PGL Mock States Debate – the rules


Below are the rules for the PGL Mock States Debate on 17 April. They are an adapted version of the rules that would be used in a standard States debate, leaving out the guillotine motion (26.1) and give way (17.12).

The numbers at the beginning of each rule correspond to the paragraphs in the Rules of Procedure of the States of Deliberation.

Layperson’s descriptions of rules that could be used in a point of order are given in capital letters.


6.1 A meeting will convene at 7pm.

6.2a Unless a meeting has already concluded, the Presiding Officer will adjourn near to 9pm.

7.2 The Greffier shall recite the Lord’s Prayer in French at the commencement of the meeting and shall pronounce the Grace in French at the close.

7.3 The Greffier shall, immediately after the opening prayer, call the roll of Members; and Members present when their names are called shall reply: “Présente”.

7.4 The Greffier shall then read the convening notice contained in the Billet d’État.

7.5 MUST BE RECORDED ON THE ROLL: A Member who is absent when her name is called shall not be entitled to speak or vote until she has been relevée by the Presiding Officer and her presence has been recorded. [Translation: If you arrive late and miss roll call, you have to wait for the Bailiff to officially ask you if you want the Greffier to record you on the roll (‘relevée’) before you can speak in debate.]

8.1 The Presiding Officer shall be responsible for maintaining order at a Meeting and, subject to the provisions of these Rules, shall regulate the conduct of business therein.

8.2 NO COMMUNICATION WITH THE GALLERY: While the States are in session Members shall not have any communication with a person in the public gallery.

8.3 The Presiding Officer may issue directives relating to the presentation and conduct of Members during meetings.

8.5 DUE DECORUM: It shall be the duty of every Member to observe due decorum in a Meeting and, in particular, to observe the rulings of the Presiding Officer.

17.1 ADDRESS PRESIDING OFFICER: When speaking in the States a Member shall always address the Presiding Officer and must not address another Member. [Translation: This means starting your speech by saying ‘Ma’m’ or ‘Sir’ and not using ‘you’ when referring to other deputies. So you would say ‘as Deputy Gallienne said in her speech’ not ‘as you said in your speech, Deputy Gallienne’.]

17.4 NO NEW ARGUMENTS IN SUMMING UP: The Member who replies on the debate shall respond to the points made during the debate only and shall not rehearse any new or further arguments. [Translation: This is an instruction to the deputy proposing a policy, amendment or requete. They have to sum up at the end of the debate and answer the points raised. But they can’t introduce anything new.]

17.5 STAND WHEN YOU WISH TO SPEAK: When a Member wishes to be called to speak in the course of ordinary debate the Member shall stand in her place and wait to be called to speak by the Presiding Officer. [Note: The timing of when you speak can be strategically important. Do you go early and set the tone? Or do you wait until the end and be the last speech people remember before the vote?]

17.8 ONE SPEECH ONLY: No Member may speak more than once on the same motion.

17.10 A point of order may be raised only for the purpose of drawing attention to a breach of a Rule of Procedure.

17.11 WAIT TO BE INVITED TO SPEAK: A Member may interrupt another Member who is addressing a Meeting only on a point of order or a point of correction (in respect of an inaccurate or misleading statement made by another member) and shall do so by standing and calling “Point of Order” or “Point of Correction”, as the case may be, and waiting to be invited to speak further by the Presiding Officer.

[Note: For a point of order, the deputy has to quote which rule has been broken. In the chamber, this would be by stating the rule number, but for our purposes it is sufficient to describe the rule. So the exchange would be:

Deputy X (standing) – point of order, ma’m. (Deputy Gallienne sits)
Bailiff – point of order, Deputy X. Which rule has been broken?
Deputy X – no new arguments in summing up, ma’m. The shortage of home care staff has not been discussed in debate.]

17.13 An interruption or interjection in accordance with paragraphs (11) shall be permissible notwithstanding that the Member concerned has already spoken on the matter then under debate, and shall not prejudice the right of a Member who has not exhausted her right to speak in that debate to speak therein. [Translation: A deputy can only make one speech on a motion, but can make as many points of order or corrections as she wishes].

17.14 RESUME SEAT WHEN INTERRUPTED: Where a Member is speaking in accordance with paragraphs (11), the Member who had been speaking until the interruption or interjection shall resume her seat and shall not stand again until the Member making the interruption or interjection has resumed her seat.

26B.3 Unless otherwise stated, in order for a proposition to be carried it needs to be supported by the nearest whole number above one-half of the Members voting on the proposition.

26D.1 A Member will announce her vote or abstention in a division (appel nominal). [Translation: The Greffier will call each person’s name individually at the end of the debate and each person will vote by responding Pour (for), Contre (against) or Je ne vote pas (abstain).]