Autumn Conference 2023

Motion #02

Split SOC into Two Independent Parts

Motion not debated


This motion responds to support in the recent consultations by the Party Structure Working Group to increase the number of people in SOC and to split out its work into two different committees, one dealing with the constitution and one dealing with conference.


This motion calls on conference to make the following changes to the constitution to create two new governance bodies to take over the work currently done by Standing Orders Committee (SOC) and to enact this through the transition process outlined. Constitution Changes Insert the following Clause after Clause 9 and renumber New Clause 10: Constitution Interpretation Committee i) Constitution Interpretation Committee. There will be a Constitution Interpretation Committee (CIC) which shall be the final authority for the interpretation of the Constitution and Standing Orders for all parts of the Party. ii) The CIC shall consist of not more than five members elected every two years in the Annual Ballot using a single transferable vote ballot (not more than two of whom shall be members of the Regional Council).

Amend the following clauses of the existing Clause 10 to replace references to the current SOC, where it is replaced by the Conference Business Committee (CBC), so it reads: Amend [existing] Clause 10 ii) a) so it reads: a) it shall be required to receive reports only from the Conference Business Committee, Policy Development Committee, Disciplinary Committee, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee; and the Constitution Interpretation Committee; Amend [existing] Clause 10 iii) so it reads:

  1. iii) Conference Business Committee (CBC). Conference shall elect a Conference Business Committee. (CBC) which will be responsible for the order of business of conference, including the order in which motions are taken, subject to the approval of Conference. Amend [existing] Clause 10 iv) so it reads:
  2. iv) The Conference Business Committee shall consist of not more than five members elected by Annual Conference (not more than two of whom shall be members of the Regional Council). Amend [existing] Clause 10 v) so it reads: v) Conference Business Committee will be responsible for compiling and maintaining a Record of Organisational Statements to include instructions made by Conference to bodies within the party.

Amend [existing] Clause 10 vi) so it reads: vi) The Conference Business Committee shall also carry out such duties as are provided for in Standing Orders for the Conduct for Conference Amend [existing] Clause 17 ii) to add a reference to the CBC, so it reads: ii) In all elections for Constitution Interpretation Committee, Conference Business Committee, Policy Development Committee, Campaigns Committee, International Committee, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Equalities & Diversity Committee, the Regional Council, and the Party Executive there will be an election, even when there are no more candidates than positions to be filled. In such an event provision will be made for negative voting, in a form to be decided by CIC from time to time, such that if any candidate receives more negative than positive votes such candidate shall not be elected. Add to Existing Clause 9) 1): (e) Members of Constitution Interpretation Committee;

Amendment #1

In paragraph iii)

change “Conference Business Committee (CBC). Conference shall elect a Conference Business Committee. (CBC)”


“A Conference Business Committee (CBC) shall be elected in the Annual Ballot“

In paragraph iv) change

“elected by Annual Conference”


“elected every two years in the Annual Ballot using a single transferable vote ballot”

<p>Amend Standing Orders for the Conduct for Conference</p>

<p>Throughout SOCC change Standing Orders Committee / SOC for Conference Business Committee / CBC except as provided below.</p>

<p>Amend F5 so it reads</p>

<p>F5 CIC or CBC proposal of motions</p>

<p>F5.1 Neither CIC nor CBC shall propose or second policy motions.</p>

<p>F5.2 CIC may propose a motion or motions to amend the Constitution, and any other Standing Orders which are specified in the constitution as requiring approval and amendment by Conference and, if such a proposal is moved by CIC, individual members of CIC shall acquire the right to propose or second amendments to that proposal. However, individual members of CIC shall not acquire such right in respect of motions to amend the Constitution or other Standing Orders which are proposed by anyone other than CIC.</p>

<p>F5.3 CBC may propose a motion or motions to amend these Standing Orders and, if such a proposal is moved by CBC, individual members of CBC shall acquire the right to propose or second amendments to that proposal. However, individual members of CBC shall not acquire such right in respect of motions to amend these Standing Orders which are proposed by anyone other than CBC.</p>

<p>F5.3 Individual members of CIC and CBC may neither propose nor second motions or amendments to motions in the First or Final Agendas except as provided in F5.2 above or in F7 below. However, members of SOC and CBC may speak to such motions.</p>

<p>Amend F6.1 so it reads:</p>

<p>F6 CBC Report</p>

<p>F6.1 CBC shall submit a Report with the Final Agenda. This Report shall be divided into sections covering:</p>

<p>· The Final Agenda and Ordering of Motions for Conference;</p>

<p>· A notification of how many motions and amendments have been ruled out of order and where these are published;</p>

<p>· A report on CBC’s participation in the Agenda process including any motions or amendments that CBC is submitting to Conference;</p>

<p>· Timetabling, chairing and other procedural matters affecting Conference including elections to be held at Conference, with the recommendations of CBC; and</p>

<p>· A report by CBC of any changes that they have adopted to their Standing Orders.</p>

<p>Amend F7.2 so it read:</p>

<p>F7.2 CBC shall be responsible for ensuring that the Agenda of every Annual General Meeting shall include motions to accept the reports of the Party Treasurer, Executive, Co-chairs of Green Party Regional Council (GPRC), CIC, Policy development Committee (PDC), Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (ADRC) and other governance bodies as required by the Constitution. If any such motions to accept reports have not been received by the due date from the appropriate Party Officers, the motion to accept the report shall be proposed formally by CBC from the floor of Conference.</p>

<p>The following clauses should not be amended so they remain:</p>

<p>H9.2 It shall be assumed for any count that a simple majority is needed, unless CIC advise that a two-thirds majority is needed.</p>

<p>K1.7 CIC and the ERO appointed by CIC shall be responsible for carrying out any member ballots required by Conference as in Section L.</p>

<p>L3 c) CIC will facilitate a democratic process to obtain a statement from members opposed to the motion. If more than one statement is proposed, then the statement that has the support of greatest number of valid members’ signatures will be accepted by CIC and the ERO as the statement against.</p>

<p>L4. Vote</p>

<p>The vote will be conducted by the ERO, who will agree a timetable and procedure with CIC. Voting papers sent by post should be distributed with other Green Party materials. If the ERO is a signatory of the motion to initiate a membership ballot, CIC will be required to select an acting ERO.</p>

<p>M.3 Following any changes to governance bodies as agreed by Conference, CIC shall delete references to these and other bodies in these Standing Orders to reflect those changes, shall insert the names of the new bodies that have taken over their powers or duties, without recourse to Conference for prior approval.</p>

<p>M.4 All corrections made by Standing Orders Committee outside of Conference will be published to members as soon as possible and will be reported to the next Conference as part of the Standing Orders Committee report.</p>

<p>M5. CIC shall ensure that an example Local Party Constitution is drawn up and published, and may draw up and publish additional notes to guide Local and Regional Parties on constitutional matters.</p>

<p>Delete Appendix B Clause 4.2</p>

<p>Delete Appendix B Clause 4.2 and renumber</p>

Constitution Interpretation Committee Standing Orders

  1. Introduction

These Standing Orders are intended to set out basic principles that should shape the way in which CIC makes decisions. It is in addition to the rules and procedures established in the Constitution. Should there be a conflict of interpretation between these standing orders and the Constitution then the Constitution takes precedence. These standing orders will be agreed at Conference from time to time via the CIC report.

  1. CIC Convenor

Within a week of the end of each Autumn Conference CIC will appoint a convenor. In the event of a vacancy CIC must appoint a replacement within a week. The CIC convenor is appointed, or removed by a vote of no confidence, by a minimum of three members of CIC, or a simple majority if there are less than five members of CIC.

Within a week of their appointment following each Conference, the convenor must notify all members of CIC, the Conferences Committee Convenor, Policy Development Committee Convenor, the Green Party regional Committee (GPRC) Co-chairs and the Green Party Executive (GPEx) chair, of the time & place for meetings to discuss the first and final agenda for the forthcoming Conference.

The Convenor will maintain a copy of these standing orders.

  1. Principles of Decision-Making

CIC will operate to the highest standards of accountability and transparency as regards decision-making. The key principles (in addition to those set out in the Constitution are):

a) Decisions will always be in writing and make reference to the relevant sections of the party’s Constitutional documents or other relevant principles;

b) Where possible decisions will be taken by consensus of all members of CIC; where this is not possible (except where stated otherwise) all decisions will require that both a majority of members voted and that a majority voted for the proposal;

c) co-optees to the Committee will be allowed to vote but their votes will not count towards determining if either of the required majorities have been reached;

d) All decisions shall be taken with the knowledge of each member of CIC or one its sub-committees where possible;

e) Some decisions must be taken at one of the two meetings in (2) above. However it is recognised that there are times when it is desirable to take decisions in other ways.

  1. Decisions That Must Be Taken at a Formal Meeting of CIC


a) The content of the CIC report

b) Changes to these Standing Orders

4.2 All other decisions can be taken at either a formal meeting, by a discussion and vote on the e-list or by remote conference. The procedures for these are below.

4.3 Decision by E-list.

The CIC Convenor will maintain an E-mail list (‘E-list’) to which all CIC members and the Returning Officer can post items and any Green Party member can join on a ‘read-only’ basis. CIC members must therefore ensure that the CIC Convenor has a current email address, contact number, or other means of contacting you.

The CIC Convenor will have the sole discretion to determine whether an item is suitable for decision by E-list with the exception of a vote of no confidence in the CIC Convenor. Before doing so the Convenor should consider the complexity of the decision to hand and the ability to have a proper discussion via the E-list. Generally, it is anticipated that prior to a request for a formal decision by email, a discussion about the issue will have taken place on the E-list and this will assist the Convenor in reaching his/her decision.

Once the Convenor has decided to use the ‘E- List

Green Party Standing Orders for the Conduct of Conference Revised Autumn 2021 list’ they should post a simple email covering each decision to the list stating in the subject ‘DECISION BY XX/YY/ZZ ON [SUBJECT]’. In the text of the email the Convenor should explain the decision to be made, make the relevant references to the Constitution and confirm the deadline for a response. The deadline for response should be no less than 48 hours. Further, if the deadline is less than 72 hours the Convenor should attempt to alert the SOC members of the vote by the fastest means possible taking into account the accessibility requirements of the particular members of SOC at the time. Members of SOC should vote by simply replying to the list ‘FOR’ ‘AGAINST’ or ‘ABSTAIN’.

4.4 Decision by Remote Conference

Notice of a remote conference should be published on the SOC E-list along with a note of the business to be discussed during the conference at least 24 hours in advance of the remote conference. CIC may invite relevant people to participate in the conference. Requests from members to ‘listen in ’ will normally be accepted. However, such members have no automatic right to actively participate in the discussion.

Minutes covering decisions taken, the reasons for them, and votes cast will be circulated by the Convenor (or a person nominated by the Convenor) on the E-list within 24 hours of the end of the remote conference. So that a contemporaneous record is kept of these conferences, when the Convenor posts the minutes onto the E-list he/she will do so by invoking the ‘E-list’ on a proposal to accept the accuracy of the minutes.

  1. CIC Rulings

SOC will receive requests for rulings from time to time. SOC should refrain from issuing rulings based on vague and hypothetical situations since this could lead to the application of rulings out of context.

  1. Emergency Business - Suspension of Standing Orders

If all members of CIC agree, these standing orders can be suspended for the purposes of a particular decision. However specifically business covered by 4.1 above cannot be discussed whilst these standing orders are suspended.

  1. Changes to these Standing Orders

7.1 These Standing Orders can only be amended at a formal meeting of the Committee.

7.2 These Standing Orders will be agreed at Conference from time to time, but no longer than annually, via the CIC report.

  1. The CIC Report

The CIC Report should contain the following:

(a) Rulings made and the reasons for them

(b) A list of the decisions made by E-list and Remote Conference


At the next Annual ballot following the passing of this motion a new Constitution Interpretation Committee will be elected.

The current members of Standing Orders Committee may stand for election to the CIC.

When the new CIC is elected, existing members of SOC will the constitute the CBC until the next Annual Conference.

Last updated on 2023-10-21 at 11:41