Senate Meeting Rules

Preface



The following rules and procedures are based on a number of fundamental principles, including the following: 
  1. The right of the majority to decide.
     
  2. The right of a minority to be heard, it being agreed that this right requires not only special protection but also practical limitations.
     
  3. The right of absentees to be protected from significant deviation from agreed procedures and announced proceedings.
     
  4. The right of interested parties to be informed.

Many years of practice in democratic institutions throughout the world have demonstrated the usefulness of such rules and procedures in maintaining these principles and providing for efficiency of debate and decision.

It should always be remembered, however, that the rules are a means, not an end; and the Chair, with the support of Senate, should not permit them to be used to create a nuisance or unnecessarily delay proceedings.

Substantive motions should be handled with considerable formality, but whenever possible the Chair should try to deal with procedures by general agreement.