The importance of having a quorum

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For those of you who are involved in meetings of organisations you might be interested in the rules relating to quorums.

A quorum is the minimum number of members that must be present at a meeting. 

A meeting of an organisation cannot take place unless the required quorum is in attendance.  If the Constitution of the organisation sets out what a quorum is then clearly that will apply. 

If the Constitution doesn’t state a prescribed number then the quorum is the majority of the membership of the organisation or committee.  

A meeting cannot start unless the quorum is present in person.  

Business dealt with at a meeting without a quorum in attendance is invalid, however such decisions may later be retrospectively validated at a subsequent meeting if the Constitution allows.  Otherwise the business must be dealt with afresh at the subsequent meeting. 

Once a meeting has started, if a member deliberately leaves the meeting to remove the quorum, that member will not be permitted to challenge the decision made by reason of a lack of quorum.  

If a chairperson leaves a meeting in an attempt to close the meeting, as long as a quorum is still present, the remaining members may move to elect a replacement chairperson.  

Proxies are not counted when determining whether a quorum is present.