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Can a committee move to Suspend the Rules?


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Hi all, 

From what I am reading about Suspend The Rules, (25:1) it makes it clear that an assembly can use this motion, that I know; although, from what I have read, it seems that this is not something a committee can explicitly do (unless a special rule of order/bylaw clause states that they can of course). This is based from my reading, there is nothing to my knowledge that says it one way or another. 

So, can a committee move to suspend the rules? 

Thank you all in advance! 

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Our good friend Mr. Hunt wondered about this some time ago.  Start with the answer in post #4 and keep reading.  :)https://robertsrules.forumflash.com/topic/18428-limiting-debate-in-committee/?tab=comments#comment-95847  I fixed the link so that after you read the question you can jump to Mr. Honemann's reply and keep going.

 

Edited by George Mervosh
Fixed the Link
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41 minutes ago, JustinPappano said:

From what I am reading about Suspend The Rules, (25:1) it makes it clear that an assembly can use this motion, that I know; although, from what I have read, it seems that this is not something a committee can explicitly do (unless a special rule of order/bylaw clause states that they can of course). This is based from my reading, there is nothing to my knowledge that says it one way or another. 

So, can a committee move to suspend the rules? 

The motion to suspend the rules is in order in a committee as a general matter, although the specific instances in which it is in order may be more limited in a committee. A committee cannot suspend rules imposed upon it by its parent assembly or suspend rules in the society's parliamentary authority which specifically require the committee to seek authorization from the parent assembly to take a particular action.

For instance, RONR quite clearly provides that motions to limit debate are not in order in committees unless so authorized by the parent assembly (with very limited exceptions permitted as discussed in RONR (12th ed.) 50:25n7). The rules could not be suspended so as to permit the committee, at its own discretion, to limit debate in a particular instance. Similarly, if the parent assembly adopted specific rules or instructions for the conduct of business in a particular committee or in committees generally, those rules could not be suspended by the committee unless the rule provided as much.

Outside of those considerations, however, I see no reason why a motion to Suspend the Rules would not be in order in a committee. I expect when you say that "from what I have read, it seems that this is not something a committee can explicitly do," you are referring to the rule that "A committee may not adopt its own rules except as authorized in the rules of the society or in instructions given to the committee by its parent assembly in a particular case." RONR (12th ed.) 50:26. While it is certainly correct that a committee cannot adopt rules for its proceedings unless authorized to do so by its parent assembly, I do not think this means that the motion to Suspend the Rules is categorically prohibited. Adopting rules and suspending rules are not the same thing.

Is there a particular usage of Suspend the Rules that you had in mind?

Edited by Josh Martin
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