Guest Joe Arcaro

RONR vs Past Precedent

10 posts in this topic

Our club wants to change our bylaws

 

From:

 

SEC. 1. Parliamentary procedure.  The rules of parliamentary procedure set forth in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used as a guide.

 

To:

 

SEC. 1. Parliamentary procedure.  The rules of parliamentary procedure set forth in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used as a guide where existing (club name) tradition and procedures are not already in practice.

 

There is really only one person who claims to know what we have always done and in most cases that person has been proven wrong.  I believe that since there is no physical documentation for past practices and no procedures were ever written down, RONR should be the only deciding arbiter.  Is there any RONR or other argument against allowing this change?

 

I am familiar with Page 19 of the 11th Edition.  What I want to do is keep that as valid for my club and not allow them to negate Page 19 by adding this to the bylaws.

 

 

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RONR can't tell you what to put in your bylaws (although there are suggestions, such as the suggesting language for adopting RONR), so there's no rule on point - your bylaws outrank RONR.  I would suggest that neither of those alternatives are good, for several reasons, most notable the "guide" language.  Explicitly making your parliamentary authority subservient to your traditions and practices, in my opinion, is a worse idea though.

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I think you will have nothing but trouble as long as your bylaws say RONR shall be used "as a guide".

Why not use the time-tested language used on pages 580 and 588 of RONR?

I imagine the intent  of some of your members is to give custom a higher standing than it is given in RONR.  It seems to me that if that is the issue, that you can add language, after the standard language about RONR controlling whenever not in conflict with the society's bylaws, add "or established customs".  That would elevate your established customs to a step above RONR.  I don't recommend it, for the reasons you stated, but it is an option.  The chair, or the assembly if there is an appeal, would decide on a case by case basis whether something is in fact an "established custom".

 

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I have been told about the "guide" problem before.  I just can't get it changed.

I was hoping that since RONR saw fit to highlight Custom in the 11th Edition there might have been some further justification.

Thanks.

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FWIW, some authorities, such as AIP's "The Standard Code",  do rank established custom above the rules in the parliamentary authority. RONR does not. It ranks custom last. 

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3 hours ago, Guest Joe Arcaro said:

Our club wants to change our bylaws

 

From:

 

SEC. 1. Parliamentary procedure.  The rules of parliamentary procedure set forth in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used as a guide.

 

To:

 

SEC. 1. Parliamentary procedure.  The rules of parliamentary procedure set forth in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used as a guide where existing (club name) tradition and procedures are not already in practice.

 

There is really only one person who claims to know what we have always done and in most cases that person has been proven wrong.  I believe that since there is no physical documentation for past practices and no procedures were ever written down, RONR should be the only deciding arbiter.  Is there any RONR or other argument against allowing this change?

 

I am familiar with Page 19 of the 11th Edition.  What I want to do is keep that as valid for my club and not allow them to negate Page 19 by adding this to the bylaws.

RONR has its own suggested wording for adopting RONR as the society's parliamentary authority, which can be found here: http://www.robertsrules.com/authority.html

I'd say the danger of ranking unwritten "traditions" above RONR, beyond the difficulty of simply remembering them, is heated debate over how long-standing a practice must be for it to be a "tradition."

2 hours ago, Guest RONR vs Past Precedent said:

I have been told about the "guide" problem before.  I just can't get it changed.

I was hoping that since RONR saw fit to highlight Custom in the 11th Edition there might have been some further justification.

Custom was highlighted in the 11th edition to clarify the role of custom. What is said on this matter in the 11th edition has always been the rule - it simply has not been as clearly stated until now.

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On 4/11/2017 at 4:40 PM, Richard Brown said:

FWIW, some authorities, such as AIP's "The Standard Code",  do rank established custom above the rules in the parliamentary authority. RONR does not. It ranks custom last. 

Not anymore, though prior editions of the TSC do. 

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On 4/11/2017 at 7:12 PM, Josh Martin said:

 

I'd say the danger of ranking unwritten "traditions" above RONR, beyond the difficulty of simply remembering them, is heated debate over how long-standing a practice must be for it to be a "tradition."

Custom was highlighted in the 11th edition to clarify the role of custom. What is said on this matter in the 11th edition has always been the rule - it simply has not been as clearly stated until now.

While I agree that a society is better off relying on a parliamentary authority, a society is free to elevate custom in general above the adopted parliamentary authority.   It could choose to do so by establishing a parliamentary authority in the following manner:

“The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws, any special rules of order the Society may adopt, and those established customs and usages of the Society.” 

I am familiar with one legislative body that has such a rule. 

I would suggest that if the society wishes to retain a custom that varies from RONR, it adopt a special rule or bylaw to that effect.    I would also suggest that it would be much more advisable to that the customs be codified into written rules. 

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On 4/11/2017 at 0:42 PM, Guest Joe Arcaro said:

Is there any RONR or other argument against allowing this change?

How about, "Do we really want to let one member make all the rules?"

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