Standing Orders Committee Report

Left Unity National Conference: Saturday 16 June, 2018

Standing Orders Committee Report No. 2

  • Code of conduct for Lefty Unity National Conference

Refer to Standing Orders Committee:

  1. for advice on standing orders including procedural motions and in case of complaints
  2. for questions relating to order of debate

Furthermore, SOC recommends that conference attendees:

  1. should respect authority of the chair during session
  2. should ensure that debate and discussion should be respectful (for further information on this see Standing Order no. 7, Appendix 1 herein)
  3. should refer to Conference Arrangements Committee for logistics and access issues
  4. in the event that due to access and time restrictions motions need to be referred to other bodies SOC will advise.
  • Conference Standing Orders

Article 20 (d) of the Party Constitution requires the SOC to maintain a set of Procedures and Standing Orders for conducting the business of National Conference that may be amended from time to time by National Conference. These are attached as Appendix 1.

The SOC is proposing onerevision to the Standing Orders which applied at the 2017 Conference. This is to amend the guidance for timings given under section 14 “Limitof Speeches” of the Standing Orders, as follows:

  1. Amend the following section of 14.1:

“The mover of a motion or an amendment shall not be allowed to speak for more than five minutes and each succeeding speaker for not more than three minutes”

To read as follows:

“The mover of a motion shall not be allowed to speak for more than five minutes, and the mover of an amendment or each succeeding speaker for a motion or amendment not more than three minutes”

In approving this report, Conference is invited to adopt the revised Standing Orders.

  • The current Standing Orders Committee (SOC) members are :

Doug Thorpe

Matthew Hurry

 

  • Report of work of the Standing Orders Committee (SOC)

We considered all standard motions that were received by 23:59 on Saturday5 May, and all amendments that were received by 23:59 on Saturday 26 May.

SOC Report no. 1, containing a preliminary list of motions and reports received was published on the Party website on 10May.

A final motions and amendments booklet will be published on the Party website by 9 June. Printed copies of this booklet will be available at Conference.

Only one amendmenthas been disallowed by the SOC. This means that the SOC is recommending to Conference that this item not be admitted to the agenda. Brief reasons for disallowance are elaborated upon in the disallowed motions and amendments section below. Proposers of disallowed items may want to challenge the SOC’s decisions. If any such challenge is upheld by Conference, the SOC will advise on where in the agenda plan the reinstated items should be placed.

The majority of motions submitted covered distinct topics, and were not suitable for compositing. Motions and amendments havebeen grouped by subject and will be listed within the final motions and amendments booklet in the order in which the SOC recommends that they should be considered (standing order 5.2.4.2 refers).

Conference of course controls its own agenda and may, when it receives the SOC report at the beginning of Conference, amend the ordering that has been devised by the SOC.

It should also be noted thatno comrades stood for election to the ten positions on the Standing Orders Committeethis year. As a result, the current interim Standing Orders Committee was elected by the National Council on behalf of the Party membership.

In approving this report, Conference is invited to approve the work done by the SOC in dealing with the agenda items.

  • Disallowed motions and amendments

SOC has disallowed one amendment.

An amendment from Birmingham to the motion submitted by South London entitled “The fight for democracy in England and Europe” proposed that sections of the motion be voted on separately. SOC have advised that this should be raised as a procedural motion at Conference at the appropriate time.

  • Composites and Grouped Debates

The SOC recommends that, in the interests of Conference timings, where several amendments to the same motion have been submitted by a single branch or individual, these amendments should be moved together in a group. This is in accordance with the criteria set out in Standing Order 17.1, “that separate debates on specified motions and/or amendments dealing with the same subject matter would lead to undue repetition in the debates, or to unfair advantage for a motion over other motions”.

  • Withdrawals

The SOC has received no requests to withdraw motions or amendments.

  • Emergency motions

A motion from the International Commission (No 1) was received by the SOC one day after the deadline. An explanation was given that there was confusion about who from the Commission would be submitting the motion to the SOC. The motion is otherwise in order. The SOC has considered the explanation from the International Commission and recommends that this motion also be admitted to the agenda.

  • Time limits on speeches

The SOC recommends thatproposers of all motions be given five minutes to propose, and a further three minutes to sum up. Proposers of amendments to motions should be given three minutes to speak, except in the case of amendments to the Constitution, where SOC would ask speakers to limit themselves to two minutes. All other speakers should be given up to three minutes. (Standing Order 14 refers).

  • Motions not reached when sessions run out of time

All motions and amendments that are not reached when sessions run out of time and are not taken in later sessions, shall stand referred to the National Council, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order 19.

  • The recommended agenda and order paper will be provided in a separate document.

Appendix 1

Standing Orders for Left Unity National Conference

  1. STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

1.1 The Standing Orders Committee shall be present at the Conference but shall take no part in its proceedings and shall comprise

1.2 Ten members as elected as set out in the constitution

1.3 The functions of the Standing Orders Committee shall be as contained in these Rules

  1. CONFERENCE TIMETABLE

2.1 Before a National Conference, the National Council shall adopt and publish a detailed timetable enabling the following steps to be taken not later than the time stated:

2.2 Procedure: Weeks before the first day of Conference

2.2.1 Submission of motions: x weeks

2.2.2 Publication of preliminary agenda: x weeks

2.2.3 Submission of amendments: x weeks

2.2.4 Publication of final agenda: x weeks

  1. CONFERENCE QUORUM AND PROCEDURE

3.1 The quorum of the National Conference shall be one-third of the members registered to attend and vote.

3.2 Motions may be submitted as set out in section 9 of the Constitution of Left Unity

  1. APPLICATION OF STANDING ORDERS

4.1 These Standing Orders shall apply to all meetings of the National Conference and Special Conferences

  1. STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

5.1 At its first meeting after it takes office, the Committee shall elect a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson from amongst its members.

5.2 The functions of the Committee shall, subject to these Standing Orders, be to:

5.2.1 ensure that Left Unity’s Rules and Standing Orders relating to the business of Conferences are observed, and notify the National Council of any violation that may be brought to the Committee’s notice.

5.2.2 draw up the preliminary agenda and final agenda of Conference business, and the proposed hours of business, to be circulated in accordance with the timetable stated in the Constitution.

 

5.2.3 determine the order in which the business of Conference shall be conducted, subject to the approval of Conference

5.2.4 consider all motions and amendments submitted for consideration by Conference and, for the purpose of enabling Conference to transact its business effectively the Committee shall:

5.2.4.1 decide whether such motions and amendments have been submitted in accordance with the Constitution

5.2.4.2 group together motions and amendments relating to the same subject, decide the order in which they should be considered and whether they should be debated and voted on separately or debated together and voted on sequentially

5.2.4.3 Facilitate the compositing of motions and amendments by enabling discussion between the movers of motions and amendments; refer to another representative body within Left Unity  a motion or amendment which in the opinion of the Committee should properly be considered there; the mover shall be informed of the reason for so doing

5.2.4.4 have power to do all such other things as may be necessary to give effect to these Standing Orders.

5.3 Any decisions of the Committee which are to be reported to Conference shall be announced by the Chairperson of the Committee and shall be subject to ratification by Conference.The SOC shall have the right to reply to any challenges made to its recommendations before Conference votes upon ratification.

  1. MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS-PRE-CONFERENCE PROCEDURE

6.1 Motions, amendments and other appropriate business may be proposed for the Conference by the bodies set out in the constitution.

6.2 Motions and amendments shall be sent to the Standing Orders Committee in order that the Standing Orders Committee may consider them for inclusion in the preliminary agenda.

6.3 The date and time by which motions and amendments to be considered for the Conference shall be received by the Standing Orders Committee shall be stated in the timetable to be published in advance of the conference.

  1. CONDUCT OF CONFERENCES

7.1 The National Conference shall meet in public session, except that by direction of the  National Council or by resolution of the Conference the whole or any part of a Conference may be held in private. The only persons permitted to attend a private session of a Conference shall be paid-up members of Left Unity who are registered to attend the conference.

7.2 The agenda for the National Conference shall be arranged so that the first session of the Conference shall be in public, subject to Rule 7.1 above.

7.3 Apart from the members of Left Unity who are registered for the Conference, no other person shall speak except by permission of the Conference.

7.4 Any questions of procedure or order raised during a Conference shall be decided by the Chair of that session of the conference subject only to the right of challenge as described in 16.1.

7.5 Upon the Chair rising during a Conference session, any person then addressing Conference shall resume her/his seat and no other person shall rise to speak until the Chair authorises proceedings to continue.

7.6 The Chair may call attention to continued irrelevance, tedious repetition, unbecoming language, or any breach of order on the part of a member and may direct such a member to discontinue his or her speech.

7.7 The Chair shall have power to call any person to order who is causing a disturbance in any session of Conference and if that person refuses to obey the Chair, she/he shall be named by the Chair, shall forthwith leave the Conference Hall, and shall take no further part in the proceedings of that Conference.

  1. VOTING

8.1 The method of voting shall be by a show of hands of the registered members of Left Unity present.

  1. TELLERS

9.1Conference shall appoint members to act as tellers for the duration of the Conference.

  1. WITHDRAWALS OF MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS

10.1 A motion or amendment which is shown on the final agenda may not be withdrawn without the consent of the Standing Orders Committee, whose decision shall be reported to Conference.

  1. MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS NOT ON AGENDA

11.1 A motion or amendment which is not shown on the final agenda may not be considered by Conference without the prior approval of Conference, which shall be governed by the following rules:

11.2 Such motion or amendment shall be in writing, signed by the body or person on whose behalf it is submitted and shall be sent to the Standing Orders Committee at least five working days before the commencement of Conference, except if it relates to events which take place thereafter.

11.3 If the Standing Orders Committee gives its approval to the motion or amendment being considered, copies of the motion or amendment shall be made available for delegates at least one hour before Conference is asked to decide whether to consent to the matter being considered.

11.4 An emergency motion will not be given priority over other motions and amendments on the agenda except where the Standing Orders Committee decide that the purpose of the motion in question would be frustrated if it were not dealt with at an earlier session of the Conference.

  1. PROCEDURAL MOTIONS

The following procedural motions may be moved at any time without previous notice on the agenda:

12.1 that the question be now put, provided that:

12.1.1 the Chair may advise Conference not to accept this motion if in her/his opinion the matter has not been sufficiently discussed

12.1.2 if the motion is carried, it shall take effect at once subject only to any right of reply under these Standing Orders.

12.2 that the question be remitted or referred back to the National Council, or in the case of a report of a Policy Commission, be referred back to that Policy Commission, provided that:

12.2.1 the Chair may advise Conference not to accept this motion at this stage in the debate if in her/his opinion the matter has not been sufficiently discussed

12.2.2 if the motion is carried, it shall take effect at once subject only to any right of reply under these Standing Orders.

12.3 that the Conference proceed to the next business

12.4 that the debate be adjourned

12.5 that the Conference (or any part thereof) be held in private session provided that:

12.6 a motion under Rules 12.1, 12. 2, 12.3 and 12.4 shall be immediately put to the vote without discussion and no amendment shall be allowed

12.7 the Chair may at her/his discretion permit a motion under Rule 12.5 to be discussed and amendments moved.

12.8 no motion under Rules 12.2, 12.3 or 12.4 shall be moved by a person who has spoken on the motion or amendment in question.

  1. AMENDMENTS TO A MOTION

13.1 When an amendment to a motion is moved, no further amendment may be moved until the first one is disposed of, subject to Rule 17.

13.2 When an amendment is defeated, a further amendment may be moved to the original motion.

13.3 When an amendment to a motion is carried, the motion, as so amended, shall become the substantive motion, to which a further amendment may be moved.

13.4 A member registered for the conference shall not move more than one amendment to any one motion, nor shall the mover of a motion move any amendment to such motion.

  1. LIMIT OF SPEECHES

14.1 The mover of a motion shall not be allowed to speak for more than five minutes, and the mover of an amendment or each succeeding speaker for a motion or amendment not more than three minutes, except where the Standing Orders Committee have decided otherwise.

14.2 No person shall speak more than once on a question, except that the mover of the original motion may exercise a right of reply for not more than three minutes, introducing no new material.

15.POINTS OF ORDER

15.1 A member registered for the conference may at any stage in a Conference raise a point of order if she/he considers that the business is not being conducted in accordance with Left Unity’s Constitution and Standing Orders.

15.2 Such a point of order must be raised as soon as the alleged breach occurs or at the earliest practicable moment thereafter.

15.3 The Chair’s ruling on the point of order is final subject only to the right of challenge as described in 16.1.

  1. CHALLENGES TO CHAIR’S RULINGS

16.1 The Chair’s ruling on any point referred to in 7.4 or 15.3 may be challenged by not less than three members. Such a challenge shall be explained to the meeting by a challenger and the Chair shall have a right to reply thereto. Speeches explaining challenges and Chair’s replies thereto shall be limited to no longer than 2 minutes. The challenge shall then be put to the meeting and shall be carried with the support of a simple majority of the members present and voting.

  1. GROUPED DEBATES AND SEQUENTIAL VOTING

17.1 Where, in the view of the Standing Orders Committee, separate debates on specified motions and/or amendments dealing with the same subject matter would lead to undue repetition in the debates, or to unfair advantage for a motion over other motions, a grouped debate and/or sequential voting may be adopted by Conference.

17.2 The following procedure will be followed:

17.2.1 The Chair will advise Conference of the order of business and of the sequence in which motions and amendments will be moved and voted on following a general debate, and of the effect of certain proposals on others.

17.2.2 Alternatively, the Chair may advise Conference that a single exclusive vote shall be cast upon counterpoised motions that are grouped for debate. Where a single exclusive vote is taken, the motion attracting the highest number of votes shall be declared carried; in the event that abstentions attract the highest number of votes, all of the motions voted upon shall be declared defeated.

17.2.3 All motions and amendments included in the debate shall be moved.

17.2.4 The general debate shall take place.

17.2.5 The Chair shall again state the order of voting and shall advise Conference which, if any, motions or amendments will fall if others are carried.

17.2.6 Voting will take place on motions, preceded by relevant amendments, in the order in which they were moved.

17.2.7 A debate being conducted under this procedure may not be adjourned until after all the motions and amendments have been moved.

  1. REPORTS BY NATIONAL COUNCIL

18.1 After the opening of Conference the National Council shall present its report for the past year. The items of the report shall be discussed on a subject basis and in conjunction with any motion on the agenda which bears directly upon any part of the report.

18.2 If the National Council presents a report to Conference which contains proposals or recommendations requiring approval and adoption by Conference, it shall submit it under a motion seeking such approval and adoption.

  1. REFERENCE OF OUTSTANDING ITEMS TO THE NATIONAL COUNCIL

19.1 If at the end of the National Conference, the business of the Conference has not been concluded, all motions and amendments then outstanding shall stand referred to the National Council. The National Council in turn shall then report back to the appropriate local group or platform its decision on these matters. All such motions and amendments shall be responded to at least one month before the deadline for submission of motions and amendments to the next National Conference.

  1. SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS

20.1 Any one or more of these Standing Orders may be suspended by a resolution of Conference in relation to a specific item of business properly before that Conference and to the proceedings thereon at that Conference, provided that at least two-thirds of the members registered for the conference present and voting shall vote for the resolution.


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