Roberts Rules of Order Definitions

Roberts Rules of Order Definitions


Bilingual PDF

Point of Privilege: Pertains to noise, personal comfort, etc. – may interrupt only if necessary!

Parliamentary Inquiry: Inquire as to the correct motion – to accomplish a desired result, or raise a point of order

Point of Information: Generally applies to information desired from the speaker: “I should like to ask the (speaker) a question.”

Orders of the Day (Agenda): A call to adhere to the agenda (a deviation from the agenda requires Suspending the Rules)

Point of Order: Infraction of the rules, or improper decorum in speaking. Must be raised immediately after the error is made

Main Motion: Brings new business (the next item on the agenda) before the assembly

Divide the Question: Divides a motion into two or more separate motions (must be able to stand on their own)

Consider by Paragraph: Adoption of paper is held until all paragraphs are debated and amended and entire paper is satisfactory; after all paragraphs are considered, the entire paper is then open to amendment, and paragraphs may be further amended. Any Preamble cannot be considered until debate on the body of the paper has ceased.

Amend: Inserting or striking out words or paragraphs, or substituting whole paragraphs or resolutions

Withdraw/Modify Motion: Applies only after question is stated; mover can accept an amendment without obtaining the floor

Commit /Refer/Recommit to Committee: State the committee to receive the question or resolution; if no committee exists include size of committee desired and method of selecting the members (election or appointment).

Extend Debate: Applies only to the immediately pending question; extends until a certain time or for a certain period of time

Limit Debate: Closing debate at a certain time, or limiting to a certain period of time

Postpone to a Certain Time: State the time the motion or agenda item will be resumed

Object to Consideration: If you think a motion is such a bad idea that it shouldn’t even be discussed, you can make a motion to object to the consideration of the question. This incidental motion is in order until the chair states the motion and consideration begins. After discussion begins, it’s too late, no matter how lousy the idea.  Objection must be stated before discussion or another motion is stated.

Lay on the Table: Temporarily suspends further consideration/action on pending question; may be made after motion to close debate has carried or is pending

Take from the Table: Resumes consideration of item previously “laid on the table” – state the motion to take from the table

Reconsider: Can be made only by one on the prevailing side who has changed position or view

Postpone Indefinitely: Kills the question/resolution for this session – exception: the motion to reconsider can be made this session

Previous Question: Closes debate if successful – may be moved to “Close Debate” if preferred

Informal Consideration: Move that the assembly go into “Committee of the Whole” – informal debate as if in committee; this committee may limit number or length of speeches or close debate by other means by a 2/3 vote. All votes, however, are formal.

Appeal Decision of the Chair: Appeal for the assembly to decide – must be made before other business is resumed; NOT debatable if relates to decorum, violation of rules or order of business

Suspend the Rules: Allows a violation of the assembly’s own rules (except Constitution); the object of the suspension must be specified