Rev Ed

Suspending Rules of Order

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I have a quick question.  I know that a By-law which creates a rule of order can be suspended, just like any other rule of order, however would the organization, when creating such a By-law (or series of By-laws) could not add a statement that "Any Rules of Order found in theses By-laws cannot be suspended."  I do not see a reason why this would not be allowed, especially as the By-laws would supersede anything found in RONR (in this case the rule about suspending rules of order.)

I am thinking that any such statement would be acceptable, but I thought that I would ask for feedback.

Thanks for any feedback.

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Yes, a statement in the bylaws that certain special rules of order, or even all rules of order cannot be suspended is permissible and enforceable, though perhaps not wise.

The same goes for bylaw provisions that are in the nature of rules of order. 

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On 4/16/2017 at 0:28 PM, Rev Ed said:

I have a quick question.  I know that a By-law which creates a rule of order can be suspended, just like any other rule of order, however would the organization, when creating such a By-law (or series of By-laws) could not add a statement that "Any Rules of Order found in theses By-laws cannot be suspended."  I do not see a reason why this would not be allowed, especially as the By-laws would supersede anything found in RONR (in this case the rule about suspending rules of order.)

I am thinking that any such statement would be acceptable, but I thought that I would ask for feedback.

Thanks for any feedback.

It doesn't seem like a good idea. But if it's going to be done, I think it would be less confusing to not specifically mention rules of order, but rather to say something like this: "No rule contained in these bylaws may be suspended except for any rule whose suspension is explicitly provided for in these bylaws. Other rules of the society may be suspended if, and in the manner that, their suspension is provided for in those rules or in the society's parliamentary authority."

Edited by Shmuel Gerber

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4 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

It doesn't seem like a good idea. But if it's going to be done, I think it would be less confusing to not specifically mention rules of order, but rather to say something like this: "No rule contained in these bylaws may be suspended except for any rule whose suspension is explicitly provided for in these bylaws. Other rules of the society may be suspended if, and in the manner that, their suspension is provided for in the society's parliamentary authority."

I would go with this:

" Any rule in these Bylaws in the nature of a rule of order cannot be suspended, unless the particular rule specifically provides for its own suspension."

 

The group that adopted it uses RONR.  :)

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Oh, I'm inclined to prefer Shmuel's version, since it avoids the implication that any rule in the bylaws that isn't in the nature of a rule of order can be suspended.  :)

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15 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Oh, I'm inclined to prefer Shmuel's version, since it avoids the implication that any rule in the bylaws that isn't in the nature of a rule of order can be suspended.  :)

 

A rule in the bylaws cannot be suspended, in the normal case, unless the rule is in the nature of a rule of order or the rule provides for its own suspension.  The second one seems to only remove the option of suspending a rule in the nature of a rule of order. 

 

The line, " Other rules of the society may be suspended if, and in the manner that, their suspension is provided for in the society's parliamentary authority," seems to be superfluous.  It merely restates the existing rule. 

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I'm aware of the fact that a rule in the bylaws cannot be suspended unless it is in the nature of a rule of order or provides for its own suspension, but I suggest to you that adding a provision to the bylaws which refers only to rules in the nature of rules of order as rules that cannot be suspended may create an implication that perhaps others can be.

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On 4/16/2017 at 11:20 PM, J. J. said:

I would go with this:

" Any rule in these Bylaws in the nature of a rule of order cannot be suspended, unless the particular rule specifically provides for its own suspension."

 

23 hours ago, J. J. said:

A rule in the bylaws cannot be suspended, in the normal case, unless the rule is in the nature of a rule of order or the rule provides for its own suspension.  The second one seems to only remove the option of suspending a rule in the nature of a rule of order. 

But if the society wishes to prohibit the suspension of rules of order in the bylaws, they are erasing the distinction between rules of order and other rules in the bylaws, so it seems perverse to craft a rule that specifically applies to rules of order in the bylaws. I agree with Dan that such a rule could be taken to imply that other rules in the bylaws --  those that are not rules of order -- can be suspended.

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23 hours ago, J. J. said:

The line, " Other rules of the society may be suspended if, and in the manner that, their suspension is provided for in the society's parliamentary authority," seems to be superfluous.  It merely restates the existing rule.

The reason I suggested that line is that whatever the bylaws say about suspending rules will have to work in harmony with the rule in the bylaws that states, "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 and any special rules of order the Society may adopt." Rather than having people's minds spin around until they can figure out whether suspending the rules in the parliamentary authority runs afoul of this rule in the bylaws, I think it's better to state plainly that it doesn't. However, I will now amend my (inadvisable) rule to state as follows:

"No rule contained in these bylaws may be suspended except for any rule whose suspension is explicitly provided for in these bylaws. Other rules of the society may be suspended if, and in the manner that, their suspension is provided for in those rules or in the society's parliamentary authority."

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13 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

 

But if the society wishes to prohibit the suspension of rules of order in the bylaws, they are erasing the distinction between rules of order and other rules in the bylaws, so it seems perverse to craft a rule that specifically applies to rules of order in the bylaws. I agree with Dan that such a rule could be taken to imply that other rules in the bylaws --  those that are not rules of order -- can be suspended.

I do not agree,

Having adopted RONR, the society is in a position where a rule in the bylaws cannot be suspended, unless that rule:

A.  Provides for its own suspension.

B.  Is in the nature of a rule of order.

That bylaw removes case B, but it leaves the remainder of the bylaw exists.

 

If there was a bylaw that said, "No one may enter the inner sanctum, except Shmuel and J. J.," and the words "and J. J." are removed, only Shmuel can enter the inner sanctum.  That would not say that, everyone else except J. J. could go into the inner sanctum.

Also p. 589, #4 would apply.

 

Perhaps an even more succinct way of expressing this would be:

"No bylaw may be suspended, unless that bylaw provides for its own suspension."

 

 

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16 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Nice try, J.J., but no cigar.  :)

I think it works.  It says nothing about if rules other than a bylaw can be suspended; that would default to the parliamentary authority says about other rules.

Under  589, #3 , a rule that said, "No bylaw may be suspended," would yield to a clause in the bylaws that said a specific bylaw can be suspended, including something that isn't in the nature of a special rule.

The phrase, " Other rules of the society may be suspended" kind of opens the possibility that a standing rule could be adopted to suspend a something in nature of a rule of order.

 

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6 hours ago, J. J. said:

The phrase, " Other rules of the society may be suspended" kind of opens the possibility that a standing rule could be adopted to suspend a something in nature of a rule of order.

Well, if you think that it's possible for a standing rule to have the effect of suspending a rule of order, then so be it. But if it's actually a rule of order because it suspends a rule of order, then it's not a standing rule. So either way, there's no problem.

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20 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

Well, if you think that it's possible for a standing rule to have the effect of suspending a rule of order, then so be it. But if it's actually a rule of order because it suspends a rule of order, then it's not a standing rule. So either way, there's no problem.

I don't, in the general case, but I think the bylaw could be interpreted that way.

I do think that the bylaw, "No rule in these Bylaws many be suspended, unless that rule provides for its own suspension," would work.

The advisability of adopting such a bylaw, is a different question.  :)

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