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A deliberative assembly
is an organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...
comprising members who use parliamentary procedure
Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics, and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies...
to make decisions. In a speech to the electorate at Bristol in 1774, Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....
described the English Parliament as a "deliberative assembly," and the expression became the basic term for a body of persons meeting to discuss and determine common action.
Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised
Robert's Rules of Order is the short title of a book containing rules of order intended to be adopted as a parliamentary authority for use by a deliberative assembly written by Brig. Gen...
describes certain characteristics of a deliberative assembly, such as each member having an equal vote and the fact that the group meets to determine actions to be taken in the name of the entire group. A deliberative assembly may have different classes of members. Common classes are voting members (also known as regular members) who have the right to vote, ex-officio members, and honorary members.
Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised
identifies several types of deliberative assemblies, including:
- A mass meeting
In parliamentary law, a mass meeting is a type of deliberative assembly, which in a publicized or selectively distributed notice known as the call of the meeting - has been announced:...
, which is an unorganized group meeting open to all individuals in a sector of the population who are interested in deliberating about a subject proposed by the meeting's sponsors. Examples include meetings to discuss common political concerns or community interests.
- A local assembly of an organized society, which is a membership meeting of a local chapter or branch of an organization. Examples include local chapter meetings of membership nonprofit organizations like the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892, in San Francisco, California, by the conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president...
- A convention
A convention, in the sense of a meeting, is a gathering of individuals who meet at an arranged place and time in order to discuss or engage in some common interest. The most common conventions are based upon industry, profession, and fandom...
, which is a meeting of delegates who represent constituent units of a population. Conventions are not permanently established bodies, and delegates are normally elected for only one term. A convention may be held by an organized society, where each local assembly is represented by a delegate.
- A legislative body
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...
, which is a legally established public lawmaking body. It consists of representatives chosen by the electorate. Examples include congress
A congress is a formal meeting of the representatives of different nations, constituent states, independent organizations , or groups....
es, state legislature
In the United States of America, a state legislature is a generic term referring to the legislative body of any of the country's 50 states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 24 states, the legislature is simply called the "Legislature", or the "State Legislature", while in 19 states,...
s, and city council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...
- A board, which is an administrative, managerial, or quasi-judicial body. A board derives its power from an outside authority that defines the scope of its operations. Examples include an organized society's or company's board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...
and government agency boards like a board of education
A board of education or a school board or school committee is the title of the board of directors or board of trustees of a school, local school district or higher administrative level....
- A committee
A committee is a type of small deliberative assembly that is usually intended to remain subordinate to another, larger deliberative assembly—which when organized so that action on committee requires a vote by all its entitled members, is called the "Committee of the Whole"...
, which is a small deliberative assembly subordinate to a larger deliberative assembly.