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What Are Robert's Rules of Order?

Robert's Rules is practically synonymous with parliamentary procedure, and for good reason. Robert's Rules of Order sets out the parliamentary rules organizations can adopt as a guide for establishing the conduct of the organization and the management of its meetings.

In a nutshell, Robert's Rules make meetings meaningful. Those three words — making meetings meaningful — so clearly describe the most immediate benefit to learning and applying the principles of parliamentary procedure contained in Robert's Rules.

Robert's Rules provide guidance for most organizational functions, including

  • Establishing an organization and the rules that govern it

  • Presiding over and participating in organizational meetings, including making motions and debating those motions

  • Calling for and conducting elections within the organization

Robert's Rules of Order set out the procedures and, yes, rules to follow for meetings that adhere to parliamentary procedure.

The Robert's Rules Association, the National Association of Parliamentarians, and the American Institute of Parliamentarians recognize Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised as the authoritative work on parliamentary procedure whenever Robert's Rules is designated as the parliamentary authority.

Henry Martyn Robert served as a civil engineer in the U.S. Army, where he was called on to preside at meetings. He immersed himself in a study of the parliamentary law of the day and developed a pocket manual of parliamentary procedure published in 1876 known as Robert's Rules of Order. Since then, the manual has seen two revisions in a total of ten editions.

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