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AR-001 General Assembly Rules of Procedure


THE UNION OF DEMOCRATIC STATES
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General Assembly Rules of Procedure

Section 1: Definitions

  1. Motions that would enact something into law, or create an amendment to the constitution or are otherwise mandated to follow the legislative procedure, are to be referred to as bills. Motions which do not create law, or are not mandated to be treated as such are not subject to Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution.

  2. Motions which enact rules or provisions relating exclusively to the General Assembly shall be referred to as Procedural Resolutions.

    1. Motions to amend or repeal Procedural Resolutions shall also be classified as such.

    2. Proposed Procedural Resolutions shall be referred to as Procedural Resolution Proposals.

Section 2: The Chairperson of the Assembly

  1. The Chairperson, when exercising their authority as such shall remain impartial to motions being proposed.

  2. Should there be a tie in a vote of the Assembly, the Chairperson shall cast an additional vote against the motion.

  3. The Chairperson shall moderate and guide the discussion of the Assembly in accordance with the General Procedures of the General Assembly.

Section 3: General Procedures of the General Assembly

  1. All periods of time allocated for a specific purpose specified in this document are to be, by default forty-eight (48) hours long, excepting the procedures to modify the periods, and where it is stated otherwise.

    1. Any Assembly Member may move to call a vote to extend any such period by a specified length of time. If a majority of votes cast by Assembly Members are in favour within the next 24 hours or by the conclusion of the period being extended, whichever is shorter, the period shall be extended by the specified amount.

    2. Any Assembly Member may move to call a vote to conclude any such period. If a majority of votes cast by Assembly Members are in favour within the next 12 hours the period shall be concluded.

  2. An Assembly Member may, at any time, protest to the Chairperson against an action the Assembly Member believes has violated these procedures, and the Chairperson shall evaluate the claim, and take whatever restorative action is necessary.

  3. The forum is the place of record for all business of the General Assembly.

    1. By the Chairperson’s discretion, Assembly Members may discuss the business of the Assembly, draft legislation or other texts, or vote elsewhere, but records must be posted to the forum.

  4. Only one motion may be considered at any one time in any one thread. Motions should be considered in the following hierarchy, and a motion introduced that is lower on the hierarchy than the motion currently being discussed is out of order:

    1. Hierarchy of Motions
      I move to protest violation of procedure
      I move to extend the current period
      I move to close the current period

Section 4: Discipline

  1. Disruptive behavior may be punished. The Chairperson may bring forward, with reasoning, a claim that an Assembly Member has violated a rule.

  2. Assembly Members shall have 24 hours to object to the Chairperson’s claim and vote against it with 45% approval required to succeed, if this is successful the accused Assembly Member shall not be punished. These votes shall not prevent any other business of the Assembly from occurring.

  3. If the Chairperson has not been successfully overridden by the General Assembly then they shall determine punishment, unless they or the Deputy Chairperson are the subject of the motion.

  4. Assembly Members may introduce a Motion of Punishment on the Chairperson or the Deputy Chairperson to punish them for the violation of rules. They shall require ⅔ majority to pass in a vote. The Chairperson may not seek to punish the Assembly Members(s) who introduced the Motion nor obstruct the motion. This vote shall not prevent any other business of the Assembly from occurring.

  5. Punishable disruptive behaviour shall include

    1. Submitting of inappropriate content for debate to Chairperson

    2. Ad hominem debate directed at another Assembly Member or another government member.

  6. The available punishments consist of:

    1. Official censure of an Assembly Member, to be entered into the permanent record of the proceedings of the General Assembly, and into a separate public listing on the forum and dispatch.

    2. Removal of the voting rights of an Assembly Member.

    3. Expulsion from the General Assembly, a ⅔ vote must be held in the General Assembly to confirm this punishment.

  7. If an Assembly Member is punished by removing their voting rights, the duration of the punishment shall be measured by bills introduced, and follow the following pattern:

    1. First offence: 2 bills

    2. Second offence: 4 bills

    3. Third offence: 8 bills

    4. Fourth offence: Indefinite removal. This shall require a ⅔ majority vote of the Assembly.

    5. One offence shall be removed every two months.

    6. This punishment does not remove the Chairperson’s tie breaking vote.

  8. If an Assembly Member believes they have been punished unfairly, they may appeal to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court rules in their favor, the related punishments shall be revoked.

Section 5: The Record of the General Assembly

  1. Debates, votes, censures, and official documents shall be posted to the forum and be collectively referred to as the Record of the General Assembly.

  2. There shall be accurate records of Assembly business posted to NationStates in the form of a dispatch of appropriate formality and official stature posted monthly.

  3. Punished behavior and only punished behavior may be censored from the Record at the Chairperson’s discretion.

Section 6: Committees

  1. Committees, a group of one or more Assembly Members, formed to gather information and formulate ideas for consideration by the General Assembly may be organized with a formal request to the Chairperson

    1. This shall be subject to a majority vote of the Assembly, which may be waived by the Chairperson with the presence of unanimous consent in a period of 24 hours.

    2. If the formal request is approved, the Senator who submitted the request becomes the Committee Chair and is free to progress on the issue as they see fit.

  2. Committees do not have legislative authority, and can not, on their own pass bills.

  3. Committees are empowered to draft recommendations, reports or other such findings and conduct investigations for the Assembly or the Union as a whole

  4. Committees may conduct conversations among themselves outside of the forums, and the chair or others may open up informal polls as needed

    1. Upon the request of any member of the committee, a formal majority vote on an issue of the committee shall be held by the chair in the appropriate section of the forum.

    2. All things to be forwarded to the Assembly, or otherwise published and endorsed by the committee must be approved by a formal majority vote on the appropriate section of the forum.

  5. Committees are further empowered to call for the testimony of relevant persons, without legal force except as provided by further law.

  6. Committees may be empowered with delegated authority by further law.

Section 7: Procedure for Absences

  1. A Chairperson who will be absent shall publish a notification of a Leave of Absence. A Chairperson who does not do so, and causes significant disruption by that, shall be subject to disciplinary action.

  2. A Chairperson shall additionally appoint a Deputy Chairperson to serve as a substitute if one has not already been appointed, or if the currently appointed Deputy Chairperson will also be absent during the Chairperson’s absence.

    1. A Deputy Chairperson must be an Assembly Member and may not be the President.

    2. A Deputy Chairperson who is currently serving as Chairperson shall be referred to as the Acting Chairperson.

  3. If a Chairperson or Acting Chairperson is absent for more than two days unannounced, then the Vice President shall become the Acting Chairperson.

Section 8: Procedure for Bills

  1. Any Assembly Member, not otherwise inhibited, may send a proposed bill to the Chairperson for consideration by the Assembly.

  2. Upon receipt of a bill from an Assembly Member, the Chairperson shall create a thread in the forum, and open the bill for debate.

  3. After the opening of the bill, the sponsor of the bill may introduce the bill, followed by the co-sponsors.

  4. The Chairperson shall then declare the bill open for discussion by other Assembly Members, who may then formally and respectfully declare their views on the bill at hand.

    1. The debate period will last 48 hours from the opening by the Chairperson

  5. Upon conclusion of the debate period, the Chairperson shall open an amendment period, during which any Assembly Member may propose amendments or debate amendments have been proposed.

    1. This period shall last 72 hours unless extended or shortened in accordance with the provisions for such in Section 3.

  6. Upon conclusion of the amendment period, the Chairperson shall move the bill to the voting period which will last 48 hours

  7. The voting period (or second voting period if there were proposed amendments) will occur, a simple majority required for passage.

    1. Voting periods shall end at the conclusion of the 48 hours unless extended or shortened in accordance with General Procedures of the General Assembly.

  8. The process outlined in steps 2 through 7 shall be repeated for bills originating in the Senate.

    1. For bills originating in the Senate

      1. The Senate sponsors of the bill are permitted to introduce the bill but will not participate in further debate after the Chairperson has declared the bill open for discussion

      2. If the amendment period results in no passed amendments and the bill is then approved by the Assembly, the bill shall be delivered to the President in accordance with the Constitution

      3. If the amendment period results in one or more passed amendments, the bill shall be returned to the Senate

  9. For bills amended by the Senate returning to the General Assembly

    1. The bills sponsors retain the right to introduction, as well as one person as designated by the Speaker of the Senate when the bill was sent to the Chairperson

    2. A debate period concerning the amendments introduced by the Senate will be commenced by the Chairperson

    3. There will be no amendment period for a bill returning to the Assembly with amendments from the Senate

    4. The bill and its amendments shall be subject to a majority vote of approval. Should the bill succeed it will be forwarded to the President. Should the bill fail the vote it is defeated

  10. Upon the rejection of a veto by the Senate, the Chairperson shall then create a thread in the appropriate place in the forum, with the bill that was vetoed and the objections from the president. There shall then be a period of debate on both the bill and the objections, and then a voting period.

    1. Should the rejection of the veto be approved with a two thirds majority of the Assembly, the veto of the President shall be considered overturned and the motion shall become law.

Section 9: Procedure for Resolution Proposals

  1. Any Assembly Member, not otherwise inhibited, may send a Procedural Resolution Proposal to the Chairperson for consideration by the Assembly.

  2. Upon receipt of a proposal from an Assembly Member, the Chairperson shall create a thread in the forum, and open the proposal for debate.

  3. After the opening of the proposal, the sponsor of the proposal may introduce the resolution, followed by the co-sponsors.

  4. The Chairperson shall then declare the proposal open for discussion by other Assembly Members, who may then formally and respectfully declare their views on the resolution at hand.

    1. The debate period will last 48 hours from the opening by the Chairperson.

  5. Upon conclusion of the debate period, the Chairperson shall open an amendment period, during which any Assembly Member may propose amendments or debate amendments have been proposed.

    1. This period shall last 72 hours unless extended or shortened in accordance with the provisions for such in Section 3.

  6. During any of these periods, any citizen may object to the proposal on the basis that its provisions do not pertain exclusively to the Assembly. This objection must be seconded by an Assembly Member, after which the Chairperson shall hold a vote on the issue.

    1. The voting period shall last 48 hours, with the currently active debate or amendment period being extended to the end of the vote.

    2. The vote only requires 45% approval to succeed.

    3. If the vote is successful the proposal shall be reclassified as a bill, and debate will restart, now in accordance with the provisions of Section 7, unless the proposal is an amendment in which case it will be discarded.

    4. If the vote fails, debate will resume, and no further votes on reclassification may be held.

  7. Upon conclusion of the amendment period, the Chairperson shall move the proposal to the voting period which will last 48 hours.

    1. If the proposal has proposed amendments there will be two voting periods.

      1. The amendments will be voted on individually in a single voting period.

      2. Upon the conclusion of voting upon the proposed amendments, the proposal shall progress to the second voting period to be voted on its entirety.

  8. The voting period (or second voting period if there were proposed amendments) shall occur, a simple majority required for passage.

    1. Voting periods shall end at the conclusion of the 48 hours unless extended or shortened in accordance with General Procedures of the General Assembly.

    2. If the proposal passes, it immediately becomes a Procedural Resolution, and Assembly Members shall be expected to follow its provisions.



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