Parliamentary procedure is the set of rules, usages, ethics, and customs governing a deliberative assembly. It is a tiny section of common law descendent from the practices of the British House of Commons in Parliament from which it derives its name. In the United States it is also commonly called parliamentary law, parliamentary practice, legislative procedure, or rules of order. In Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other English speaking countries it is often referred to as chairmanship, chairing, the law of meetings, procedure at meetings, the conduct of meetings and various combinations of these phrases. At its heart is the rule of the majority with respect for the minority. Its object is to allow deliberation upon questions of interest to the organization and to arrive at the sense or the will of the assembly upon these questions. Parliamentary procedure is used in organizations of self-governing people to conduct debate with the least possible friction in order to as efficiently as possible make group decisions. These decisions are usually determined by voting.
A motion, in parliamentary procedure, is a formal proposal by a member of a deliberative assembly that the assembly take certain action. The numerous types of motions include those that bring new business before the assembly as well as numerous other motions to take procedural steps or carry out other purposes relating either to a pending motion or the body itself. Motions are grouped into different classes to facilitate learning and understanding their use.
A Parliamentary authority is a manual on parliamentary law, containing rules of order for the transaction of business in deliberative assemblies. The society generally adopts such a book to cover meeting procedure not covered in the society's adopted procedural rules.