This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. (December 2014)
Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised notes, "Punishments that a society can impose generally fall under the headings of reprimand, fine (if authorized in the bylaws), suspension, or expulsion." If an offense occurs in a meeting, the assembly, having witnessed it themselves, can vote on a punishment without the need for a trial. The chair has no authority to impose a penalty or to order the offending member to be removed from the hall, but the assembly has that power. It is also possible to make a motion to censure. Mason's Legislative Manual provides:
|“||Whenever the presiding officer attempts to thwart the purpose of the office, the power resides in the assembly to pass the presiding officer by and proceed to action otherwise. This right is but a branch of the power that assemblies exert in choosing temporary officers when the permanent officers are absent. It is not their absence that justifies the exercise of the power, but the fact they are not performing duties necessary to the proper fulfillment of the functions of the assembly. Inability or refusal to perform those duties has the same effect as actions in suspending the ordinary functions of the meeting and equally warrants the selection of the temporary chair. The power is inherent or inseparably attached to the right of the body to convene and act.||”|
European continental model
According the European Court of human rights, "it is common practice in Parliaments of the Member States of the Council of Europe that Parliaments exercise control over behaviour in Parliament": the Court notes the importance of orderly conduct in Parliament and recognises the importance of respect for constitutional institutions in a democratic society. Its supervisory role consists in balancing those interests in the specific circumstances of the case against the rights affected in order to determine the proportionality of the interference.
- Robert, Henry M. (2011). Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th ed., p. 643 (RONR)
- RONR, p. 646
- National Conference of State Legislatures (2000). Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure, 2000 ed., p. 418
- Sturgis, Alice (2001). The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, 4th ed., p. 224
- Giampiero Buonomo, Lo scudo di cartone, Rubbettino Editore, 2015, p. 209 , ISBN 978-88-498-4440-5.
- In terms of their actual impact and the infringement of the rights of others, the Court - in his Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) in CASE OF KARÁCSONY AND OTHERS v. HUNGARY (Second Section) 16/09/2014 - was satisfied that the applicants’ expressions did not create a significant disturbance. They did not delay or prevent either the parliamentary debate or the vote. Thus the expressions at issue did not disturb the actual functioning of Parliament. The Government admitted that the imposition of sanctions was of a political nature. While attributing due respect to the authority of Parliament and the need for parliamentarians to respect the rules of procedure, the Court considers that the above shortcomings in the procedure undermine the fairness of the imposition of the sanction and, in the circumstances of the case, do not provide sufficient protection of impartiality against political bias in the decision-making which endangers freedom of expression. While this does not in itself result, in the specific circumstances of the case, in a partisanship that is per se incompatible with the procedural requirements of Article 10 of the Convention, the Court will take this matter into consideration in the overall determination of the necessity of the interference in a democratic society. 85. The Court further notes that the impugned decision of Parliament relied on a proposal of the Speaker that referred in a clear manner to the actions of the applicants but it did not specify, even less give reasons, why such conduct was “gravely offensive”. Given that the decision of Parliament was the result of a procedure without debate at the plenary meeting, it cannot be considered an appropriate forum for examining issues of fact and law, assessing evidence and making a legal characterisation of the facts (compare and contrast Oleksandr Volkov v. Ukraine, no. 21722/11, § 122, ECHR 2013). In the determination of the proportionality of the interference with freedom of expression, the Court attributes importance to the severity of the sanctions, and this in contrast with the fact that little disturbance of Parliament’s ability to function actually occurred.