Rescinding a motion 18 years later

I  have received the following question:

“In the absence of a constitution, can a motion passed at an AGM be rescinded 18 years later by a committee meeting with a 100% vote?”

The absence of a constitution is not the issue. The time period and whether action has been taken are the issues.

To rescind anything after 18 years is a very odd thing to need to do. If there has been action taken as result of the decision 18 years ago, then it is illogical to rescind any motion – the action has been taken!

It is probably better to put a complete;y new motion with the outcome you want.

Here’s a scenarion that is commonly behind this type of question:

A committee or board or group in supposed good faith grant life membership to a member.

Years later that member brings the group into disrepute or “blots his copy book” in some way and so the powers at the time want to remove his life membership.

Rescinding the original motion may do it, but the reality is that the member was a life member for those years – you cannot undo history.

A better way to go would be to move a motion to revoke his life membership as at a particular date.

It is common for committees or boards to want to take what they think is the easy way out by rescinding a motion in these circumstances. It could be said  however that they are not acting with complete integrity in doing so and that they should simply place on the record their actual intention – to revoke a life membership (in this example).

Whichever way you choose, the motion needs to be recorded in the minutes.

Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement.

1 Comment »

  1. avatar Richard Says:

    The information supplied has been useful. But if a motion is past in 2005 for documents to be supplied monthly to a committee and this has occurred for seven years and then someone decides not to continue supplying the documents and then at a meeting in 2012 a person moves the same motion, unaware of the motion in 2005, that the documents are supplied monthly and this is motion is defeated does this void the motion in 2005.

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