Bylaws Definitions

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  1. Defines the primary characteristics of the organization.
  2. Prescribes how the society functions.
  3. Includes all rules that the society considers so important that they
    a. cannot be changed without previous notice to the members and the vote of a specified large majority (such as two thirds vote);
    b. cannot be suspended (with the exception of clauses that provide for their own suspension under specified conditions).


  1. Refers to written rules of parliamentary procedure formally adopted.
  2. Such rules relate to the orderly transaction of business in meetings and to the officers in that connection.
  3. Usually included in Bylaws when parliamentary authority is adopted.


  1. Supersede rules in the parliamentary authority.
  2. Example is an "Order of Business."
  3. Printed in same booklet as Bylaws but under separate heading.
  4. Can be suspended by a 2/3 vote.
  5. Amended by previous notice and 2/3 vote or without notice by a majority vote of entire membership.

The Order of Business

Special rules governing length of speeches

Procedural rules that differ from those in the parliamentary authority

Procedure for amending rules of order


  1. Standing Rules, except in the case of conventions, are rules:
  2. Which are related to the details of the administration of a society rather than to parliamentary procedure;
  3. Which can be adopted or changed upon the same conditions as any ordinary act or the society;
  4. Printed in the same booklet with Bylaws but under separate heading;
  5. Can be adopted at any meeting without notice. 
    Policy on guests at meetings 
    Special rules of smoking 
    Procedure for amending standing rules


  1. Apply to one convention only.
  2. These rules in no way conflict with the Bylaws of a society, but (in contrast to ordinary standing rules) they can involve modifications of rules contained in the parliamentary procedure.
  3. Usually contain both parliamentary and non-parliamentary rules.
Created on Mar 31, 2010 | Last updated July 25, 2011