Standing Orders for the Conduct of General Meetings
BCS Inc. Regulation No. 2:
Standing Orders for the Conduct of General Meetings and Meetings of the Committee of Management of the Association
This Regulation was made by a resolution of the Committee of Management of the Association, in accordance with Rule 27 of the Constitution, at its meeting on 12th June 2003, under the common seal of the Association. The purpose of this Regulation is to provide for the orderly conduct of General Meetings, a Committee of the Whole thereof, and Meetings of the Committee of Management of the Association.
These Standing Orders shall be applicable to all General Meetings and Committee Meetings unless a contrary intention is expressed, and shall be construed subject to the Constitution.
Meetings shall, subject to the presence of a quorum, start at the time set out on the notice, and shall, subject to the discretion of the meeting, continue until all business on the Agenda is disposed of.
All business on the Agenda of a meeting that has lapsed for want of a quorum shall be included on the Agenda of the next meeting and shall take precedence over new business.
Any member desiring to speak at a General Meeting shall rise in his or her place and when called upon by the Chairman shall address the Chair. If two or more members rise simultaneously, the Chairman shall call upon the member that was noticed first.
When the Chairman rises to speak any member standing shall resume his or her seat.
Except in meetings of the Committee of Management, no member other than the mover of a motion or an amendment shall speak to it until it has been seconded. A motion or amendment lapsing for want of a seconder need not be recorded in the minutes.
A motion or amendment before the Chair shall not be withdrawn except by its mover and by leave of the meeting. No motion shall be withdrawn while any amendment is being discussed or has been adopted.
If required to do so by the Chair, the mover of any motion or amendment shall submit it in writing.
A motion or amendment before the Chair may be reworded by the mover subject to leave of the meeting.
Except at meetings of the Committee of Management, no member shall speak more than once to any question, except that the mover of a motion (but not of an amendment) shall have a right of reply, which reply shall close the debate. An amendment shall constitute a separate question from the original motion and from any other amendment.
A member moving a motion or amendment, and a member seconding a motion or amendment, without speaking to it may reserve the right to speak to it subsequently.
When an amendment is before the Chair discussion shall be confined to that amendment. No further amendment shall be moved until the amendment before the Chair has been disposed of, but a member may foreshadow further motions or amendments. If there are several foreshadowed motions or amendments they must be put in the order in which they were foreshadowed.
The Chairman shall, as far as practicable, call on speakers for and against a motion or amendment alternately, subject to the right of the seconder to speak immediately after the mover. If two consecutive speakers have both argued for or against a motion or an amendment, and there is no member wishing to argue the opposite view or, in the case of a motion, to move an amendment, the motion or the amendment shall (subject, in the case of a motion, to the mover’s right of reply) be put without further debate.
Any member may raise a point of order, which shall take precedence over all other business, and which shall be open to discussion. The point must be raised at the time the alleged irregularity occurred. An explanation or contradiction shall not constitute a point of order.
Any member disagreeing with the Chairman’s ruling on a point of order may move dissent. The Chairman shall then vacate the Chair and such motion shall be put forthwith without debate.
On an equality of voting, the Chairman shall declare the question resolved in the negative.
A member who has not already participated in the debate may at any time, whether another speaker has the floor or not, move, “That the question be now put”, which motion, if accepted by the Chair, shall be put without amendment or debate. The Chairman shall have absolute discretion to accept or refuse the motion. The Chairman may also of his own volition put the question if he feels that adequate discussion has taken place. In either case the mover of a motion shall retain his right of reply. If an amendment is before the Chair, the closure motion shall be deemed to close the debate on the amendment only.
A member may at any time move, “That the speaker be no longer heard” or, “That the speaker be heard for a further (specified) period only”. Such motions shall be put without amendment or debate. No other motion, except the closure motion or a motion dealing with the speaker’s time, shall be moved while a speaker has the floor.
During the discussion of a motion (but not of an amendment), a member who has not already participated in the debate on the motion may move, “That the question be not now put”. This motion shall be open to debate, and shall be debated together with the original motion. If carried, the original motion shall not be dealt with further. If lost the original motion shall be put forthwith, subject to the mover’s right of reply. The motion may be foreshadowed while an amendment is before the Chair, but in no case shall it be put until all amendments have been disposed of.
A member may move, “That the debate [or meeting] be now adjourned”. Discussion shall be in order, but only amendments as to time or place shall be permitted. The motion shall take precedence over other business before the Chair except points of order.
A General Meeting may at any time during the discussion of a motion or an amendment resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole.
Standing Orders 1-21 or any of them may be suspended by a majority of those present. A motion to this effect shall be open to debate.
No member shall reflect on the vote of a meeting, except on a motion for the rescission of any resolution previously adopted. No member shall reflect on a Section of the Constitution or a Standing Order, except on a motion (of which due notice was given) to amend or repeal such Section or Order.
Notwithstanding anything hereinbefore contained, any decision made by a validly-constituted meeting shall not be void by reason only of a departure from these Standing Orders that was not detected until after the decision had been made.
Any matters not dealt with in the above Standing Orders shall be governed by the principles set out in the latest available edition of the book Guide for Meetings and Organizations by Nicholas E. Renton.