Rules of Procedures

1. General Considerations

1.1 Definition

In these Rules of Procedure, hereinafter referred to as the “Rules”:

1.1.1 Arctic States” means the Members of the Model Arctic Council, namely Canada,  Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the  United States of America;

1.1.2Permanent Participants” means the organizations referred to in Article 2 of the Declaration as well as any other organization granted Permanent Participant status in accordance with these Rules. In accordance with the Declaration, the category of Permanent Participation is created to provide for active participation and full consultation with the Arctic indigenous representatives within the Arctic Council. This principle applies to all meetings and activities of the Arctic Council;

1.1.3Observer” means an entity described in Article 3 of the Declaration which has been granted observer status in accordance with these Rules;

1.2 Application and Interpretation

The following rules apply to the Model Arctic Council. In case of conflict of interpretation, the Committee Chair is the final authority for determining the applicability of the rules of procedure.

1.3 Diplomatic Courtesy

During committee session, Delegates are expected to exercise diplomatic courtesy when addressing members of the committee and the dais.

2. Staff

2.1 Dais

The daises of all MAC committees shall be composed of a Chair and a Director.

2.1.1 Competence of the Dais

The competence of the dais may not be questioned by Delegates. However, if necessary, a member of a Dais may be removed by the Conference Secretariat.

2.1.2 Dais composition: Chair

2.1.2.1 Authority of the Chair

The Chair shall exercise ultimate authority over his/her respective committee proceeding in an equitable and objective manner.

2.1.2.2 Responsibilities of the Chair

The Chair is responsible for all procedural matters pertaining to the committee including, but not limited to, moderating debate, determining the applicability of rules and proposing the adoption of new rules without approval from the committee, if necessary. The Chair is also responsible for providing support for the Director when required.

2.1.3 Dais composition: Director

2.1.3.1 Authority of the Director

The Director shall have authority over all committee support staff and ensure that Delegates are accurately representing the position of their countries, with respect to substantive issues and topics.

2.1.3.2 Responsibilities of the Director

The Director shall be responsible for ensuring relevancy of the content. The Director shall also assist the Chair with all committee proceeding matters. The Director is also responsible for providing support for the Chair when required.

2.1.4 Dais composition: Rapporteur

2.1.4.1 Responsibilities of the Rapporteur

The Rapporteur shall be responsible for all administrative matters pertaining to the committee including, but not limited to, the maintenance of an attendance roster, and the recording of minutes and voting results.

2.1.5 Support staff

Under the authority of the Director, the support Staff shall assist the Dais in all committee functions as needed.

3. Parliamentary procedure

3.1 Attendance

Attendance shall be conducted by the Dias by a Roll Call at the beginning of every committee session or by the Director for committees without Rapporteurs. Delegates shall establish their presence in the committee by declaring themselves to be “present”.

3.2 Procedural matters

Procedural matters are defined as those matters relating to the structure of the committee session. All Delegates must vote on procedural matters and no Delegate may abstain. Roll Call vote is not in order for procedural matters.

3.3 Substantive matters

Substantive matters are defined as those matters relating to the specific topic at hand. Roll Call vote on substantive matters is in order.

4. Delegation Rights

An Arctic State or Permanent Participant or Observer delegation shall be represented by one voting Delegate per committee. All Delegates shall have speaking rights on all matters and voting rights on all procedural matters, however, Delegates representing Permanent Participants or Observers shall not have voting rights on substantive issues.

5. Quorum

Four (4) of the Arctic States shall constitute a quorum for purposes of holding a Ministerial or Senior Arctic Official (SAO) or Working Group meeting. If quorum is not met thirty (30) minutes after the scheduled start time of the committee session, the committee shall be dismissed until the next scheduled time, unless otherwise instructed by the Conference Secretariat. Quorum shall be assumed when committee activity begins.

6. Language

English shall be the working language of the Model Arctic Council. Any individual wishing speak in a language other than English shall arrange for interpretation into English. All documentation provided by Delegates must be in English.

7. Majority

Unless otherwise specified, no procedural Motions are debatable and all require a simple majority vote to pass.

7.1 Simple majority

A procedural matter requiring a simple majority to pass implies that fifty percent plus one vote (50% + 1) of the committee must vote in favour of the matter to pass. If the vote is a tie, the matter will be considered to have failed.

7.2 Two-thirds (2/3) Majority

A procedural matter requiring a two-thirds (2/3) majority to pass implies that two-thirds (2/3) of the committee must vote in favour for a matter to pass.

8. Debate

The Model Arctic Council shall receive, discuss and may amend recommendations from working groups and shall submit endorsed recommendations for consideration at Ministerial meetings with respect to proposed cooperative activities.

8.1 Formal Debate

8.1.1 Opening Comments

Debate at all meetings of working groups and the Model Arctic Council will begin with the presentation of opening comments. Delegates will be asked to present their opening comments in random order as decided upon by the Chair. Once Opening comments have been heard by all Delegates present, debate will automatically move into Moderated Caucus.

8.1.2 Moderated Caucus

A committee shall, by default, be in Moderated Caucus unless otherwise advised by the Chair. The Chair will ask for a show of placards by those Delegates wishing to speak and will recognize a Delegate as having the floor to speak on the topic at hand.

8.2 Informal Debate

During Moderated Caucus, a Motion can be made by any Delegate for a Discovery Caucus (see rule 8.2.1) or an Unmoderated Caucus (see rule 8.2.2), both of which constitute informal debate. Informal debate can only occur on substantive issues and is out of order once a Motion to close debate has been passed.

8.2.1 Discovery Caucus

The purpose of a Discovery Caucus is to limit discussion to a specific topic in order to explore its details in more depth. As such, discussion during a Discovery Caucus limited to a duration specified in the Motion for the Discovery Caucus (see rule 12.3).

8.2.2 Unmoderated Caucus

The purpose of an Unmoderated Caucus is to allow Delegates an opportunity to speak informally amongst themselves on any topic related to the work of the committee. As such, the discussion during an Unmoderated Caucus is limited to a duration specified in the Motion for the Unmoderated Caucus (see rule 12.5).

9. Addressing the Committee

9.1 Recognition

A Delegate may only address the committee if he/she has received permission from the Chair.

9.2 Interruptions

A Speaker may not be interrupted by another Delegate unless the Delegate has risen to a Point of Personal Privilege or a Point of Order.

9.3 Motion to Set Speaking Time

A Delegate may make a Motion to set a time limit on speeches. The Chair may either rule the Motion dilatory at his/her discretion or put it to a vote. A Delegate exceeding the allotted time for a speech may be called to order by the Chair.

9.4 Relevance of speech

A Chair may call a Delegate to order if his/her speech is not relevant to the subject matter being discussed.

10. Yields

Only during substantive debate, a Delegate may yield to questions for at the end of his/her speech by making a Motion to this effect. The Chair will set a speaking time and allow the Delegate to entertain questions from the floor for the determined length of time or may rule the Motion out of order.

11. Points

11.1 Point of Personal Privilege

A Delegate may rise to a Point of Personal Privilege if a matter impairs him/her from participating fully in committee activities. The Dais shall try to effectively address the source of impairment. This point may interrupt a Speaker.

11.2 Point of Order

A Delegate may rise to a Point of Order if a rule of procedure is not properly observed by a Delegate or by a member of the Dais. The Chair will rule on the validity of the point. A Delegate rising to a Point of Order may not comment on the topic of discussion. This point may interrupt a Speaker.

11.3 Point of Parliamentary Inquiry

A Delegate may rise to a Point of Parliamentary Inquiry to request an explanation from the Chair on rules of procedure. This point may not interrupt a Speaker and is out of order during a Moderated Caucus.

11.4 Right of Reply

A Delegate who feels that his/her country or person has been insulted by another Delegate may rise to a Right of Reply. Disagreement with the content of a Delegate’s speech is not grounds for a Right of Reply. The Chair will recognize the Right of Reply at his/her discretion. The Chair may also request that the Delegate submit his/her Right of Reply in writing for further consideration before granting it. The Chair might choose to set a time limit for a Right of Reply. No Delegate may call for a Right of Reply on a Right of Reply.

12. Motions

12.1 Motion for the Adjournment of the Session

A Delegate may make a Motion for the Adjournment of the Session to suspend all committee activities until the next scheduled session. The Chair may rule the Motion out of order or put it to vote.

12.2 Motion for the Adjournment of the Meeting

A Delegate may make a Motion for the Adjournment of the Meeting to suspend all committee activities for the duration of the conference. The Chair may rule the Motion out of order or put it to a vote, in which case the Chair will ask for two (2) speakers for and two (2) speakers against the Motion and the Motion will require a 2/3 majority to pass.

12.3 Motion for a Discovery Caucus

A Delegate may make a Motion for a Discovery Caucus for the purposes of focusing discussion on a specific topic. A Delegate who moves for a Discovery Caucus must suggest a duration for the caucus, a speaking time, the topic of the Discovery and provide justification for the Motion. The Chair may suggest a more appropriate duration or speaking time, or may rule the Motion out of order. If the Motion passes, the committee will enter informal debate whereby all discussion must adhere to the particulars set out in the Motion. This Motion is out of order once a Motion to close debate has been passed.

12.4 Motion to Extend a Discovery Caucus

A Delegate may make a Motion to Extend the Moderated Caucus if he/she feels that additional time would benefit committee work. The Delegate moving for an Extension of the Discovery Caucus must suggest a length for the extension. The Chair may suggest a more appropriate caucus length or speaking time and put it to a vote or may rule the Motion out of order. This Motion is out of order once a Motion to close debate has been passed.

12.5 Motion for an Unmoderated Caucus

A Delegate may make a Motion for an Unmoderated Caucus for the purposes of allowing Delegates to speak informally amongst themselves. The Delegate who makes this Motion must suggest a length and justification for the Unmoderated Caucus. The Chair may suggest a more appropriate caucus length and put it to a vote or may rule the Unmoderated Caucus out of order. Once the Motion has passed, the committee will depart from moderated discussion and Delegates will carry on informal discussions relevant to the committee’s work. This Motion is out of order once a Motion to close debate has been passed.

12.6 Motion to Extend an Unmoderated Caucus

A Delegate may make a Motion to Extend the Unmoderated Caucus if he/she feels that additional time would benefit the work of the committee. The Delegate who moves for an Extension of Unmoderated Caucus must suggest a length for the extension. The Chair may suggest a more appropriate caucus length and put it to vote or may rule the Extension of the Unmoderated Caucus out of order. This Motion is out of order once a Motion to close debate has been passed.

12.7 Motion for Closure of Debate

A Delegate may make a Motion to Close Debate in order to end debate on a substantive issue whereby the committee will enter voting procedure on all Draft Recommendations on the List of Draft Recommendations at the time of the Motion. If the Chair rules the Motion in order, there will be a request for (2) Delegates to speak against the Motion. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote is required to pass the Motion.

12.8 Motion for Censure

If a Delegate is clearly misrepresenting his/her country or organization, either deliberately or by lack of preparation, or is in any way disruptive of the discussion, Delegates may make a Motion for Censure of the Delegate in question. The Chair may rule the Motion out of order. If the Motion is in order, the Delegate in question will have two (2) minutes to explain his/her conduct, after which the Chair, with the Director’s approval, will rule on the matter. A Delegate who has been censured may be prohibited from speaking for a length of time determined by the Chair, not to surpass the end of the current committee session. Multiple censures, with the consultation of the event Secretariat, may result in the Delegate being prohibited from speaking for the remainder of the committee’s sessions or being dismissed from the event all together.

13. Recommendations

13.1 Sponsors

Sponsors are recognized as the writers of the Memo of Intent (see 13.2) or Draft Recommendation (see 13.3). The required number of Sponsors for a Memo of Intent to be submitted to the Director for approval will be set by the Chair at the beginning of debate.

13.1 Motion to Question Competence

A Motion to Question the Competence of the Body to consider a recommendation or amendment is in order upon introduction of the item in question. The Chair will recognise one (1) Speaker in favour and one (1) Speaker against the Motion. There will be a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote required to pass. If the Motion is approved, the item will be retracted and will not be allowed to be re-introduced.

13.2 Memos of Intent

Memorandum (Memo) of Intent is an informal document used by Delegates to work on the drafting of a recommendation. A Memo of Intent should always list its sponsors and will be distributed at the Chair’s discretion at the request of a Delegate. Delegates should refer to a document as a Memo of Intent in a speech until the document has been submitted and approved by the Director, at which point it will be referred to as a Draft Recommendation.

13.3 Draft Recommendations

Memo of Intent which has been submitted to the Director and subsequently approved will be referred to as a Draft Recommendation. Delegates may refer to a document as a “Draft Recommendation” in a speech only after it has been assigned a number by the Dais. If Draft Recommendations are complementary or fairly identical, the Chair may recommend that the Sponsors of the Draft Recommendations combine the documents before they are presented to the committee.

13.3.1 Motion to Introduce a Draft Recommendation

A Delegate may make a Motion to Introduce a Memo of Intent as a Draft Recommendation. Once the Memo of Intent has been approved and assigned a Draft Recommendation number by the Dais, the Chair will invite the Sponsors of the Draft Recommendation to read out the document to the committee. The Draft Recommendation will then be added to the List of Recommendations and Delegates may refer to the Draft Recommendation during official speeches. No vote is required for this type of Motion.

13.3.2 List of Draft Recommendations

The Dias will maintain and display a list of all Draft Recommendations. Only Draft Recommendations appearing on this list may be discussed by the committee during either Moderated or Discovery Caucus.

13.4 Recommendations

A Draft Recommendation that has been put to a vote by the committee and has passed may be referred to as a “Recommendation”.

13.5 Amendments

13.5.1 Non-Substantive Amendments

Grammatical, spelling or formatting errors on Draft Recommendations will be made at the discretion of the Director.

13.5.2 Substantive Amendments

Substantive Amendments may not be made to any Draft Recommendation without the approval by each of said Draft Recommendation’s Sponsors.  Once approval of all the Sponsors is obtained, the amendment must be presented from the floor and the recommendation in question will be amended. No vote is required for this action.

13.6 Withdrawal

13.6.1 Draft Recommendations and Amendments

The Sponsors of a Draft Recommendation may request the withdrawal from debate of their Draft Recommendation or any of its Amendments.

13.6.2 Re-Introduction

Withdrawn Draft Recommendations or Amendments may be re-introduced for debate by the original Sponsors after obtaining the support of one half (1/2) of the committee.

14. Voting Procedure

When the Chair announces that the committee is entering voting procedure, no entering or exiting from the room will be permitted, unless there is an emergency or until voting procedure has come to an end. All decisions of the Model Arctic Council and its subsidiary bodies, including Working Groups, shall be by a consensus of all eight Arctic States. In the event that a meeting is held without the attendance of all eight Arctic States, consistent with Quorum (see rule 5), decisions may be taken by a consensus of all Arctic States present, subject to confirmation in writing by the absent Arctic State(s) within 30 days after receiving notice of the decision.

14.1 Method of Voting

Each Delegate of the committee has one vote and must demonstrate his/her voting intentions by raising his/her placard at the Chair’s request unless there is a Roll Call vote (see rule 14.1.1). There shall be no abstentions during voting on substantive matters, and no Delegate shall vote on behalf of another Delegate.

14.1.1 Roll Call Vote

During a Roll Call vote, the Dias will read through the Roll and Delegates will respond with their vote when their Delegation is named. Roll Call Motions may only be in order for substantive matters. This Motion is automatically accepted unless the Chair rules it out of order.

14.1.2 Passing

During Roll Call, a Delegate may choose to pass. The Chair will place the Delegate at the bottom of the voting list. A Delegate who has passed once during a voting sequence may not pass again but must vote definitively.

14.2 Voting on Draft Recommendations

Recommendations will be voted on in the order that they were numbered by the Dais.

15. Precedence

Motions shall be considered in the following, decreasing order:

Point of Personal Privilege 11.1

Point of Order 11.2

Right of Reply 11.4

Point of Parliamentary Inquiry 11.3

Motion to Set Speaking Time 9.3

Motion to Adjourn Meeting 12.2

Motion to Adjourn Session 12.1

Motion for Censure 12.8

Motion to extend an Unmoderated Caucus 12.6

Motion to extend a Moderated Caucus 12.4

Motion for an Unmoderated Caucus 12.5

Motion for a Discovery Caucus 12.3

Motion for Closure of Debate 12.7

Motion to Table Debate Pending Further Information 12.7

Motion to Question Competence 13.1

Motion to Introduce a Draft Recommendation 13.3.1