World Intellectual Property Organization

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CHAPTER V: CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

Rule 19: Quorum

Rule 20: General Powers of the Presiding Officer

Rule 21: Speeches

Rule 22: Precedence in Receiving the Floor

Rule 23: Points of Order

Rule 24: Limit on Speeches

Rule 25: Closing of List of Speakers

Rule 26: Adjournment or Closure of Debate

Rule 27: Suspension or Adjournment of the Meeting

Rule 28: Order of Procedural Motions; Content of Interventions on Such Motions

Rule 29: Basic Proposal; Proposals for Amendment

Rule 30: Decisions on the Competence of the Conference

Rule 31: Withdrawal of Procedural Motions and Proposals for Amendment

Rule 32: Reconsideration of Matters Decided



CHAPTER V: CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

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Rule 19: Quorum

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    (1) A quorum shall be required in the Conference, meeting in Plenary; it shall, subject to paragraph (3), be constituted by one-half of the Member Delegations represented at the Conference.

    (2) A quorum shall be required for the meetings of each Committee (the Credentials Committee, the two Main Committees, the Drafting Committee and the Steering Committee) and any working group; it shall be constituted by one-half of the members of the Committee or working group.

    (3) The quorum at the time of the adoption of the new Act and the Regulations by the Conference, meeting in Plenary, shall be constituted by one half of the Ordinary Member Delegations whose credentials were found in order by the Conference meeting in Plenary.

Rule 20: General Powers of the Presiding Officer

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    (1) In addition to exercising the powers conferred upon Presiding Officers elsewhere by these Rules, the Presiding Officer shall declare the opening and closing of the meetings, direct the discussions, accord the right to speak, put questions to the vote, and announce decisions. The Presiding Officer shall rule on points of order and, subject to these Rules, shall have complete control of the proceedings at any meeting and over the maintenance of order thereat.

    (2) The Presiding Officer may propose to the body over which he or she presides the limitation of time to be allowed to each speaker, the limitation of the number of times each Delegation may speak on any question, the closure of the list of speakers or the closure of the debate. The Presiding Officer may also propose the suspension or the adjournment of the meeting, or the adjournment of the debate on the question under discussion. Such proposals of the Presiding Officer shall be considered as adopted unless immediately rejected.

Rule 21: Speeches

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    (1) No person may speak without having previously obtained the permission of the Presiding Officer. Subject to Rules 22 and 23, the Presiding Officer shall call upon persons in the order in which they ask for the floor.

    (2) The Presiding Officer may call a speaker to order if the remarks of the speaker are not relevant to the subject under discussion.

Rule 22: Precedence in Receiving the Floor

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    (1) Member Delegations asking for the floor are generally given precedence over Observer Delegations asking for the floor, and Member Delegations and Observer Delegations are generally given precedence over Observer Organizations.

    (2) The President of a Committee or working group may be given precedence during discussions relating to the work of the Committee or working group concerned.

    (3) The Director General of WIPO or his representative may be given precedence for making statements, observations or suggestions.

Rule 23: Points of Order

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    (1) During the discussion of any matter, any Member Delegation may rise to a point of order, and the point of order shall be immediately decided by the Presiding Officer in accordance with these Rules. Any Member Delegation may appeal against the ruling of the Presiding Officer. The appeal shall be immediately put to the vote, and the Presiding Officer’s ruling shall stand unless the appeal is approved.

    (2) The Member Delegation that has risen to a point of order under paragraph (1) may not speak on the substance of the matter under discussion.

Rule 24: Limit on Speeches

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    In any meeting, the Presiding Officer may decide to limit the time allowed to each speaker and the number of times each Delegation and Observer Organization may speak on any question. When the debate is limited and a Delegation or Observer Organization has used up its allotted time, the Presiding Officer shall call it to order without delay.

Rule 25: Closing of List of Speakers

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    (1) During the discussion of any given question, the Presiding Officer may announce the list of participants who have asked for the floor and decide to close the list as to that question. The Presiding Officer may nevertheless accord the right of reply to any speaker if a speech, delivered after the list of speakers has been closed, makes it desirable.

    (2) Any decision made by the Presiding Officer under paragraph (1) may be the subject of an appeal under Rule 23.

Rule 26: Adjournment or Closure of Debate

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    Any Member Delegation may at any time move the adjournment or closure of the debate on the question under discussion, whether or not any other participant has asked for the floor. In addition to the proposer of the motion to adjourn or close the debate, permission to speak on that motion shall be given only to one Member Delegation seconding and two Member Delegations opposing it, after which the motion shall immediately be put to the vote. The Presiding Officer may limit the time allowed to speakers under this Rule.

Rule 27: Suspension or Adjournment of the Meeting

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    During the discussion of any matter, any Member Delegation may move the suspension or the adjournment of the meeting. Such motions shall not be debated, but shall immediately be put to the vote.

Rule 28: Order of Procedural Motions; Content of Interventions on Such Motions

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    (1) Subject to Rule 23, the following motions shall have precedence in the following order over all other proposals or motions before the meeting:

        (i) to suspend the meeting,

        (ii) to adjourn the meeting,

        (iii) to adjourn the debate on the question under discussion,

        (iv) to close the debate on the question under discussion.

          (2) Any Member Delegation that has been given the floor on a procedural motion may speak on that motion only, and may not speak on the substance of the matter under discussion.

Rule 29: Basic Proposal; Proposals for Amendment

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          (1)(a) Documents H/DC/3 and 4 shall constitute the basis of the discussions in the Conference, and the texts of the draft new Act and of the draft Regulations contained in those documents shall constitute the “basic proposal.”

    (b) Where, for any given Article or Rule, there are two or three alternatives in the basic proposal, consisting of either two or three texts, or one or two texts and an alternative that there should be no such provision, the alternatives shall be designated with the letters A, B and, where applicable, C, and shall have equal status. Discussions shall take place simultaneously on the alternatives and, if voting is necessary and there is no consensus on which alternative should be put to the vote first, each Ordinary Member Delegation shall be invited to indicate its preference among the two or three alternatives. The alternative supported by more Ordinary Member Delegations than the other one or two alternatives shall be put to the vote first.

(c) Wherever the basic proposal contains words within square brackets, only the text that is not within square brackets shall be regarded as part of the basic proposal, whereas words within square brackets shall be treated as a proposal for amendment if presented as provided in paragraph (2).

(2) Any Member Delegation may propose amendments to the basic proposal.

(3) Proposals for amendment shall, as a rule, be submitted in writing and handed to the Secretary of the body concerned. The Secretariat shall distribute copies to the Delegations and the Observer Organizations. As a general rule, a proposal for amendment cannot be taken into consideration and discussed or put to the vote at a meeting unless copies of it have been distributed not later than three hours before it is taken into consideration. The Presiding Officer may, however, permit the taking into consideration and discussion of a proposal for amendment even though copies of it have not been distributed or have been distributed less than three hours before it is taken into consideration.

Rule 30: Decisions on the Competence of the Conference

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(1) If a Member Delegation moves that a duly seconded proposal should not be taken into consideration by the Conference because it is outside the latter’s competence, that motion shall be decided upon by the Conference, meeting in Plenary, before the proposal is taken into consideration.

(2) If the motion referred to in paragraph (1), above, is made in a body other than the Conference, meeting in Plenary, it shall be referred to the Conference, meeting in Plenary, for a ruling.

Rule 31: Withdrawal of Procedural Motions and Proposals for Amendment

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Any procedural motion and any proposal for amendment may be withdrawn by the Member Delegation that has made it, at any time before voting on it has commenced, provided that no amendment to it has been proposed by another Member Delegation. Any motion or proposal thus withdrawn may be reintroduced by any other Member Delegation.

Rule 32: Reconsideration of Matters Decided

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When any matter has been decided by a body, it may not be reconsidered by that body unless so decided by the majority applicable under Rule 34(2)(ii). In addition to the proposer of the motion to reconsider, permission to speak on that motion shall be given only to one Member Delegation seconding and two Member Delegations opposing the motion, after which the motion shall immediately be put to the vote.



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