Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Duhaime's Parliamentary Law Dictionary

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  • Law and legal terms in regards to rules of order, rules of procedure at meetings, board and general meetings, deliberative assemblies, legislative assemblies and parliaments, from moved and seconded to motion carried.
  • See, also, the Company, Associations & Commercial Law Dictionary for terms related, generally, to corporate law, corporations and company law, the law of associations and commercial law.

Act
A bill which has passed through the various legislative steps required for it and which has become law.
Ad Hoc
Latin: limited in time; to this point.
Adjourn
The postponement, suspension and interruption of an ongoing hearing or meeting to resume at some future date; to break off for later resumption.
Agenda
A term of parliamentary law and procedure referring to a program, written notice and order of business at an upcoming meeting.
Bill
A proposed statute, not yet approved.
Carry
The observation or declaration by the chair of a meeting that a member’s motion has passed or attained the requisite majority vote, and is thus converted into a resolution of the whole meeting or organization.
Committee
A term of parliamentary law which refers to a body of one or more persons appointed by a larger assembly or society, to consider, investigate and/or take action on certain specific matters.
Democracy
A form of government in which the people freely govern themselves; where the executive (or administrative) and law-making (or legislative) power is given to persons chosen by the population; the free people.
Extraordinary Resolution
A vote on a resolution presented to a corporate body which has obtained the assent of a number of the members present greater than a majority.
Legislative Branch
The elected law-making branch of government.
Meeting
The coming together for the transaction of a lawful object of two or more persons.
Minutes
The official written record of a meeting.
Motion
A proposal made to a Court or at a meeting and intended to be considered and decided upon.
Omnibus Bill
A draft law before a legislature which contains more than one substantive matter, or several minor matters which have been combined into one bill, ostensibly for the sake of convenience.
Parliament
The aggregate or assembly of institutions that comprise the legislative apparatus of government in democratic societies.
Parliamentary Law
Rules of deliberative bodies by which their procedure is regulated.
Peerage
An artificial dignity associated with nobility, such as an earldom.
Point of Order
A term of parliamentary law and procedure which refers to an interjection during a meeting by a member, who does not have the floor, to call the attention of the chair to an alleged violation or breach of the assembly’s or meeting’s rules of order.
Polyarchy
Rule by a group of three or more.
President
The appointed or elected head of a group of individuals, such as of a company or of a state.
Proxy
A written appointment given by a voting member of an organization to another person allowing the proxy holder to attend a specific meeting on the member’s behalf, including the exercise of the member’s voting rights.
Question of Privilege
A term of parliamentary law and procedure which refers to an urgent motion made at a meeting which seeks an immediate ruling on an alleged violation of the rights or privileges of members as a whole, or in regards to a negative personal remark.
Quorum
The minimum number of voting members that must be in attendance at a meeting of an organization for that meeting to be regularly constituted.
Resolution
The formal decision of an organization. A motion which has obtained the necessary majority vote in favor.
Special Resolution
A vote on a resolution presented to a corporate body which has obtained the assent of a number of the members present greater than a majority.
Standing Committee
Committees which have a continued existence; that are not related to the accomplishment of a specific, once-only task as are ad hoc or special committees.
Standing Order
The rules of procedure of deliberative assemblies in the English parliamentary tradition.

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