Chester Debating Society © .

Chester Debating Society

Est 1902

The Standing Orders of ‘The Chester Debating Society’

(as amended April 2013)


1. CHAIRING OF THE MEETING. The chair shall usually be taken by the President. In the absence of the President the chair will be taken by a nominated deputy – usually the Vice President. The occupant of the Chair shall be addressed as Mr/Madam President or Mr/Madam Chairman. The Chair will start and close the meeting.  

2. ORDER OF BUSINESS. The order of business shall normally be as follows:

1. Minutes (not normally to be read out but placed on display for Members to read)

2. Election of New Members

3. Questions to Officers

4. Debate on the motion appointed  

5. Vote

6. Vote of thanks

7. Announcements

3. LENGTH OF SPEECHES. The Proposer & Opposer are limited to 15 minutes each for opening speeches and 10 minutes each for closing speeches. All other speakers are limited to 5 minutes.

4. ORDER OF SPEAKING. A request to speak shall be indicated by a raised hand. The Chair will then select and invite the requester to speak.

5. ADDRESSING THE CHAIR. All speakers shall address their speeches and remarks solely to the Chair and shall stand whilst speaking. No member shall remain standing when the Chair rises. A speaker shall refer to another in the third person.

6. NO SECOND SPEECHES. No person shall speak more than once to any motion except at the discretion of the Chair and as provided for in standing orders 3, 9, 10 and 11.

7. RELEVANCE. All speeches shall be relevant to the motion under discussion.

8. AMENDMENT TO MOTION. No amendment shall be proposed to the motion appointed for debate

9. POINT OF ORDER. A member may rise to put forward a point of order which must deal only with the conduct or procedure of the meeting and he/she shall be entitled to be heard forthwith. The chairman shall give a ruling on the point so raised, which ruling shall not be open to discussion or challenge.

10. POINTS OF PERSONAL EXPLANATION. A speaker who feels that a material part of their speech has been misunderstood may rise on a point of personal explanation. He/She may proceed to make their point only with the permission of the Chair and remarks must be directed solely to clarify the point deemed to have been misunderstood.

11. POINT OF INFORMATION. A person may intervene with the object of obtaining clarification of some point raised in a speech but only with the consent of the speaker who has the floor at the time. The speaker may or may not give way to allow the point of information to be made.

12. VOTES. A vote shall normally be taken, however the Chair may use their discretion to waive taking a vote.

13. VOTE OF THANKS. A formal vote of thanks shall be accorded to any proposer and/or opposer who is not a member of the Society. The Chairman will give a vote of thanks to Members who propose or oppose a debate.

14. DUTIES OF THE CHAIRMAN. It shall be the duty of the Chairman to enforce the Standing Orders and in general to see that the proceedings of the Society are conducted in a seemly manner. The Chair shall have the authority to request any persons persistently disregarding the ruling of the Chair to leave the meeting.