Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Incorrect? parliamentary authority


SaintCad
 Share

Recommended Posts

An organization has in their bylaws that the parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order, Revised.  It is clear that everyone assumes this means the latest version of Robert's Rules but is it the case that the controlling authority is actually Robert's Rules of Order, 6th ed.  (I think that was the last "Revised" edition)?

As a followup, the bylaws were written before 1970*, so do the bylaws automatically update to RONR?

 

 

*That's when the name was change to "Newly Revised", right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Guest Zev said:

The bylaws say "Revised" then "Revised" it is. In 1970 "Revised" is still "Revised."

I disagree.  I think the 11th edition is the parliamentary authority.  About the 4th unnumbered page at the front of the 11th edition, below where it says "Cite this Book", the following language appears:

"This Eleventh Edition supersedes all previous editions and is intended automatically to become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe "Robert's Rules of Order," "Robert's Rules of Order Revised," "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised," or "the current edition of" any of these titles, or the like, without specifying a particular edition."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Page vii (two pages before the start of Contents)* states that

"This Eleventh Edition supersedes all previous editions and is intended automatically to become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe "Robert's Rules of Order," "Robert's Rules of Order Revised," "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised," or "the current edition of" any of these titles, or the like, without specifying a particular edition." [emphasis added

So your organization is automatically updated to the current edition.

Page vii goes on to say that if your organization has specified a particular edition (eg: 5th edition), then you're stuck with that one until / unless you change.

See page 588 for the recommended wording in the sample bylaws.

*Note that page vii is not, itself, numbered. But if you count back from the first numbered page (x), you'll find it on page vii.

Edited by Atul Kapur, PRP "Student"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Atul Kapur, PRP "Student" said:

*Note that page vii is not, itself, numbered. But if you count back from the first numbered page (x), you'll find it on page vii.

Thanks.  I have quoted that statement several times before and have always described it as "one of the unnumbered pages at the front of the book".  Referring to it as page vii makes sense and causes the first actual page to be page i.

Edited by Richard Brown
Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

"This Eleventh Edition supersedes all previous editions and is intended automatically to become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe "Robert's Rules of Order," "Robert's Rules of Order Revised," "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised," or "the current edition of" any of these titles, or the like, without specifying a particular edition."

Well, I'm sure that's right, but I'm not sure why it's right.  If TSC contained the text "This is intended automatically to become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe "Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised," Robert's Rules of Order, 11th Edition" or the "the current edition of" any of these titles, or the like, without specifying a particular edition," we wouldn't be obligated to respect that.  If we've adopted a particular version of Robert's, why should what some other book says that means matter?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This Eleventh Edition supersedes all previous editions and is intended automatically to become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe "Robert's Rules of Order," "Robert's Rules of Order Revised," "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised," or "the current edition of" any of these titles, or the like, without specifying a particular edition. If the bylaws specifically identify one of the ten previous editions of the work as parliamentary authority, the bylaws should be amended to prescribe "the current edition of 'Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'" (see p. 588).

The purpose of this quote is to sell books. By no stretch of the imagination can some sentence in RONR supersede an organization's bylaws and render them to no effect. Did it ever occur to anyone that if an organization decided to specifically mention a particular edition of a parliamentary authority that that act was performed for a reason? Go ahead and disagree all you want, but until the bylaws are amended the Revised edition is what they will use. Personally, I think it is ridiculous this "automatically" thing, but the authors have their opinion concerning this subject and I have mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

This Eleventh Edition supersedes all previous editions and is intended automatically to become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe "Robert's Rules of Order," "Robert's Rules of Order Revised," "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised," or "the current edition of" any of these titles, or the like, without specifying a particular edition. If the bylaws specifically identify one of the ten previous editions of the work as parliamentary authority, the bylaws should be amended to prescribe "the current edition of 'Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'" (see p. 588).

The purpose of this quote is to sell books. By no stretch of the imagination can some sentence in RONR supersede an organization's bylaws and render them to no effect.

What sentence are you referring to? I don't see any that makes such an assertion.

There can be no doubt but that the current edition of RONR is the 11th edition of Robert's Rules of Order, and, as such, supersedes all previous editions, but nothing in RONR says that it supersedes an organization's bylaws.

4 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

 Did it ever occur to anyone that if an organization decided to specifically mention a particular edition of a parliamentary authority that that act was performed for a reason? 

Yep. That's why RONR says that, if they do, they should be amended. The current edition is better. 

4 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

 Go ahead and disagree all you want, but until the bylaws are amended the Revised edition is what they will use. 

Which one? I guess they will have to decide.

4 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

Personally, I think it is ridiculous this "automatically" thing, but the authors have their opinion concerning this subject and I have mine.

Well, my guess is that the authors' opinion concerning their own intent, as expressed in the passage quoted above, is likely to be a more accurate expression of that intent then anyone else's.  🙂

And my own opinion is that more than ninety-nine percent of all organization's which have adopted Robert's Rules as their parliamentary authority, without specifying a particular edition, fully intend to refer to the most recent edition.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/9/2018 at 9:10 PM, SaintCad said:

An organization has in their bylaws that the parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order, Revised.  It is clear that everyone assumes this means the latest version of Robert's Rules but is it the case that the controlling authority is actually Robert's Rules of Order, 6th ed.  (I think that was the last "Revised" edition)?

As a followup, the bylaws were written before 1970*, so do the bylaws automatically update to RONR?

 

 

*That's when the name was change to "Newly Revised", right?

Unless your bylaws specify a particular edition (i.e., by number) it is my opinion also that the current edition (11th as of this writing) is automatically in force.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/10/2018 at 3:43 AM, Guest Zev said:

This Eleventh Edition supersedes all previous editions and is intended automatically to become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe "Robert's Rules of Order," "Robert's Rules of Order Revised," "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised," or "the current edition of" any of these titles, or the like, without specifying a particular edition. If the bylaws specifically identify one of the ten previous editions of the work as parliamentary authority, the bylaws should be amended to prescribe "the current edition of 'Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised'" (see p. 588).

The purpose of this quote is to sell books. By no stretch of the imagination can some sentence in RONR supersede an organization's bylaws and render them to no effect. Did it ever occur to anyone that if an organization decided to specifically mention a particular edition of a parliamentary authority that that act was performed for a reason? Go ahead and disagree all you want, but until the bylaws are amended the Revised edition is what they will use. Personally, I think it is ridiculous this "automatically" thing, but the authors have their opinion concerning this subject and I have mine.

If you carefully read the quote, you will see that it is quite clear that the text is not intended to supersede anyone’s bylaws (and certainly cannot do so).

The part you have bolded suggests that if an organization specifies that the 6th edition (for instance), is the organization’s parliamentary authority, then that edition is the organization’s parliamentary authority. The current authorship team, however, is of the opinion that the organization should amend the bylaws to instead prescribe the current edition of RONR. Of course, nothing is forcing the organization to do so.

The rest of the quote provides that, if no specific edition is specified, then it is intended that the current edition shall automatically become the organization’s parliamentary authority. It is, as always, up to the organization to interpret its own bylaws. So if the organization does in fact interpret the use of the phrase “Robert’s Rules of Order Revised” to refer only to an edition with that exact title, and to exclude all later editions that have been dubbed “Newly Revised,” the organization is of course free to do so. I concur with Mr. Honemann, however, that this is probably not what was intended.

Indeed, since we are told that the bylaws were written before 1970, it seems especially likely that the drafters simply used the title “Robert’s Rules of Order Revised” because that was the title of the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order at that time. It seems highly unlikely that the authors intended that “We’ll update to the new edition unless they add a new word to the title, because that’s just crazy.” :)

On 5/9/2018 at 9:39 PM, Joshua Katz said:

Well, I'm sure that's right, but I'm not sure why it's right.  If TSC contained the text "This is intended automatically to become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe "Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised," Robert's Rules of Order, 11th Edition" or the "the current edition of" any of these titles, or the like, without specifying a particular edition," we wouldn't be obligated to respect that.  If we've adopted a particular version of Robert's, why should what some other book says that means matter?

Well, for starters, I don’t know that saying that later editions of one parliamentary authority take precedence over earlier versions of the same authority is at all the same thing as saying that one parliamentary authority is intended to replace an entirely different parliamentary authority.

As to your question, it is not clear to me that this organization has, in fact, adopted a “particular version” of Robert’s.

Edited by Josh Martin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Benjamin Geiger said:

Why was the title changed in the first place?

It appears that the intention was to indicate that the changes were more extensive than with other new editions. The text refers to the 4th and 7th editions as “complete” or “general” revisions. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. xlv-xlviii.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

It appears that the intention was to indicate that the changes were more extensive than with other new editions. The text refers to the 4th and 7th editions as “complete” or “general” revisions. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. xlv-xlviii.

Just as a matter of history, many things that were covered in Robert's 1923 Parliamentary Law (PL) were incorporated in the 7th edition (1970).  PL was said to be "in complete harmony" with the 4th edition (1915). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...