Senatus consultum de ratione senatus MMDCCLVIII (Nova Roma)

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Contents

This senatus consultum has been REPEALED.

Passed by the Senate of Nova Roma
Yes: 18 No: 0 Abs.: 1
a.d. III Id. Nov. Fr. Apulo C. Laenate cos. MMDCCLVIII a.u.c.

Note: parenthesised section titles within are unofficial, and are present for convenience only

In accordance with paragraph V.D. of the Constitution of Nova Roma, the Senatus Consultum de Ratione Senatus is hereby enacted to set forth the rules and procedures for debate and the taking of votes in the Senate.

(Informal Senate Discussion)

I. Any member of the Senate may, at his discretion, introduce a topic for discussion by sharing it with the rest of the Senate. Such discussion is to be encouraged, but should not be mistaken for the formal process of calling for a vote on a given issue, which may only be done after the Senate has been convened for such a purpose, and by procedures as described below.

(Convening the Senate)

II. The Senate may be convened by a consul, praetor, or tribunus plebis. The magistrate convening the Senate shall hereafter be referred to as the presiding magistrate.

A. A consul may convene the Senate for any purpose.
B. A praetor may convene the Senate for any purpose when both consuls are unavailable.
C. A tribunus plebis may convene the Senate in order to ask the Senate's advice on any subject which is clearly within the scope of his constitutionally mandated powers and obligations.

(Notifying the Senate)

III. Prior to convening the Senate, all of the members of the Senate, plus the tribuni plebis (if they are not already members of the Senate), must be informed no less than twenty-four hours prior to the Senate being formally convened. During that interval, the right of intercessio or nuntiatio may be exercised by those Constitutionally empowered to do so.

(Presenting Items to the Senate)

IV. After the interval described in section III above, the presiding magistrate may convene the Senate and present one or more matters for their consideration. Should the presiding magistrate wish to do so, he may yield the floor to a member of the Senate or another magistrate, allowing that person to present one or more items for the Senate's consideration.

(Procedure for Senate Debate)

V. Once the matters for consideration have been presented, each of the members of the Senate may, in turn, offer their opinions thereon. The debate shall be limited to the presiding magistrate, members of the Senate, and any magistrate which the presiding magistrate has allowed to present items in accord with section IV above. The tribunes of the plebs shall keep the citizens informed as to the progress and content of the debate. There shall be no limit on the length of the opinions rendered, but the procedure shall differ slightly, depending on the mode of communication:

A. When debate is being conducted via electronic mail, each Senator shall have up to ninety-six hours to issue his opinion. Should that time elapse, the Senator shall be assumed to have abbrogated his right to speak on the issues at hand (but such silence shall not be considered a waiver of the right to vote thereon). A Senator who is unable to vote may, during the debate phase, give his proxy to another member of the Senate, as long as such is done openly and within the prescribed period of debate.
B. When debate is being conducted via means that allow real-time communication (such as Internet chat, teleconferencing, or live meeting), the following rules shall apply:
1. Each Senator shall be given the opportunity to speak in order of seniority. Records of Senatorial seniority shall be maintained by the censors, according to the following formula:
a. Former censors, consuls, and praetors, in that order;
b. Ties in seniority shall be decided in favor of patricians over plebians;
c. Further ties in seniority shall be decided by age, with seniority being given to the older individual.
2. For live, face-to-face meetings, Senate meetings shall occur only between sunrise and sunset. A meeting may adjourn for the night and reconvene the next morning at the discretion of the presiding magistrate. Should religious or other considerations make it impossible to reconvene the following day, the meeting shall end.
3. For live, face-to-face meetings, Senate meetings should occur, if possible, in a public building which has been consecrated according to the rites of the Religio Romana.
C. Regardless of which procedure is followed, the presiding magistrate shall retain the right to amend any proposal prior to the start of the voting period detailed in section VI below.

(Voting)

VI. Once each Senator has been given the opportunity to state his position on the issues under discussion, the presiding magistrate shall call the issue to a vote. Voting shall be done openly before those privy to the debate, and shall be decided by majority vote unless otherwise mandated. The method and timing of voting depends on the mode of communication:

A. When voting is being conducted via electronic mail, each Senator shall have at least forty-eight hours to cast his vote. Should the voting period elapse, any Senator that has yet to vote shall be assumed to have abbrogated his right to vote on the issues at hand.
1. The presiding magistrate may stipulate a voting period of no less than forty-eight, and no more than ninety-six hours.
2. It is recommended that the voting period begin at sunrise in Rome on the first day of the voting period and end at sunset in Rome on the last day of the voting period.
B. When voting is being conducted via means that allow real-time communication, voting shall be done by a show of hands or some other equally unambiguous method.

(Publishing of Results)

VII. Once voting on the matters at hand is complete, the tribunes of the plebs shall inform the people of the outcome of the vote and the presiding magistrate shall officially end the meeting of the Senate.

This senatus consultum was repealed by the senatus consultum de ratione senatus MMDCCLIX.

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