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2.5 Standing Orders of the Assembly

(1) Meetings

At any time at the discretion of the Chair, or upon the requisition in writing of not fewer than twenty-five members of the Assembly stating the purpose for which the meeting is to be called, an extraordinary meeting of the Assembly shall be called. There shall be a quorum of 50 members of the Assembly for such a meeting.

(2) Notice of Meetings

All meetings shall normally be called by notices specifying the business to be considered, and issued by the Secretary to Council not less than five clear days before the time of the meeting. However, a period of notice less than five clear days may be given on the request of those calling the meeting.

(3) Chairs of Meetings

The Vice-Chancellor and President shall be the Chair of the Assembly and shall preside at meetings of the Assembly.

(4) Agenda

(a) Assembly may, at any properly constituted meeting, discuss any matter relating to the University except that no motion of any kind shall be introduced which is not otherwise permissible under these Standing Orders. The Assembly may make recommendations to the Council or to the Senate on any matter whatsoever relating to the University and including any matter referred to it by the Council or the Senate.

(b) In the case of an extraordinary meeting called at less than five clear days’ notice, no motion shall be taken unless the motion has previously been placed on the agenda and there be present a quorum consisting of at least one-third of the total membership of the Assembly.

(5) Voting

All acts of the Assembly and all questions coming or arising before the Assembly shall be done and decided by a majority of the members present and voting thereon at a meeting of the Assembly, unless a postal ballot of all members is requested prior to any vote by a majority of the members present and voting. If such a postal ballot is agreed the Assembly shall not proceed to take a vote at the meeting on the question to be balloted. In the case of equality of votes the Chair shall have a casting vote irrespective of any vote on the motion previously cast. A record of the number of votes cast, including the number of abstentions, shall accompany a resolution or motion transmitted to the Council, the Senate, or any other University body.

(6) Minutes

The Secretary to Council shall prepare Minutes of the proceedings of all meetings of the Assembly.

(7) Procedure

No motion shall be considered by the Assembly unless it be on the agenda, or be by way of amendment or addition to a motion, or be made in pursuance of a recommendation contained in a report of a Committee of the Assembly, or be clearly relevant to an item on the agenda, or unless the Assembly resolve that it is urgent. A motion that a matter is urgent or relevant shall be voted upon without debate.

(8) Every member of the Assembly shall address the Chair. If two or more members wish to speak at the same time, the Chair shall decide to whom priority shall be given.

(9) All remarks made by every member, in speaking, shall be confined to the question before the Assembly. No member shall speak more than twice upon any question except that:

(a) the mover of an original motion shall have the right to reply upon the original motion and upon any amendment to the motion, and the mover of an amendment which has become the substantive motion shall have a similar right of reply, provided that any reply as aforesaid shall be confined strictly to answering previous observations, and not introduce new matter;

(b) a member may speak briefly to a point of order or a point of information;

(c) any part of a speech, previously delivered by a member, and which that member considers to have been misunderstood, may be explained by the member;

(d) a member may be exempted from the requirement not to speak more than twice by the Chair.

(10) Moving of Motions

The mover shall in every case read out the motion and amendment before speaking to it, and no other member shall speak to it until it has been seconded.

(11) A member who seconds a motion or an amendment may choose to speak at a later time in the debate thereon.

(12) Motions to Lapse

If a motion, notice of which is specified in the agenda, be not moved either by or on behalf of the member who gave the notice, it shall (unless postponed by leave of the Assembly) be considered as dropped, and shall not be moved without fresh notice.

(13) Forms of Amendment

(a) Every amendment shall be relevant to the motion on which it is moved.

(b) Amendments received not less than 72 hours prior to the commencement of a meeting shall be posted on Insite. Amendments received less than 72 hours before a meeting shall be dealt with as if received at the meeting.

(14) Further Amendments

Whenever an amendment upon an original motion has been moved and seconded, no second or subsequent amendment shall be moved until the first amendment shall have been disposed of; but notice of any number of amendments which have reference to the subject matter of the original motion may be given.

(15) If an amendment be rejected, other amendments may be moved on the original motion. If any amendment be carried, the motion as amended shall take the place of the original motion, and shall become the question upon which any further amendment may be moved.

(16) Motions to Proceed to Next Business, Adjournments, etc.

Any member of the Assembly may at any time move ‘That the Assembly do now proceed to the next business’, or ‘That the Assembly do now adjourn’, ‘That the debate be adjourned’, or ‘That the question be put’. Such a motion may be opposed by one speech lasting not more than one minute and, following such opposition, may be supported by a speech lasting not more than one minute. The procedural motion shall then be voted on by a show of hands, and Standing Order (17) shall not apply.

(17) Method of Voting

All questions put to the vote shall be decided by a show of hands, or by electronic vote, except that:

(a) the Chair may order a ballot;

(b) a ballot shall be held if requested by not less than one-tenth of the number of members of the Assembly present;

(c) a postal ballot may be held under Standing Order (5).

(18) Decision of the Chair

The decision of the Chair of the meeting on all questions of order, relevance and regularity and interpretation of the Standing Orders shall be final, where such questions arise in the course of a meeting.

(19) Adjournment by the Chair

The Chair may propose, and, with the consent of the meeting, declare an adjournment of a meeting of the Assembly for a defined period of time. On the expiration of the period named, the Assembly shall resume the business which was under discussion.

(20) Suspension of Standing Orders

Any one or more of the Standing Orders may, in case of urgency, or upon a motion made on a notice duly given, be suspended for the whole or part of any meeting, provided that a majority of the members present and voting shall so decide.

(21) Amendment of Standing Orders

Any one or more of these Standing Orders may be amended by resolution of the Assembly passed at a meeting by a majority of the members present and voting. Formal approval for these amendments will be sought from the Assembly at its next meeting in accordance with paragraph (21) above.


(a) Updated as at 12 February 2014, following approval by the Assembly at its meeting held on 11 February 2014.

(b) Updated as at 22 May 2017, following approval by the Assembly at its meeting held on 12 May 2017.

These Standing Orders have been amended to reflect changes to the University Statute governing the Assembly approved by the Privy Council in 1999.