- Robert's Rules of Order
"Robert's Rules of Order" is the informal short title of a book containing
rules of orderintended to be adopted for use by a deliberative assembly.
History and origins
The first edition of the book, whose full title was "Pocket Manual of Rules of Order for Deliberative Assemblies," was published in February 1876 by then U.S. Army
Major Henry Martyn Robert(1837–1923) with the short title "Robert's Rules of Order" placed on its cover. The procedures prescribed by the book were loosely modeled after those used in the United States House of Representatives, with such adaptations as Robert saw fit for use in ordinary societies. The author's interest in parliamentary procedurebegan in 1863 when he was chosen to preside over a church meeting and, although he accepted the task, felt that he did not have the necessary knowledge of proper procedure. In his later work as an active member of several organizations, he discovered that members from different areas of the country had very different views regarding what the proper parliamentary rules were, and these conflicting views hampered the organizations in their work. He eventually became convinced of the need for a new manual on the subject, one which would enable many organizations to adopt the same set of rules.
The book is designed for use in ordinary societies rather than legislative assemblies, and it is the most commonly adopted parliamentary authority among societies in the United States. ["RONR is used by approximately 85% of all organizations in the United States." — "Parliamentary Procedure in 2005", Jim Slaughter, JD, CPP-T, PRP, "The Toastmaster", 2005, updated version at http://www.jimslaughter.com/parlpro2005.htm] The book claims to be a "codification of the present-day general parliamentary law (omitting provisions having no application outside legislative bodies)." ["Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised", 10th edition, Perseus Books Group, Cambridge MA, 2000, page xxv.] This statement does not imply any approbation on the part of the courts, and the "general parliamentary law" is related neither to statutory legal requirements nor to common-law precedent derived from court judgments. Being widely accepted, and being based for the most part on long-standing traditions of parliamentary procedure, however, the current edition of the book is a reliable reference. Nevertheless, the provisions of any particular manual are not, as a general matter, legally binding upon an assembly that has not formally adopted it as its parliamentary authority; any such manual can at best be cited as "persuasive." ["Although it is unwise for an assembly or a society to attempt to function without formally adopted rules of order, a recognized parliamentary manual may be cited under such conditions as persuasive." — "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised", 10th edition, Perseus Books Group, Cambridge MA, 2000, page 16, lines 23-26.]
Subsequent editions and versions
Editions published by the original author
Robert himself published several later editions of this book before his death in 1923, the final one of these being a thoroughly revised and expanded book, entitled "Robert's Rules of Order Revised" and published in May 1915 (at which time Robert had long been retired from the army, having attained the rank of
Later editions by the "Robert's Rules" trustees
Through a family trust, and later through the Robert's Rules Association, several subsequent editions of Robert's work have been published, including another major revision of the work, entitled "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised" and published in February 1970 (on the 94th anniversary of the publication of the first edition).
The current edition of the series is "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised", Tenth Edition (2000) (hardback ISBN 0-7382-0384-X; paperback ISBN 0-7382-0307-6; leatherbound ISBN 0-7382-0923-6). That edition states that it
That book, often referred to using the
initialism"RONR", is the most widely used parliamentary authority in the United States, [http://www.parliamentarians.org/procedure.php] according to the National Association of Parliamentarians(an association of approximately 4,000 members which provides education and accreditation certifications for parliamentarians). [http://www.parliamentarians.org/about.php] That association bases its opinions and instruction on "RONR".
Other editions and variations
Since the copyrights for several of the original editions have expired, numerous other books and manuals have been published incorporating "Robert's Rules of Order" as part of their titles, some of them based on those earlier editions.
The existence of multiple editions and other variations all published as "Robert's Rules of Order" can sometimes cause confusion, as the various publications may differ in some details. If an organization that has adopted "Robert's Rules of Order" does not wish "RONR" to be considered its reference authority, it should adopt another version explicitly, as "RONR" is generally considered by parliamentarians to be the definitive source on the subject.
The next edition of RONR is scheduled to be released in 2011. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/books/review/Donadio-t.html?ref=books Point of Order - New York Times ] ]
*Code Morin fr
Rules of order: there are other common sets of rules of procedure
Special rules of order
National Association of Parliamentariansand American Institute of Parliamentarians, three organizations in the United States and Canada devoted to the field of parliamentary procedure
Notes and references
* [http://www.robertsrules.com/ Official Robert's Rules Of Order Web Site] Site of the Robert family trust
* [http://www.parlipro.org/ Parliamentary Procedure Online]
ites providing full text of older editions
* [http://www.rulesonline.com RulesOnline] Full text of 1915 (4th) ed., and other resources
* [http://www.bartleby.com/176/ Bartleby.com: Full text of Robert's Rules Of Order] Full text of 1915 (4th) ed.
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/9097 Project Gutenburg] Full text of 1876 ed.
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