Parliamentary procedure is the accepted rules, ethics, and customs governing the conduct of meetings of an assembly or organization. Its object is to allow orderly deliberation upon questions of interest to the organization and thus to arrive at the sense or the will of the majority of the assembly upon these questions. Self-governing organizations follow parliamentary procedure to debate and reach group decisions, usually by vote, with the least possible friction.
Parliamentary procedure is often referred to as "parliamentary law," "parliamentary practice," "legislative procedure," "rules of order," (e.g., Robert's Rules of Order). Rules of order consist of rules written by the body itself (referred to as "bylaws"), supplemented by a published parliamentary authority adopted by the body. A parliamentary structure conducts business through motions, which cause actions. Members bring business before the assembly by introducing main motions. Subsidiary motions ae used to alter main motions, or delay or hasten their consideration. Parliamentary procedure allow for rules in regards to nomination, voting, debate, disciplinary action, appeals, and the drafting of organization charters, constitutions, and bylaws.
Parliamentary procedure is based on the principles of allowing the majority to make decisions effectively and efficiently ("majority rule"), while ensuring fairness towards the minority and giving each member (or delegate) the right to voice an opinion. Voting determines the will of the assembly. The accepted authority is Robert's Rules of Order (12th Edition, 2020).
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