Parliamentary law is a system of maintaining order in organizations. It provides an approved and uniform method of conducting meetings in a fair, orderly, and expeditious manner.
Respect for law is a basic characteristic of democratic government. This respect is clearly shown by a willingness to practice an orderly method of procedure in organizations so as to follow the will of the majority, to protect the rights of the minority, and to protect the interests of those absent.
The use of parliamentary procedure in itself, however, does not insure that these ideals will be met. Everyone involved with an organization must also work to create an atmosphere of trust, mutual respect, and shared purpose.
Robert’s Rules of Order was written by General Henry M. Robert, a U.S. Army engineer, and published in 1876. His work is still regarded as the basic authority on the subject of parliamentary law. The most recent edition of the work, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (l970), is the accepted authority for almost all organizations today. This pamphlet, Fundamentals of Parliamentary Procedure, is based on that book.