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Branch Standing Orders

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Branch Standing Orders

Branch Standing Orders

The Socialist Party

1 June 2013

Standing orders applicable to all

business meetings


1. Each Branch may decide its own time and

place of meeting.


2. Branch meetings shall be open to the public.


3. Each Branch may decide the medium of its

meeting (in person, by teleconference, by email,

etc.) provided it is conducted fully in

accordance with these Standing Orders.


4. Each Branch shall record and ratify a record

of its deliberations and make such records

freely available.1


5. A Regional Branch is defined as one which

provides existing and future members of the

Party with an alternative to Central Branch

as a means (under Rule 4) of participation

within the Party. The word ‘Regional’ to be

included in the title of such Branches, both

currently existing and any such Branches

to be formed in future. Currently existing

Branches not defined as ‘Regional’ to have

the right to apply to the EC for ‘Regional’

status, and their name to be changed accordingly,

should they feel that their membership

is too widespread to be covered by

the quorum requirements for ‘traditional’



6. In order for a properly constituted Branch

meeting to take place, the members participating

shall have to be three for the first ten

or part of ten and one for every ten or part

of ten thereafter. For Regional Branches,

the quorum necessary for meetings shall be

three for the first fifteen members and one

for each ten or part of ten thereafter.3


7. On matters of urgency, where Branches

have no scheduled Branch meeting before

closing dates, the Secretary shall be empowered

to obtain members’ support for action

by post, phone, or e-mail. The Secretary

must make a good-faith effort to contact every

member, and such actions must be ratified

by the next Branch meeting.


8. Branches may draw up such bye-laws as

they may deem necessary for their internal

management provided they do not conflict

with the Principles, Rules and Standing Orders

of the Party.

9. The meeting may grant suspension of

Standing Orders. A meeting not duly constituted

under Standing Orders shall be in

order subject to ratification at the next duly

constituted Branch meeting.


10. A poll of Branch members shall be taken at

any time by a decision of a Branch meeting,

or by a meeting having received from three

Branch members a requisition stating the

matter upon which the poll is desired. The

meeting shall discuss the matter, arrange

for a written summary of the discussion to

be produced, and set a returning date. The

Secretary shall then send the summary and

a ballot to each member, and present the returns

to the meeting on or following the returning

date for ratification by the Branch.


11. In the event of any ruling from the Chair

on procedural matters being challenged, an

Branch member may move or the Chairmay

call for a Vote of Direction without further

discussion. The Chair shall accept the direction

of a simple majority of the Branch.


12. The Chair is not permitted to move or second

or to vote on a “Vote of Direction” motion

but may call for such a motion as provided

for in x11 above.


Standing orders specific to business

meetings held in real time (e.g., in

person, by teleconference, or by



13. Any member wishing to address the Branch

must do so by addressing their remarks to

the Chair of that meeting, no interruption

being allowed unless on a point of order.


14. Only one motion shall be before the meeting

at any given time. An amendment may

be moved to any motion; the acceptance of

an amendment implies that for the moment

it has obscured the motion and taken priority

of discussion. It must be cleared away

before another amendment can be moved. If

an amendment is carried it is incorporated

into the substantive motion and is then

open for further amendment. (The term

“before the meeting” shall mean a motion

or amendment moved and seconded and accepted

by the Chair.)


15. A member of the Branch at any time after

this can move “that the vote be taken” which

shall mean a vote on the amendment. This

being seconded shall be put to the vote without



16. A motion “that the question be put” shall

mean both motion and amendment. This

shall be put to the meeting without discussion

and if carried the motion and amendment

shall be voted on without further discussion,

except that the mover of the motion

shall have the right to reply to criticism but

shall not introduce new matter.


17. After a motion or amendment has been

moved and seconded, any member of the

Branch may move “next business”, which

shall be put to the meeting without discussion,

the mover of the original motion having

no right to reply in this case.


18. No member except the mover of a motion

shall have the right to speak more than once

on any item except with the consent of the

meeting or in answer to a question.


19. The Chair shall, if he or she thinks necessary,

insist that any motion or amendment

shall be put in writing.


Standing orders specific to business

meetings held over a period (e.g., by

e-mail or on Internet discussion forums)



20. Unless otherwise established by Branch

bye-laws or resolved during the meeting, a

“day” shall be defined as 24 hours.


Opening the meeting

21. On the first day of the meeting, the Secretary

shall post the agenda and ending time

for the meeting, and shall ask all participants

to indicate their presence by replying

within one day.


22. If quorum has been met by the end of the

day, the Secretary shall post a message

calling the meeting to order and inviting

the meeting to consider the items on the



23. If quorum has not been met by the end of

the day, the Secretary may post a further

call with an extended deadline. Those members

who are present may begin an inquorate

meeting whose actions must be ratified

once the meeting reaches quorum, or failing

this at the next quorate meeting.


24. If the Chair was not elected at the previous

meeting, or if the Chair elected at the previous

meeting is not present, the first item on

the agenda shall be the election of the Chair,

and no other business may be discussed before

the meeting has elected a Chair.


Adjourning the meeting

25. Unless otherwise resolved during the meeting,

the meeting adjourns at the ending

time announced by the Secretary at the beginning

of the meeting.


26. Upon adjournment, all motions still under

consideration are automatically withdrawn.



27. A member proposes a motion by posting a

message containing the wording of the motion

and, if desired, an opening statement.

A motion is deemed to be under consideration

by the meeting as soon as it receives a



28. A member proposes an amendment to a motion

under consideration by posting a message

containing the wording of the amendment

and, if desired, an opening statement.

An amendment is deemed to be under consideration

by the meeting as soon as it receives

a seconder. If an amendment is carried

it is incorporated into the substantive



29. The Chair shall rule out of order at any time

any motion or amendment she determines

to be redundant with, dependent on, or mutually

exclusive with an earlier motion or

amendment already under consideration.


30. Motions and amendments may be withdrawn

only if both the mover and seconder

agree to do so and no other member has contributed

to the discussion.


31. Unless otherwise instructed by the Chair,

members may make as many contributions

as they wish to the discussion of a motion or



32. Any member may call for the mover to wind

up once a day has elapsed without any contribution

on the matter from a member who

has not yet posted on the matter.


33. The Chair shall call for the mover to wind

up once a day has elapsed without any further

contributions on the matter.


34. Notwithstanding the above, no mover of a

motion shall be called to wind up until voting

on all amendments to it has concluded.


35. Once the mover has been called to wind up,

he shall have one day to make a final contribution

to the motion or amendment. Once

his final contribution has been posted, or if

he has not done so by the end of the day,

voting commences.


36. Voting on motions and amendments is open

for one day, during which time members

vote by posting a message specifying the

motion or amendment under consideration

and whether they are voting for, voting

against, or abstaining.

37. At the end of the voting day, the Chair tallies

the votes and posts the result, indicating

whether the motion or amendment carried

or failed. Members who did not participate

in the voting must be deemed absent

rather than abstaining.

38. If the number of voters (including those abstaining)

did not reach quorum, it must

be assumed that quorum has been lost.

The motion or amendment in question must

therefore be ratified once quorum is reestablished

or at the next quorate meeting.

Model agenda

1. Election of chair

2. Amendment/adoption of previous minutes

3. Matters arising from the previous minutes

4. Forms A and F

5. EC minutes

6. Correspondence and business arising therefrom

7. Reports (propaganda, literature, finance,


8. Motions of which notice has been given

9. Appointment of chair for propaganda meetings

10. New notices of motion

11. Any other business

12. Adjournment