Rescinding a Motion: 14/06/2023


In general, a motion can be rescinded at any time before the organization has taken action based on the original motion. Once actions have been taken or decisions have been implemented as a result of the motion, it may be more complicated to rescind or undo the effects of the motion.

Here are some common scenarios in which a motion can be rescinded:

  1. Same Meeting: If the original motion was adopted during the current meeting and no actions have been taken based on it, a member can propose to rescind the motion during the same meeting.
  2. Subsequent Meeting: If the organization has not yet acted on the motion and a subsequent meeting is scheduled, a member can propose to rescind the motion during the next meeting.
  3. Notice Requirements: Some organizations may have specific notice requirements or timeframes within which a motion can be rescinded. It’s important to consult the organization’s bylaws or rules to determine if any such requirements exist.
  4. Reconsideration: In some cases, instead of rescinding the motion outright, the organization may choose to reconsider it. Reconsideration allows for a new discussion and vote on the same motion, potentially resulting in a different outcome.

How to rescind a motion using Robert’s Rules of Order:

  1. Notice: Review the organization’s bylaws or rules to determine if there are any specific requirements for rescinding a motion. Some organizations may require advance notice or specific conditions for a motion to be rescinded.
  2. Motion to Rescind: During a meeting, a member needs to make a motion to rescind the previous motion. The member should state, “I move to rescind the motion [or resolution] adopted at the [specific meeting] on [date].” It’s important to clearly identify the motion being rescinded.
  3. Seconding the Motion: Another member should second the motion to indicate support and proceed with the discussion. If there is no second, the motion is not considered for further debate.
  4. Debate and Vote: Allow members to discuss the motion to rescind. The member who made the original motion may provide reasons for not rescinding it. Other members can express their views and arguments on the matter. Once the debate concludes, the chairperson calls for a vote. The motion to rescind requires a majority vote for approval.
  5. Effect of Rescinding: If the motion to rescind is approved, the previously adopted motion is nullified or undone. It is as if the original motion was never adopted.
  6. Implications for Actions Taken: It’s essential to consider the implications of rescinding a motion, especially if actions have already been taken based on the original motion. Rescinding a motion may require the organization to revisit any actions or decisions that were made based on the original motion.
  7. Consult: Always consult the organization’s specific rules or seek guidance from the presiding officer or parliamentarian to ensure compliance with the established procedures.