ABOUT PARLIAMENTARY LAW
Parliamentary law was the name given to the rules and customs for carrying on business in the English Parliament. These rules and customs were brought to America with the settling of the nation. Besides its use in legislative bodies, parliamentary law has been adapted to meet the needs of diverse organizations.
The kind of assembly where parliamentary law is applicable is known as a deliberative assembly. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson penned his manual of parliamentary law for legislative assemblies. With the formation of other kinds of societies and deliberative assemblies, another manual was needed to meet their procedural needs. Such was published in 1845, authored by Luther Cushing. This manual was not able to meet the needs as hoped. Both of these manuals, however, were the genesis for the manual developed by General Henry Martyn Robert.
General Robert's first manuscript contained a mere sixteen pages. It was printed in 1874. Robert's Rules has been updated many time since this first edition. The 10th Edition was released in 2000. Today, Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th Edition embodies 704 pages and is the most widely recognized manual for parliamentary procedure in non-legislative organizations.
When an organization adopts Robert's Rules of Order as its parliamentary authority, the rules within it, together with any special rules that the organization may adopt, are binding upon the organization and constitute that organization's rules of order.
The principles of parliamentary law as delineated in this manual are intrinsically fair to all members of any group. The use of these laws can bring order out of chaos, freedom out of disputes.