Constitution and Standing Orders

NB: The details below are based on our constitution as it stood before the 2015 AGM. You can find the most up to date constitution on our 'About Us' page.


Unlock  Democracy's constitution lays down the rules we follow at our AGM. You can download  the full constitution here, but the specifics that relate to the AGM are included here, for information.

Unlock Democracy Constitution

As amended at the Annual General Meetings held on 21 November 2009, 26 November 2011, 10 November 2012, 9 November 2013, and 8 November 2014.

Section 3, Membership:

3.2. Rights of members
The following rights will be conferred on members 90 days after receipt of their application to join:
a) To attend and vote at all General Meetings, including the right to vote by proxy on motions if they request it;
b) To submit or second motions and constitutional amendments; 


Appendix C: Standing orders for General Meetings

1. The Role of the Chair
1.1. The Chair of Council shall chair the meetings, or make arrangements for the chairing. They shall be responsible for arranging the agenda in accordance with the rules laid out in the Constitution and for determining the validity of motions and constitutional amendments.

2. Voting
2.1. Members attending a general meeting will be issued with a voting card at registration.
2.2. Members shall vote by holding their voting card in the air while seated.
2.3. Where the vote is clear, the Chair may decide not to count votes.However, if five members present indicate they wish the votes to be counted, the votes shall be counted and the result shall be recorded.
2.4. The Chair will make arrangements with the Director for the telling of votes.

3. Rules of debate
3.1. The Chair will ascertain that the motion or constitutional amendment to be moved has a proposer (usually the person who has submitted the motion or constitutional amendment) and a seconder present at the meeting, or if proposed by a Group or Devolved Organisation, that a representative of that organisational unit is present to speak to it. 
3.2. The Chair will indicate the maximum length of speakers' times at the beginning of the debate.
3.3. The Chair will seek to ensure a balanced debate
3.4. Amendments to the proposal may be moved and seconded, debated and voted on. If accepted, the amended proposal becomes the substantive proposal. Amendments shall not be in order if they abnegate the proposal. 
3.5. At the end of the debate, the proposer may exercise a right of reply, dealing only with matters that have arisen in the debate. The vote will be taken immediately after the right of reply has been exercised. The proposer may chose to exercise his or her right of reply on an  amendment, in which case they will have no right of reply on the  substantive proposal 

4. Challenges to the Chair's ruling
4.1. The Chair will determine all procedural matters that arise before the meeting. During the meeting, procedural matters will be determined by the person who is chairing at the time the issue is raised.
4.2. A member may ask the Chair for a ruling on a procedural matter. Such rulings shall be challenged if five members indicate dissent by holding their voting cards in the air while seated. If challenged, another member of Council shall take the chair until the challenge is resolved. 
4.3. There shall be one speech in support of the challenge, one speech against the challenge, and the Chair may make a statement. The challenge shall immediately be put to the vote, with only members present voting. The Chair shall then resume his or her position.