The Quorum for Meetings

There are often misunderstandings about the rules which apply to the quorum for a meeting (the minimum number of members that must be present at a meeting). General principles As it may be difficult to attract a majority of members to the meetings of some organisations, the quorum is commonly set at a fraction (less than half) of the membership, or at a fixed number of members. However, for an organisation’s executive committee it is common to find the quorum set at one more than half the number on the committee.  When a subcommittee is established the quorum will be all members of that subcommittee, unless a different quorum is prescribed in the rules or when the subcommittee is constituted.  A public meeting, of course, has no quorum. At any time during a meeting, any member, or the meeting chairperson, may question whether a quorum is present. Such a “call for a quorum” takes precedence over all other business.  If there is no longer a quorum the meeting is said to be “inquorate” and unless absent members can be called back into the meeting must be closed and the reason for the closure noted in the minutes. The Local Government Act 2002 and other statutes have special rules for statutory bodies, but for community organisations reference should be made to their constitution, which will give guidance. Common law principles Subject to what is in the constitution, the Courts have established some quite straightforward principles:  A meeting of an organisation or a committee cannot commence, continue or make lawful decisions unless the required quorum is present: –  If no quorum...