, except that some officers may be replaced. As with other committees, the activities of a committee of the whole are limited to considering and making recommendations on matters that the assembly has referred to it; it cannot take up other matters or vote directly on the assembly's business. The purpose of a committee of the whole is to relax the usual limits on debate, allowing a more open exchange of views without the urgency of a final vote. Debates in a committee of the whole may be recorded but are often excluded from the assembly's minutes. After debating, the committee submits its conclusions to the assembly and business continues according to the normal rules.
Deliberative assemblies – bodies that use parliamentary procedure to arrive at decisions – use several methods of voting on motions. The regular methods of voting in such bodies are a voice vote, a rising vote, and a show of hands. Additional forms of voting include a recorded vote and balloting.
In parliamentary procedure, reconsideration of a motion may be done on a matter previously decided. The motion to "reconsider" is used for this purpose. This motion originated in the United States and is generally not used in parliaments. A special form of this motion is reconsider and enter on the minutes.
In parliamentary procedure, a motion to appeal from the decision of the chair is used to challenge a ruling of the chair.
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 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 Chair is the sole judge of order. A ruling of the Chair, once given, must be accepted and may be challenged only by way of substantive motion. It is grossly disorderly to cross-examine the Chair, by way of point of order or otherwise.