W. J. Sidis
1929 - 1930
[MS, presumably unpublished, found in Helena Sidis's files.]
The Order Rules as drafted in this code are designed for a new type of organisation, called the group form, in which the form calls for more informal and flexible procedure, and greater degree of self-rule by the rank and file, than is permitted by the regular parliamentary law.
The group form of organisation contemplates the division of an association of any size into small groups, averaging about ten members, and not exceeding 25 members. Delegates elected by these groups are similarly organised into "committees of first rank," which are units similar to the groups, electing delegates similarly to "committees of second rank," and so on until the governing committee of the central organisation is reached, the central organisation can re-align members and groups as much as it sees fit, and handles the admission of members through agencies by it.
Such a type of organisation, designed to bring membership and management closer together (though it seem to bring them further apart), and designed to substitute informal discussion for the cumbersome debating and balloting procedures now in vogue, and necessarily so where assemblies are large must call for simplified parliamentary procedure. It is the design of this Code of Order Rules to supply this need.
That standard parliamentary procedure is more cumbersome, even for larger assemblies, than it need be, has been recognised by numerous organisations which have made small alterations in regular parliamentary procedure to ease out many unnecessary formalities. However, most assemblies will take some standard parliamentary manual as a basis for their rules of order, and, out of pure inertia, make few changes in amending rules of the manual only when they become intolerable. Attempts have also been made to substitute parliamentary procedure of other countries, in a vain effort to simplify matters.
In 1918, the Central Branch of the Boston Socialist Club made a real departure in parliamentary procedure. Although Robertís Rules of Order were retained nominally as a basis of parliamentary law by this organisation, a set of rules of order, presumably a set of amendments to Robertís was adopted after Robert's book had been thoroughly overhauled for items needing changing and omission, and each amendment adopted made a sufficiently basic change in the fundamentals of procedure that, in a small number of amendments, most of the procedure was overhauled.
Those rules, however, were still adapted for a large assembly, and could therefore not be used for the present purposes. However, they have been used as a basis for departure, since the experience with the Central Branch rules of order proved that an organisation in which considerable time had formerly been wasted in parliamentary tactics and disputes was enabled to do its business in much better time.
It is assumed that the assembly will be one whose purpose will include the transaction of important business in which the membership is interested, and that it must be an efficient business unit, not merely a debating club. Red tape and technicalities must, accordingly, be cut to the absolute minimum. This is in view of the fact that the rules are primarily intended for the projected Geprodis Association, which is to be an organisation of the group form for transacting every type of business serving the individual. The units are groups of Association employees, who must help in the transaction of business and do everything in the most expeditious way possible. There are planned also to be affiliated organisations following the group form as a model, for which the present code will serve as a useful guide.
The code is divided into two parts, namely, for non-tribunal meetings and for tribunal sessions. The former is the ordinary business meeting of an assembly, the latter is for the purpose of settling disputes among members or constituents―or in fact, any disputes which may be placed under jurisdiction of the unit by the constitution of the organisation. A third part covers constitutional questions and a model group form constitution is appended.
It is trusted that this will prove a useful guide for procedure in this new type of organisation.
RULES FOR NON-TRIBUNAL SESSIONS
(Ordinary Business Meetings)
1. In a meeting of any unit, the floor is obtained by addressing the chairman in such style as is prescribed by the rules of the organisation, and the chairman grants the privilege of the floor by naming the member requesting it. Such a call on the chairman should not be recognised if another member already has the floor, and, in case of conflicting demands for the floor, the chairmanís judgment should be used to determine the one who first called for the floor. A demand for the floor, in case of no conflict, should not be refused when the meeting is open for debate, and a refusal or a misdecision in case of dispute or conflict as to possession of the floor may be submitted to immediate vote of the meeting.
2. The chairman may use discretion in permitting members to speak without formally asking for the floor and getting it, provided there is no contest for the floor, and no attempt on the part of different members to speak at the same time or to interrupt one another; in which case the chairman may require formal demand for the floor to be made, or may announce who actually has the floor. There the floor is taken possession of thus by tacit consent, the same privileges shall apply as if the floor had been formally granted.
3. Members having the floor may be interrupted only (a) on a point of order; (b) for a point of information to be given or asked, where it may affect the course the speech itself; (c) for an undebatable motion or call for emergency action. In such cases, where action taken on the interrupting matter does not prevent, the original holder of the floor may finish the unexpired time on the floor. Interruptions, except on points of order, should be postponed by the chairman whenever reasonably feasible to do so, to prevent unnecessary delay.
4. The chairman may have the privilege of the floor only be relinquishing the chair to another member until the speech is finished. Otherwise, a chairmanís speaking should be limited to the requirements of the duties of that office; but the chairman may make a motion without relinquishing the chair.
5. Motions may be made by any member, including those with voice but no vote, and including the chairman, and should be recognised and announced by the chairman when made. The chairman may require a seconder only if there is any question as to the relevancy of the motion, or if a challenge is raised as to its being made for delay. In the case of motions not pertaining to the order of business as it is being considered the chairman may require postponement of the "new business" part of meeting, or to such subsequent part as it may pertain to.
6. The use of the floor, whether formally or informally obtained, shall be limited to five minutes unless the meeting votes for an extension. A motion for extension of time may be made immediately at the expiration of the time-limit, and shall require a majority vote; such motion is undebatable if made for a special occasion only and immediately on the expiration of the time-limit or immediately on the member losing the floor as a result of this time limit. A motion made for special occasion in this way maybe waived by the member whose time on the floor it is desired to extend, and, if so waived, shall not be submitted to vote.
7. The chairman may, when no member actually has the floor, and when such motion would otherwise be in order, make a motion without relinquishing the chair; but he must relinquish the chair and ask for the floor if he wishes to speak on the motion.
8. Motions made by other than the chairman must be made ably by a member having the floor, except when otherwise provided.
9. Ordinary motions, after the end of debate, or undebatable motions immediately on being made, shall be put to a vote of the meeting, excluding all members with voice but no vote, but including the chairman. Voting may be done in any of the following forms:
(a) By calling for objections; the chairman asking if there are any objections to the passage of the motion, and noting the number of members so objecting.
(b) By ayes or noes; the chairman first calling on members in favor to say "aye," and then on members against the motion to say "no"; if any doubt arises as to a majority, the voting may be gone through again by a show of hands (calling on the members to raise a hand) instead of ayes and noes.
(c) By show of hands as described in the preceding division of this section.
(d) By polling the members of the group; the chairman stating who is for and against according to the debate, giving those members an opportunity to change their votes, and then asking each remaining member separately to vote.
It shall be in the discretion of the chairman which method of voting to use in any particular case; but, in case any member doubts the correctness of the chairmanís decision as to the result of the vote, such member may call for a show of hands or a polling.
10. The following are the general classifications of motions:
(a) Main motions, forming the basis of group discussion;
(b) Amendments, consisting of additions to or alterations in main motions;
(c) Subsidiary motions, undebatable unless otherwise provided, consisting of proposals as to the disposition of main motions and their amendments;
(d) Privileged motions, consisting of motions on other subjects which are allowed, due to their special importance, to be interrupt discussion of main motions.
After the disposal of a subsidiary or privileged motion, the original discussion shall be returned to unless the decision under the interrupting motion prevents.
11. Any number of amendments may be moved to any debatable motion, except in special cases where otherwise provided. No amendments may be amended, but any amendment passed by the group shall be considered as amending all prior amendments as well as the original motion. Amendments are made in the same manner, and under the same conditions, as other motions; and no motion not in the subsidiary or privileged class can be made while a motion is being considered, unless it can be made as an amendment to the main motion under consideration.
12. An amendment may be adopted by the mover of a motion or of a prior amendment, thus combining the two; if the original motion or prior amendment was seconded, the seconder's consent is required for this. A motion or an amendment may be similarly withdrawn by its mover, subject to the same condition as the seconder; if a motion so withdrawn has any amendments copending with it, the first such amendment to have been moved becomes the main motion. A motion or an amendment withdrawn by the mover may be moved again as a further amendment.
13. Discussion in a group may be allowed on any order of business even when no motion is before the house, provided speech is relevant to the order of business then before the meeting. But a motion to call notice or to close or limit discussion may be made by any member, and shall be undebatable; these are subsidiary motions applicable to discussion without motion as well as to main motions.
14. When a motion to which amendments have been made is ready to be voted on, voting shall start with the amendments, the amendments being voted on in the reverse order to that in which they were made, and the main motion being voted on last of all. Prior amendments shall be considered as amended according to the action of the meeting on subsequent amendments already voted on, and may be omitted if the action of the meeting on those subsequent amendments has disposed of the prior amendment. The main motion is affected similarly to prior amendments.
15. The motion to call notice, when decided in the affirmative, shall have the effect, when no main motion is before the meeting, of limiting debate so that no member can have the floor more than once unless discussion is re-opened by the making of a main motion; when a motion is already before the meeting, no member may have the floor more than once until the question is put to a vote. After notice has been called by the meeting, then, if no motion is before the meeting, debate closes if every member desiring the floor has spoken without a motion having been made to re-open discussion; if a motion is before the meeting, then, after notice is called, the question must be put to vote after every member desiring the floor has spoken.
16. In the event of the passage of a motion to close or to limit discussion when no main motion is before the meeting, debate may be re-opened by the making of a debatable motion; if a main motion is already before the meeting, the main question (the main motion and all its amendments) must be put to vote at the close of debate as determined by the subsidiary motion.
17. When a privileged motion is before the meeting, then, at the end of discussion as closed by the previous question, or a motion to close or limit discussion, or a call of notice, the privileged motion only, together with any permissible amendments to it, shall be put to vote, and thereafter discussion shall be open as it would have been at the time the privileged motion was made, except in so far as the situation may be altered by action taken under the privileged motion.
18. Call of notice, and motions to close or limit discussion, shall be acceptable as amendments to one another.
19. A motion for postponement of consideration of any subject or motion before the meeting ranks as a subsidiary motion, and is undebatable; but other postponement motions relating to the same question may be made as amendments. Postponements may be to a definite period, or indefinite; an definite postponement being until such subsequent meeting as the motion or question may be regularly brought up again. No postponement shall permanently debar consideration of a subject or motion; and a subject may be tabled by the motion to postpone indefinitely.
20. Any action taken by any meeting may be re-opened by making a motion upon the subject at a subsequent meeting; or discussions preparatory to such motion may also be made at any subsequent meeting. Re-opening may be made at the same meeting, after some other action on another subject has been taken by the meeting, providing that the mover of the new motion can bring grounds for re-opening and the motion is seconded. The chairman may use discretion, however, in barring such re-opening motions if obviously intended for mere delay, but not when made at a subsequent meeting. The fact that a question has been postponed to some later period shall not be a bar to such re-opening.
21. The motion to resolve the meeting into sub-groups may be made at any time during consideration of any debatable question, and shall be undebatable. If such motion is passed, the chairman shall divide the membership present into sub-groups or with delegates therefrom, to arrive at further agreements on the question before the house; and sub-groups may also agree to re-group their respective members. When this informal discussion has fulfilled its function as far as possible, the sub-groups shall reassemble, and the meeting shall be resumed where it left off.
22. If a motion consists of a number of separate items or paragraphs, a subsidiary and undebatable motion may be made to take up the motion seriatim (that is, item by item, in order in which they appear). When such a motion is passed, each item of the main motion shall be taken up and discussed separately and in order, and, after each item has been finally acted on, the next item following shall be automatically before the meeting for consideration.
23. The motion to take up seriatim may be applied also to reports, recommendations or other divisible and debatable questions, and shall have a similar effect.
24. When a question is taken up seriatim, the meeting's action on any item shall be considered as amending or disposing of subsequent items, in the same manner as prior amendments to a motion are affected under Rule 14.
25. The agenda (or order of business) of a meeting shall be made up by the Secretary before each meeting, and placed before the Chair; and it may be amended by order of the meeting, but a two-thirds vote shall be required for the omission of any item properly on the agenda. Such omitted items shall not, however, be barred from consideration, it may be taken up under the heading of unfinished business or of new business; or, if those items have been omitted by special order of the meeting, then after all items on the agenda have been disposed of.
26. The agenda for a regular meeting of a group, except in so far as it may be altered by the organisation, shall be as follows (items not applying to a given meeting being dropped from the list when the agenda is made up):
(a) Calling the meeting to order.
(b) Election of chairman (in the case of meeting not constitutionally provided with a permanent chairman).
(c) Reading of minutes of previous meeting.
(d) Rollcall of members (only in the case of groups whose rules require this).
(e) Election of Delegates, Officers and Committees (only at meeting when such elections are due; the agenda should list the office to be filled by election).
(g) Reports of Officers, Delegates, Members, and Committees.
(h) Unfinished Business.
(i) New Business
27. Except in the cases of groups constitutionally not empowered to choose their own chairman (i.e., where chairman is chosen by some higher body), or where provision exists in the constitution or standing rules of the organisation providing for a permanent chairman holding office for stated periods, a chairman for the meeting shall be chosen by the meeting immediately after its coming to order.
28. Where a standing chairman is provided for constitutionally, the chairman shall call the meeting to order; where the chairman is elected at each meeting, the meeting shall be called to order by the secretary or other standing officer of the group, as provided for in the standing rules (the secretary if the rules do not otherwise provide; or should no such officer be present, by any member present and undertaking to all the meeting to order. The member calling the meeting to order shall act as chairman pro tempore until a chairman is elected, and shall be first choice for chairman pro tempore when the elected chairman is required to relinquish the chair for any reason.
29. Committees shall be elected by vote of the group which they represent, unless otherwise provided in the constitution or standing rules of the organisation, or unless the group decides on some other means of selecting committees.
30. Election of any officer, delegate, or committee, shall proceed as follows: Nominations shall first be called for, any member being privileged to nominate a candidate (including himself or herself), and nominees being give the opportunity to decline the nomination; after all nominations have been made. If they are no more in number than the number of delegates to be chosen or the number of members the committee is to have, a vote shall be taken on confirming their election, in the same manner as if a motion had been made to that effect; if more nominations have been made and accepted, a vote shall be taken for each nominee in order, by calling for ayes (omitting noes) or by show of hands, or the requisite number of nominees being declared elected, beginning with the one having the highest number of votes, and proceeding downward in order of the number of votes given the respective candidate. In case of a tie in the number of votes preventing final decision as to the election, the matter shall be determined by voting again with only the tying nominees being voted on.
31. In the absence of constitutional provisions to the contrary, any officer, delegate, or committee member may be recalled by the body, and, if passed, another election shall be held immediately to fill the vacancy, the recalled person being ineligible. A motion to recall the chairman is a privileged motion and the chairman must relinquish the chair while it is pending, as well during the pending election.
32. In the absence of constitutional provisions to the contrary, any officer, delegate, or committee member may be recalled by the body electing them. A motion to recall such officer may be made by such body, and if passed, another election shall be held immediately to fill the vacancy, the recalled person being ineligible. A motion to recall the chairman is a privileged motion, and the chairman must relinquish the chair while it is pending, as well as during the resulting election.
33. In bodies electing their own standing chairman, the election of the chairman, at meetings where such election is required, shall take place together with the election of other officers, instead of before the reading of the minutes.
34. Where a new elective office is created during a meeting (e.g., if a new committee is provided for), then, unless the meeting votes otherwise, an election to fill that office shall take place immediately following. The same rule shall apply in case of vacancy in an elective office occurs during a meeting (e.g., in case of resignation or recall).
35. Except where otherwise constitutionally provided, the term of office for any elective post is until resignation, recall, or disability. Where a fixed term is constitutionally provided, however, an officer, delegate, or committee member elected to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of such fixed term, should, unless otherwise provided, hold office for the unexpired portion of the term only.
36. In the case of a group electing its delegates to higher bodies to whose instructions the group is subordinate, the secretary of the group shall, unless otherwise provided, be the delegate to that one of such higher bodies whose instructions take precedence of those of any bodies to which the group sends delegates.
37. Under the order of business headed "Reading of minutes of previous meeting," the secretary shall read the minutes of the previous meeting, which shall account of proceedings as recorded at the previous meeting. Opportunity shall be given the members to make corrections, and the final action should be the passing of a motion to accept as read (if no corrections) or as amended (if corrections have been made). If no else makes such motion after no further corrections are heard from, it shall be the duty of the chair to do this and to call for objections (Rule 9a) at once.
38. The secretary's duty shall include handling of the correspondence of the group as well as the taking and reading of the minutes. Under the part of the agenda headed "communications" the secretary shall read communications received by him for the group, and after the reading of each communication, the membership of the group may discuss and move instructions based thereon, as well as any matter arising out of the communication, or may order the communication placed on file. Certain routine communications should, however, be exempted from reading by organisation rules.
39. Under the heading "Reports of Officers, Delegates, Members and Committees," all officers, delegates and committees for the group shall report successively on their activities, and, after each report, action may be taken on it by the meeting, as well as on all matter brought up for consideration in such reports; committees shall report through any member or members thereof that such committee may designate. Each member of the group shall also submit an individual report on actions as members of the group; and, in case of a group consisting wholly or partly of delegates from other bodies, the member's report shall also include a report of activities of the body so represented.
40. The acceptance of any report of a member, officer, delegate, or committee, shall ratify the actions reported as authorised, but shall not include the adoption of any recommendations made in the report. If the meeting proposes no action on a report, the chairman should call for objections on acceptance of the report.
41. The heading "Unfinished Business" on the agenda shall include all matter laid over from previous parts of the same meeting, or from previous meetings of the group, and not otherwise provided for; and all matter which might have been brought up in a previous part of the meeting, but which was not so brought up for any reason.
42. Under the portion of the meeting head "New Business" in the agendas, any subject may be brought up for consideration, whether such matter has been previously brought up or not.
43. When no further business is brought up for consideration, the chairman should call for objections on the question of adjournment. Adjournment shall also take place three hours after the meeting is called to order, unless the meeting votes for an extension of time; and a motion to adjourn may be made at any time during the meeting, but shall be privileged unless it is brought up as an emergency measure, for specific reasons either sated or obvious to the entire group.
44. Motions to take a temporary recess, or to adjourn to another place, may be made under the circumstances as simple adjournment motions.
45. Points of order may be made at any time, and, if necessary, may interrupt a member having the floor; these shall consist of objections to the consideration of a question, or to a speech or action taken, on the ground of violations of standing rules of the organisation, or irrelevancy to the motion when one is before the meeting, or to the order of business when no motion is being considered. The chairman should answer such an objection by ruling the action in question either in order or out of order, and, if out of order, the chair shall, if possible, suggest a way of bringing the action within the rules (e.g., altering the form of a motion, postponement to a subsequent portion of the meeting, etc.) The chairman may rule an action out of order, or make suggestion of alteration, as above, without waiting for another member to raise a point of order.
46. Any decisions of the chair on questions of order or on other questions of organisation rules may be appealed from by any member; such an appeal shall rank as a privileged motion, temporarily replacing all other business before the meeting. When such appeal is made, the chairman shall relinquish the chair, and the appellant shall explain the grounds of appeal, after which the appellate (the regular chairman) shall be allowed a defense; upon which a vote shall be taken immediately. The decision of the meeting shall prevail, but, in the case of a group subject to authority of a higher body, the group shall be responsible to that higher body for a decision contravening the standing rules of the organisation.
47. In the case of a group authorised to elect its own chairman, a motion to recall the chairman may be added to any appeal from decision of the chair, either by the appellant or by any other member; such recall shall then be voted on immediately after the appeal decision is announced.
48. All doubts as to whether any action in the meeting is in order shall be resolved, in so far as possible, in favor of the action being in order.
49. The chairman may be called on at any time for aid in matters of parliamentary procedure, and should, on request, give advance decisions on points of order; such information or decisions may be appealed from in the same manner as on a decision on an actual point of order.
50. Points of information, whether the information is called for or offered, shall have privileges similar to points of order, but should not be allowed to interrupt a member having the floor unless it might affect the course or the effect of the speech being made. Relevancy to the matter under consideration must be considered in allowing a point of information to interrupt any discussion.
51. Points of personal privilege arise when statements are made on the floor regarding any member personally, and that member is privileged to reply. Disputes arising therefrom should referred to a tribunal session, if possible.
52. A temporary suspension of any of the standing rules of the group, except as otherwise specifically provided in the constitution or standing rules, shall be allowed by a two-thirds vote of the group only; this shall not, however, allow a group to suspend operation of any rules passed for it by a higher body under whose instructions the group is; such a motion for suspension of rules shall be a privileged motion. All other motions, except as specifically otherwise provided for, including amending the standing rules, shall require a majority of those present and voting for their passage, and shall be considered lost in case of a tie vote.
53. Where a standing rule is adopted for the protection of absent members, it shall not be suspended or amended until the meeting following its presentation, all members of the group bring notified in the meantime of the pendency of the motion, which shall be brought up under "unfinished business" at the following meeting.
54. Motions or discussions brought up by an emergency shall take such degree of privilege as may be required by the exigencies of the emergency.
55. A majority of any group shall constitute a quorum, except as otherwise provided by a constitution or standing rules of the organisation. When a quorum is not present, no business may be done except to adjourn and, if so desired, to fix a time and place for reassembling; actions which have to be taken in the meantime by the group may then be taken by the officers or committees under whose control such action may fall, but subject to ratification by the next meting of the group. If at three successive meetings no quorum is present, the members present the third time, will be authorised to meet and take full action on behalf of the group in spite of there being no quorum present; this autorisation of such non-quorum meeting may, however, be voided by the group or by a higher body if it appears that the members present at such meeting connived at the absence of the remaining members.
56. In the case of a meeting where not over three members are present, the code of order need not be applied, and all discussion may be the way of informal conversation; this rule shall apply to the sub-groups when a group resolves itself into them.
57. All funds and property of a group-formation organisation shall belong exclusively to the organisation as a whole, as represented by the central managing body, and no funds or property shall belong to any group or other subdivision of the organisation. This managing body shall elect, as a standing officer, a Treasurer, whose duty shall be to take care of such funds and keep correct account of them. Any funds left for the access of divisions of the organisation shall be considered as branches of the central treasury, and shall be in charge of officers appointed by the Treasurer of the central organisation, or otherwise as the central managing body or the constitution may provide; they shall be responsible directly to the Treasurer of the central organisation.
58. The central managing body of the organisation shall, in addition, have an officer called Membership Recorder, whose duty shall be handling the admission of members and assigning them to groups, as well as making all necessary alignments and shifts in groups. The Membership Recorder, or his duly authorised agents, shall pass on the qualifications of all membership applicants, admit them if qualified, and assign them to groups. Groups, or groupings thereof, may be merged, split, or rearranged, as the Membership Recorder and his agents may require. All membership applications shall be directed to the Membership Recorder's department, and shall not be passed on in meeting.
59. No member shall be suspended or expelled except after a trial before a tribunal session of an authorised unit of the organisation. An expulsion must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the unit before which the trial is held.
60. Groups should be kept to an average of ten members, and the maximum membership of a group is 25, in the absence of constitutional provisions to the contrary. The average membership should be kept up by the process of splitting, merging, or rearranging group memberships.
RULES FOR TRIBUNAL SESSIONS
61. Tribunal sessions of any group or of any division of the organisation are sessions to arbitrate, settle, or decide upon disputes pertaining to the rights of individuals or groups of individuals in or toward the organisation where questions of fact are involved, as well as any investigation into and action on questions or disputes of fact that the standing rules of the organisation may require to be decided in tribunal sessions. Such questions may only be decided in a tribunal session of the proper tribunal units given authority over the question under the standing rules of the organisation.
62. Where a tribunal question arises in a non-tribunal session of a group authorised to dispose of that question of that question in a tribunal session, the group may vote to resolve itself into a tribunal session on adjournment of the non-tribunal session, or at a specified time during the meeting (preferably after the "unfinished business" section of the meeting), or at a specified later time. If a non-tribunal meeting thus resolves itself into a tribunal session, the original meeting should be resumed on finishing the tribunal session, and the time involved in the tribunal session shall not be counted as part of the three hours between start and adjournment time of the non-tribunal meeting.
63. Any group authorised to hold tribunal sessions shall have, as one of its officers, an Arbitrator, elected in the same manner as other standing officers of the group. The Arbitrator's duty shall be to preside over tribunal sessions, except where disqualified for any reason from doing so. In the case of a group having a standing chairman, that chairman shall be Arbitrator, unless the organisation rules provide otherwise.
64. Tribunal sessions shall normally be held with the Arbitrator alone acting as tribunal member (or, in cases where the Arbitrator is required to relinquish, the Arbitrator pro tempore). However, at the demand of any party in interest in the questions to be presented, or at the instance of the Arbitrator, or by vote of a non-tribunal session of the group, or by instruction of a higher body to which the group is subsidiary, a plenary session must be called, at which the tribunal member shall be all members of the group not directly interested in, or partial in regard to, the question under consideration.
65. In disputes in which the Arbitrator is an interested party, or otherwise partial, the Arbitrator must relinquish to some other member of the group to whom these objections do not apply. In case the Arbitrator fails to do so in such case, it shall be grounds for complaints against the Arbitrator personally, or for appeal (even before the hearing, or at any stage thereof) to a plenary session. The Arbitrator, instead of relinquishing to another member, may demit to a plenary session or to a higher tribunal body to which appeal from the Arbitrator's decision might have been taken if rendered.
66. No decision shall be rendered by any tribunal body in any dispute until all interested parties have had a full and fair opportunity to be heard before said tribunal body. In case of default in appearance by any interested party, after due notice to appear, a decision against such party may be rendered by default, but only after as through an investigation of the case both for and against said party as would have been required had there no default. Decisions so rendered by default shall be effective only subject to re-opening by subsequent appearance of defaulting; after such re-opening, however, a second re-opening may be allowed only under the same conditions as in non-defaulting cases.
67. Any interested party in any dispute being heard before a tribunal body must present his or her case personally, and not by representative unless such representative shows due authority from the party represented, as well as sufficient and authenticated reason why personal appearance is impossible. In no event shall paid attorneys or paid representatives be allowed to represent any party before a tribunal body of the organisation, and any waivers of rights agreed to by the representative of a party to a dispute shall be effective only subject to revocation by such party personally.
68. It shall be the duty of a tribunal body to investigate the truth in regard to any matter being heard before it; for which purpose the tribunal members may investigate independently of allegations made by any interested parties or their witnesses. Such an investigation may be initiated by the Arbitrator in his discretion; or, in the case of plenary session, it may be done on the motion of a tribunal member, the tribunal retiring to discuss and consider the motion in the same manner, and subject to like rules, as in a non-tribunal session.
69. The Arbitrator, or any member of the organisation delegated by the Arbitrator, should, if practicable, find out before the tribunal hearing the version of each interested party as to the matters in dispute, both as to facts and as to claims, in so far as may be requisite to define the issues between parties. If this cannot be done before the opening of the hearing, it shall be done at the commencement of the tribunal hearing itself; the tribunal body being empowered to examine parties separately at its own discretion.
70. The agenda or order of business of a tribunal session shall be basically as follows, subject to alteration by the tribunal body during the course of the session, as new circumstances may arise:
- Calling the meeting to order;
- Definition of the issues involved;
- Presentation of contentions and claims of each party to the dispute;
- Rebuttals and summaries by each party to the dispute;
71. Under the order of business headed "definition of the issues involved," the point in dispute shall be stated, and the issues between the parties as well, in so far as said issues have already been ascertained; in so far a s such issues have not been definitely ascertained, it is under this order of business that the various parties should be examined for the purpose of defining the issues in dispute.
72. Under the order of business calling for presentation of claims of the various parties, the parties to the dispute shall be called in the following order: First, parties presenting the question to the tribunal body, in the order in which they were introduced into the dispute. Rebuttals and summaries shall be made in the reverse order.
73. Where new parties to a dispute are added during the course of a hearing, the session may be postponed if absolutely necessary to give the new parties an opportunity to participate; otherwise, the session shall be continued and presentation of claims and rebuttals re-opened in so far as may be necessary to allow the new parties full participation in the hearing.
74. A postponed session shall be treated as a continuation of the original session.
75. Motions and discussions under each order of business may be conducted similarly to the procedure for non-tribunal sessions, subject to such special rules as may be laid down by the organisation or the group. The following provisos, however, should be observed for tribunal sessions:
- The Arbitrator is chairman in the case of a plenary session, and only tribunal members may vote.
- Parties to the dispute, or other interested parties, have a voice, but no vote and may have the privilege of the floor, and may make motions or raise points of order, but only during such parts of the session as the tribune members may permit their presence.
- Witnesses to facts involved in the dispute have the privilege of the floor only when called upon by the tribunal membership; and any interrogation of such witnesses by others than tribunal members shall be addressed through the Arbitrator.
76. Where an Arbitrator acts alone, his decision is final on all motions made by others at the session taking place before him; subject to appeals to plenary sessions or to higher bodies.
77. Full opportunity shall be given to all parties to present their respective versions of the matters in the dispute at the tribunal hearing, as well as to advance their respective claims and contentions with respects to it; and, immediately following testimony by witnesses, full opportunity shall be given to all opposing parties to controvert such testimony. However, this shall not prevent the tribunal body from hearing each party or each witness separately and out of the presence of the others, if in the opinion of the tribunal body such procedure will aid in ascertaining the actual facts of the case. Similarly, witnesses shall be permitted full and free opportunity to present their version of facts relevant to the matters in dispute, and shall not be subjected to threatening or bulldozing tactics, or to other similar tactics intended to confuse their testimony or to extort confessions. Violation of these rules shall be a case for membership charges against the tribunal members or other parties violating the rule, whether on appeal from the tribunal or whether the charges are made separately.
78. In a plenary session, the tribunal members shall retire, or order the retirement of all others than tribunal members, whenever a motion requires to be debated among the tribunal members alone, or whenever the tribunal session decides it is necessary to do so to further the hearings. An undebatable motion to retire may be made as an undebatable motion. Similarly, when a motion is made before the session, after all interested parties have spoken, the tribunal members may vote to retire for final discussion and voting.
79. When each interested party to the dispute makes a presentation of claims or a rebuttal, such party may present witnesses to be examined fur substantiation of statements made on such occasion, and opposing parties shall have the opportunity thereafter to suggest lines of inquiry in controversion thereof; and the tribunal members may add evidence resulting from their previous investigation (Rule 6B) in support or controversion of claims and arguments presented, giving all interested parties opportunity to controvert such evidence. Witnesses may also be presented by tribunal members following the period allowed for the case of any party, in aid of the investigation of the facts concerning the matters in dispute. Documentary or circumstantial evidence may be presented in the same manner as witnesses, at the instance of any interested party or of any tribunal member.
80. The tribunal members may at any stage of the hearing suggest plans or reconciliation to settle the dispute in question, or any parts of it which may in their opinion be settled at the time and occasion. In the case of hearings before the Arbitrator alone, he may make such suggestions at any time; in plenary sessions, it shall be proposed by a vote of the tribunal membership upon retirement as provided in Rule 78; such propositions, if adopted by all parties interested, shall stand as a decision of the tribunal body.
81. The jurisdiction of any tribunal body over matters in dispute may be challenged at any time by any tribunal member or by any party in interest; and proceeding with the hearing shall not be considered as a waiver of the right to such challenge. Such challenge to the jurisdiction may also be addressed to a higher tribunal body to which a decision in the hearing in question could later be appealed. Such challenge is made by a motion on the subject.
82. If a challenge to jurisdiction of a tribunal body is a challenge to the jurisdiction of the organisation itself, the dispute should be dismissed from the tribunal body altogether in case the challenge is fully upheld. In case, however, the decision that the dispute should have been brought before a different tribunal body of the organisation, the case shall be promptly transferred to such body.
83. It is the duty of tribunal members, and of the Arbitrator in particular, to advise parties appearing before them as to their rights; and any action taken or proposed by such parties shall, in so far as possible, be so construed, or recast into such form, as to give valid effect to the expressed intentions of such parties, avoiding all strict interpretations and technicalities.
84. When a tribunal session is ready for announcing a decision, the Arbitrator shall announce the decision, if the hearing has been before the Arbitrator alone; in case of a plenary session, the tribunal members shall retire to discuss the decision, and all decisions proposed on any single item under dispute shall be voted on in the same manner as if such proposals were a motion and a series of amendments thereto (Rule 14), enough matters of decision being proposed to cover all matters before the session, and the announcement of all such decisions being made thereafter before all interested parties, either together or separately as the tribunal body may deem advisable.
85. All matters of issue brought out during a tribunal session or in the course of investigation in connection therewith shall be included in the discussions during the session, as well as in the decision rendered by the tribunal body; except that where this involves the introduction of new parties who cannot be brought before the hearing at the time. This shall apply also to new points of issue not directly connected with matters originally in dispute at the initiation of tribunal proceedings.
86. Where new points of issue involve further investigation, or where the introduction of new parties involves further delay, the tribunal body may render a decision on the original issues and continue the hearing of new issues to a postponed session, or it may render a temporary decision on all issues, subject to further investigation as regards the new issues or the new parties.
87. In announcing a decision, the tribunal body shall inform and advice all interested parties as to their rights thereunder, including their rights of appeal.
88. A decision of a tribunal body shall not become precedent on the basis of which subsequent decisions or actions of the organisation may be guided; but, if a decision involves a ruling on standing rules of the organisation or their interpretation, it shall be sent to the central managing body of the organisation together with an account of the circumstances involved, and the definite rule shall be discussed and decided on there in a non-tribunal session, to be incorporated in the standing rules.
89. Membership charges may be brought against any member, where violation of organisation rules or other misconduct is alleged, an the trial thereon shall be before a tribunal session of the body designated for such purpose by the constitution or standing rules of the organisation. The dispute shall be considered in such case to be one of the organisation against the member accused, and the person initiating the charges, as well as any person allegedly injured by the misconduct or violation charged, shall be recognised as interested parties, any of whom may be delegated to represent the organisation at the trial; or the organisation, or any authorised group thereof, may delegate another representative.
90. Membership charges may be also brought against any group of the organisation alleged to be violating the constitution or standing rules of the organisation, or alleged to be violating instructions of higher bodies. Procedure thereunder shall be as outlined in the preceding Rule.
91. In case of membership charges, the presumption shall be in favor of the member or group accused, except where standing rules specifically provide otherwise. On membership charges, restriction of membership privileges (in case of individual members), re-organisation of groups, or suspension, or expulsion, may be decided on by the tribunal body, but expulsion can only take effect after it is ratified by a two-thirds vote of a non-tribunal session of the same body.
92. Suspended members retain their connection with the organisation, and remain subject to the tribunal bodies of the organisation, but lose their membership privileges during the period of suspension. When a group is suspended, the suspension shall apply to all members and constituents thereof, except such as may be allowed to transfer to other units of the organisation. Expelled members lose membership, and cannot be re-instated unless the case against them is re-opened a new decision of a tribunal body allowing re-instatement is secured. In case of expelled groups, individual members may apply to the tribunal body for transferral or re-instatement privileges, or the tribunal body may specify such privileges for certain members and constituents, the remaining members and constituents standing expelled. This does not forbid appeal of an expulsion order, or intervention of higher tribunal bodies.
93. A case of dispute may be taken to a higher tribunal body, or to one claming prior jurisdiction over the particular question, by appeal, intervention, or demission; an appeal being the removal of the case b y a party in dispute, a demission being the removal by the tribunal body conducting the hearing and an intervention being a removal by the higher body.
94. A tribunal body deciding that some other body in the organisation has jurisdiction of matters in question, or is better able to settle the dispute, or that some other tribunal body is better able to call all interested parties before it, should submit the case to the other tribunal body.
95. Any interested party in a dispute before a tribunal body may appeal at any stage of the proceedings to tribunal bodies for which prior jurisdiction over the dispute is claimed, or to tribunal bodies having control over the body holding the proceedings, or in the regular course of appeal as constitutionally provided; such appeal may be made verbally or in writing, and should be made both to the body appealed from and to the body to which appeal is taken, though an appeal made to either body alone is sufficient and valid. Similarly, an appeal may be taken from an Arbitrator to a plenary session.
96. Where a regular group holding regular non-tribunal sessions in the tribunal body, the regular course of appeal shall, in the absence of constitutional provisions to the contrary, be that group of delegates through which the original group is most directly represented in the central managing body of the organisation, thence to the group of delegation next higher in order, and so on up to the central managing body. Appeals may be made to higher tribunal bodies in all cases, passing by intermediate bodies through which the appeal might have been taken; and an appeal to a tribunal body shall be referred to the Arbitrator unless that body votes otherwise, or unless the appeal specifies a plenary session.
97. Any tribunal body to which a dispute may be appealed may also, of its own initiative intervene and remove the case from the body hearing it. The removal may be made up to the body making the removal, or to some other tribunal body which the removing body may decide has better jurisdiction of the case or to be better qualified to settle the dispute. Interested parties may challenge such removal, if it be not to a body in the regular course of appeal.
98. When a dispute is removed to a higher tribunal body in the regular course of appeal, or to one having control over the original tribunal body, then interested parties charging deliberate misconduct or disregard of parties rights by arbitrators, tribunal members, or others in the conduct of the dispute in the lower body may add membership charges against such members or against the entire lower body, and such charges shall be heard as part of the same dispute in the higher body.
99. Whenever, during any dispute, misconduct on the part of members or group is found, the tribunal body should add membership charges against them to the dispute, and bring them in as new parties if they are not already parties in the case; if necessary to do so, the tribunal body may demit either the charges of the entire dispute to a higher body, or may bring the charges before the body having first jurisdiction thereof.
100. If a party accused on membership charges is found to have committed some misconduct justifying membership charges but not as specified in the charges actually brought, decision shall be rendered as though the misconduct found had been specified in the charges.
101. When a dispute is brought before a new tribunal body, whether by appeal, demission, or intervention, the new body may make use of the minutes of proceedings in all previous tribunal bodies which board the case, as though it had been part of their own preliminary investigation; but the correctness of those minutes may be challenged. If such challenge is not made, and if no new evidence is offered or required, the new tribunal body may hold hearing on arguments dealing only with the rules applicable to the dispute.
102. Parties against whom membership charges are pending shall be considered suspended during the pendency of the charges. If over one-third of the members of a non-delegated group, or over one-third of the constituents of a delegated group, are involved in the same charges, such group shall, if such charges are presented before it, demit to a higher body, where such higher body exists.
103. Any tribunal body may refer questions as to interpretation of organisation rules to non-tribunal sessions of the same body, or to a higher body; and, pending the arrival of instructions in the point, a temporary decision may be rendered, or points of decision involving the doubtful point may be postponed till the requisite instructions arrive.
104. Any group may, on request of its own initiative, in non-tribune session, render advance decisions on questions on organisation rules, which decisions shall be binding on all tribunal sessions of that group or of subsidiary units, until superseded by another ruling by the same group or a higher body.
105. A case decide by a tribunal body may, in the event of discovery of any evidence affecting the question, or of proof of misconduct of the hearing or investigation, or of evidence or arguments which were barred or not presentable at the original hearing, or of evidence that tribunal members at the original hearing were not impartial, re-open the case, either before the same tribunal body, or before any tribunal body having jurisdiction to hear a new dispute of the same sort at the time re-opening is sought, or before any tribunal body to which appeal could be taken from either of such bodies. For such re-opening to be granted, a member of the tribunal body to which application to re-open is made must certify that he believes that the grounds for the application are presented in good faith and may possibly affect the result of the question. Arguments and decision on a re-opened case may cover the entire case, including the question of possible reparation for previous unfair decisions. Procedures shall be similar to that on appeals.
106. Where a group or organisation is a party to proceedings before a tribunal body, it may, as a matter of course, appoint a representative to state and argue its case before the tribunal body; and disqualifications of paid representatives under Rule 67 shall not apply if such representative is a bona fide member of the organisation to be represented; in case of a corporation or other similar business firm, a director or bona fide executive or managerial officer (except one employed specifically as an attorney) shall be entitled to the same rights as a representative as a member of an organisation involved. Minority factions within an organisation may send similar representatives to a tribunal hearing, such factions being recognised as separate interested parties.
107. Exclusion charges may be brought by members of the organisation before the proper tribunal bodies against outside individuals or organisations, where it is desired to exclude the accused from admission to membership or from either privileges which may be possibly extended by the organisation. In case of such charges, an ex parte hearing (a hearing of the complaint and of any witnesses who may be brought to substantiate the charges) shall be granted, to be governed by similar rules to a default case (Rule 66), and a temporary order made on that basis; the case being automatically re-opened by the voluntary appearances of the accused party challenging such order, or by the application of said party for any privileges barred or limited by the order. If the accused party appears and challenges the charges at or before the ex parte hearing, the charges shall be entered as a disputed case and heard accordingly.
108. Decisions in all tribunal cases, including these involving charges shall be made with the object in view of settling disputes rather than of punishing misconduct.
GENERAL CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS
109. The organisation should be formed by a volunteer central managing body, consisting of a small number taken from the originators of the plan of organisations, or a suitable committee selected by them, holding a meeting and drawing up a constitution for the organisation. After this is done, separate membership groups are organised, which shall separately meet and vote adherence to the proposed organisation and its constitution; such groups shall then elect their officers and delegates, the various committees of delegates then being organised by the central body, higher delegated bodies then being formed, and so on until a regular central managing body can be elected under the constitutional forms, to replace the original central managing body appointed by the organisers of the organisation.
110. As an alternative means of forming an organisation, groups of members of small size may be formed, which can then be federate and elect delegates to a committee of delegates; further federations may then be formed, until all groups have been represented and a central managing body can be elected by the highest groups of delegates; the said body shall then draw up a constitution, and groups ratifying that constitution become part of the organisation, the others being left out, but with the option of individual members thereof to apply for admission, if they can qualify.
111. The constitution of the organisation should specify:
- The purpose and title of that organisation;
- The form of group representation;
- Qualifications for, and mode of admission to, membership;
- The officers of the organisation, and their privileges and duties, as well as the officers required of subsidiary units;
- Membership rights and duties, in so far as they are permanent enough to be made a fundamental rule of the organisation;
- Modes of amending the constitution;
- Arbitration facilities.
112. In the standard group form of organisation, members shall be organised in groups electing delegates to delegate groups, which in turn elect delegates to delegated groups of higher rank, and so on until the single group of highest rank constitutes the central managing body, in conjunction with such organisation officers as it may elect. The constitutions should specify the details of this grouping and representation, as well as any variations of this plan which the organisation may desire to make.
113. Cross-groupings may be provided where it is desirable for special purposes to affiliate more closely members or groups not properly united in the main grouping system of the organisation. These cross-groupings should be represented in the next highest delegated committees of the main grouping by delegates having a voice but no vote.
114. All groups, whether of the main grouping or of the cross-grouping, and whether membership groups or delegated groups, may adopt their own standing rules and constitutions; but any rules adopted by a higher body shall take precedence, in case of conflict, over any rules, including the constitution, adopted by any subsidiary body; and similarly rules of a body in the main grouping take precedence over rules adopted by bodies of any cross-grouping. The constitution of any body within the organisation should take precedence over any other rules adopted by the same body.
115. The membership of each group, whether the group be one of members of a delegated group, should be kept at an average of ten; and, for this purpose, groups may be split, combined, re-aligned, or members transferred from one group to another, or the delegated representation of any groups shifted from the higher body to another, as may be directed by the central managing body, or by the Membership Recorder of the organisation under the managing body's authority, or by any authorised agents thereof, or by any bodies to which they may entrust such power.
116. In case of a splitting, re-alignment, or combination of groups, the officer, body or agency ordering the change in grouping shall provide which of the new bodies shall be considered continuous with any of the old bodies, as well as providing, in cases where any doubt may arise, which bodies shall have jurisdiction of old arbitration tribunal cases, whether such cases are pending or decided.
117. All rules intended to be permanent and fundamental, and to express part of the form and distinctive character of the organisation, should be made part of its constitution; other rules should not be made part of the constitution, but should be made standing rules.
PART IV. MODEL CONSTITUTION