Council Sessions & Resolutions
In the first session of the annual commencement term of the council, it shall be recited the royal order of invitation, in addition to any orders and decrees that may exist in regard to the formation of the government or the amendment of its formation. Then, the constitutional oath shall be administered to the council members who have not been administered the oath previously.
Subject to what has been provided therefore under a special provision, the council is not deemed duly convened if some present members leave the session’s hall. The council may, in such case, continue the discussion of the subjects presented thereto after the council chairman alerts the members to come attend at the session’s hall.
Subject to what has been provided therefore under a special provision, the resolutions of the council are issued by the absolute majority of the present members, and in case of equality of votes, the vote casted by the chairman, or whomever acting on his behalf, is considered a conclusive vote for the result of voting.
The council sessions are public, and may be confidentially convened upon the request of the government, the council chairman or at least ten members of the council. In the latter case, such request shall be submitted in written form to the council bureau, and the council shall determine, in a confidential session, whether the discussion in the subject raised therebefore shall be held in a public session. Such resolution shall be issued after a discussion co-held by, at most, two supporters of such confidentiality and two opponents thereto.
At the commencement of the council at a confidential session, the halls and balconies thereof shall be vacated exclusively for those who are permitted to enter therein. Nobody other than the members may attend the session, except those who are authorized by the council of its employees or the employees and experts of the government.
The council may resolve to record the representation of the confidential session, whereby the representation of such session is to be edited by the general secretary or whoever is selected by the council for such purpose. This representation is kept by the knowledge of the council chairman, and nobody other than the members and those permitted to attend the session may have access thereto, without the permission of the council chairman. The council may resolve at anytime during a confidential session to publish such representation or a part thereof.
The council shall hold an ordinary session on every Monday, unless determined otherwise, or unless there were no proceedings necessitating the convention of this meeting.
The chairman shall invite the council to convene its sessions before not less than forty eight hours of the time determined for the convention thereof, provided that the invitation is accompanied by the session’s agenda, memorandums, reports and proposal regarding thereof, unless these have been distributed in prior. The chairman may invite the council to meet prior to the ordinary time thereof if he deems such action necessary, and shall invite the council to meet if such is requested by the government or at least ten members, specifying in the invitation the subject ought to be presented. Such urgent invitation is not restricted by the time provided under the previous paragraphs. The session may be adjourned to another undetermined day, whereby the meeting shall be held on the following Monday, unless the chairman determines another time therefore.
System of Proceedings within Sessions
An attendance record shall be put under the disposal of the members prior to the opening of the session by half an hour, on which they shall sign at the time of their presence. Another record shall be furthermore put on which they shall sign after the ending of the session, according to the system for which a resolution is issued by the council bureau.
The chairman shall open the council’s sessions with the presence of more than half the members thereof, should such quorum fail, the chairman shall delay the opening of the session for half an hour. Should such quorum not be achieved, the session shall be adjourned to another specified time. Should the council’s quorum fail to be achieved for two consecutive times, the council’s meeting is deemed duly convened, provided that the number of attendants shall not be less than one quarter of the members of the council.
After the opening of the session, the names of the apologizing members and absent members of the previous session shall be recited without notice permission, then the council’s opinion shall be taken in certification of what has been prepared of the previous sessions’ representations. Every member who attended the session may demand the correction of what has been falsely attributed thereto at the time of certification of the representation thereof. Whenever the council’s decision is taken in acceptance of the correction, this shall be recorded in the representation of the session wherein such decision is taken, under which the previous representation shall be corrected. No correction may be made on a representation that has been certified without the permission of the council. The chairman shall inform the council thereafter of the incoming papers and letters prior to consideration of the matters mentioned in the agenda. Every member is entitled to comment on the subject of papers and letters once, provided that speech duration of the member shall not exceed five minutes, and the entire duration of commenting shall not exceed half an hour, subject to the provision of article (55) hereof. The council may exceed the time limits referred thereto. The council begins thereafter to consider the matters mentioned in the agenda.
Discussion may not be held in a subject that is not mentioned in the agenda, except for urgent matters, and under the clause of necessary proceedings, where this shall be done upon the request of the government or the chairman, or a written request submitted by at least three members. In all cases, the council’s approval of the request is required, and the competent minister may request the adjournment of consideration of the raised subject for the first time, even if the discussion thereof has already begun. The decision of the council in regard to such requests shall be taken without discussion. Nevertheless, the chairman may permit one of the request supporters and one of the opponents thereof to speak for a duration not exceeding five minutes for each, prior to the council’s issuance of the decision thereof.
No one may speak in the session unless after he requests to speak and is permitted by the chairman to do so. The chairman may not refuse to grant permission to speak without a reason necessitated under the provisions hereby. In case of disagreement on such issue, the matter shall be presented on the council to issue a decision in regard thereto without discussion. The talk going on in contravention to the provision of this article may not be recorded in the representation of the session or published by any method of publication. Except the request of expediting the finalization of reports in the subjects referred to the council committees or the procedures concerning its commencement of the mission thereof, the request to speak in a subject previously referred by the council to one of the committees shall not be accepted before the submission of the report thereof, and the entry thereof within the council’s agenda, unless otherwise determined by the council for serious reasons.
Every member may submit in written form to the council chairman an explanatory enquiry in any subject such member would like to enquire about in the council affairs, and the council chairman may respond to the enquire within the session briefly, without holding any discussion therein, then the council shall consider the remainder of matters mentioned in the agenda.
The general secretary shall prepare a list of the names of the members requesting to speak as per the order of their requests. Ministers and resolvers are not restricted by such order, as they are always entitled to speak whenever they asked to do so. Ministers may be assisted by senior employees or whoever acting on their behalf.
The chairman shall give speech first to the members whose names are recorded at the council secretariat prior to the session, then to the members requesting to speak during the session, whereby all this shall be done according to the order of requests. The recording request at the council secretariat shall be in written form after the distribution of an agenda for each subject separately, if the recording request was prior to the commencement of the session. In case of variation of opinions, the chairman shall observe, as far as possible, that speech shall be alternated between the supporters and the opponents of the subjects presented for discussion. Without prejudice to the provision of the previous paragraphs, anyone who has requested to speak may assign his turn to another person, whereby the assignee shall take the turn of the assignor.
The word is always give to the prime minister, the ministers and the representatives of the government whenever they requested the word from the council chairman, after the completion of the original speaker in giving his speech. Committees’ chairmen and the resolvers shall enjoy the right to speak whenever they requested doing so from the council chairman, during the discussion of the subjects issued by the committees thereof.
Subject to what has been provided therefore under a special provision, a member may not speak in a single subject during the same session for more than twice, and the duration his speech may not exceed fifteen minutes for the first time and ten minutes for the second time, unless otherwise permitted by the council.
The chairman shall always give permission to speak in the following cases:
a) To draw attention to the current discussion’s violation of the provisions of the constitution, the law of both Shura Council and the Parliament or the provisions hereof, without taking this as a way to speak in the core of the subject.
b) To correct a certain alleged incident or to respond to a saying containing of insult or defamation of the speech requestor’s person.
c) To request postponing consideration of the raised subject for investigation due to the importance of adjudication first in another subject connected thereto.
d) To request closing the discussion.
These requests in the said order above shall have precedence over the original subject or topic, and shall lead to the suspension of the discussion thereof until the decision of the council is taken in this regard.
The speech requestor may not speak about his request until the original speaker finishes his sayings, unless if permitted to do so by the chairman, and if the basis of speech request was one of the reasons shown in clause (a) of this article.
Should it appear, after permission for a member to speak, that he has spoken in violation of any of the provisions of the previous article, the council chairman may withdraw the word therefrom. The council may also, upon the suggestion of its chairman, decide to alert him to not repeat such act, or to disqualify him from speaking in the presented subject until the end of the session.
The council may, upon the suggestion of its chairman, the government, the competent committee, or upon a written request signed by at least five members, specify a time for finishing the discussion of one of the subjects or topics, or take opinion thereon.
The council may, upon the suggestion of its chairman, the government, the competent committee, or upon a written request signed by at least three members, close the discussion of one of the subjects or topics. In order to close discussion, permission to speak must had been given to at least two of the supporters and two of the opponents, and one member is always permitted to speak after the spokesman of the government in this regard.
Those who are permitted to talk shall do so while standing from their places, or on the forum if permitted to do so by the council chairman. The resolver shall always talk on the forum, as well as everyone who talks during the discussion of the higher speech or the government’s program, and in all other cases where at the council chairman invites the speaker to speak on the forum. The speaker may not direct his speech to anyone other than the chairman or the council.
The speaker shall express his opinion and point of view, while preserving the dignity and respect of the constitutional establishments within the state, and the dignity of the council and the chairman and the members thereof. The speaker shall not repeat his saying or the sayings of the others, and may not deviate from the subject raised for investigation, and shall generally not say something prejudicing to the due order and respect of the session, and may not speak in the personal matters of anybody, unless if such was supported by a final judicial judgment.
Nobody other than the council chairman may interrupt the speaker or give any comment thereto. The chairman alone may alert the speaker at any moment during his speech due to his violation of the provisions of the previous article or the other provisions hereof, or to the fact that his opinion has become sufficiently clear, and that there is no need for his continuing to speak. If the speaker does not obey the chairman, the chairman may alert him again while recording such in the representation. If the member insists on his stance, the matter shall be presented to the council to adjudicate therein, according to the provisions of article (67).
If the speaker prejudices to order by the violation of any of the aforementioned provisions herein or by another way, or gave inappropriate sayings or sayings that adversely affect the highest interest of the state, or exposed, in ill faith, one of his colleagues, government members or the regular bodies, or directed an insult, an irritating statement or a threat to any of those, or violated by anyway the requirements of appropriateness and respect, the chairman shall call him by his name and alter him to preserve order or prevent him from continuing to speak.
If the chairman draws the speaker’s attention in accordance with the provisions of the two previous articles, and then the speaker re-violated again the order of speech, the chairman may present to the council the idea of preventing him to speak in the same subject or till the end of the session, whereby the decision of the council is taken in regard thereto without discussion.
The council may, upon the suggestion of its chairman, take against the member who prejudices order during the session, or does not adhere to the council’s decision in preventing him to speak, the following penalties:
a) Preventing such member to speak in a certain subject for the remainder of the session.
d) Disqualifying such member to speak for the remainder of the session.
e) Disqualifying such member to participate in the remaining proceedings of the session.
f) Disqualifying such member to attend the meeting hall for one session.
g) Disqualifying such member to participate in the proceedings of the council and its committees for a duration not exceeding two weeks.
The council’s decision is taken in applying one of the penalties above in the same session and without discussion, and after hearing the sayings of such member, if necessary.
If the member does not adheres to the decision of the council, the chairman may take the means he deems appropriate to ensure the implementation of this decision after warning such member thereof. The chairman may suspend or end the session, where in such case the penalty shall extend to twice the duration determined by the council.
The member who was disqualified from participating in the proceedings of the council under any provision of the two previous articles may request the revocation of implementation of such decision if he submits a written apology to the council chairman, recording therein his regret for not respecting the order of the council. Such apology is recited during the session, and the council shall issue its decision in regard to such request without discussion.
If such member repeats, within the same commencement term, what necessitates the disqualifying thereof from participating in the proceedings of the council, then no apology is accepted. The council may, in such case, disqualify such member from participating in the proceedings thereof for a period not exceeding one month, or refer his matter to the council bureau to submit a report to the council about what has been done by such member in violation of the order.
If the order is prejudiced and the chairman was unable to restore it, he shall declare his intention to terminate the session. If the order is nevertheless not restored, he may suspend the session for a duration not exceeding half an hour, and it prejudice to order continues after resuming the session, the chairman shall adjourn such session and announce the time of the next session.
The chairman may temporarily suspend the session for a break not exceeding half an hour, and shall suspend the session for prayer when its time comes.
Taking Opinion and Announcement of Council Resolution
The council chairman shall take opinion on the subject presented, immediately following closing thereof discussion thereof, and after verification of the completeness of the quorum required for duly giving opinions thereat.
Nobody other than the council chairman may present any suggestion to take opinion thereon in the session. Opinions shall be first taken on the suggestions submitted regarding the presented subject, and priority shall be to its fullest extent and as far as possible from the original text in regard thereto. Should the council reject the said suggestions, opinion is to be taken on the original text.
Should the presented suggestion include several matters and the submitter thereof or five of the other members requested the division thereof into parts, the chairman shall present opinion on each part, separately.
Subject to the cases in which opinion is taken through calling by name, opinion is taken by one of the following means:
a) Electronic voting.
b) Show of hands.
c) Standing and sitting down.
Should it not become clear the opinion of the majority to the chairman when taking opinion by show of hands, opinion is taking by the standing and sitting down method by asking the supporters of such matter to stand up. Should the result not become clear yet, opinion is retaken in a reverse way, by asking the opponents of such matter to stand up, and failing this, opinion is taken through calling by name.
Opinion shall be taken through calling by name in the following cases:
a) Cases wherein a special majority is stipulated.
b) If demanded by the council chairman or the government.
c) If demanded by a written request submitted by at least seven members before starting to take opinions, and whereby such request is not accepted before verifying the existence of the submitters thereof in the session.
A member shall express his opinion when being called by his name, by saying either the word (agree) or (do not agree) or (abstain) without any further comment.
Every member shall give his opinion in any subject presented to take opinion thereon. Notwithstanding this, a member may abstain from giving his opinion and may present the reasons of such abstaining to the council after taking opinion on the subject and prior to the announcement of the result.
Abstainers are deemed neither supporters nor opponents of a subject or a topic. Should it appear that the number of members who actually gave their opinion is less than the necessary majority to pass the resolution, taking opinion on such presented subject is adjourned to a following session.
Polling is retaken on such subject or topic, and should the necessary majority for the approval thereof fail in accordance with the provisions hereof, it is adjourned to a next commencement term.
The chairman shall declare the council’s decision in regard to the presented subject according to the result of opinion-taking, and no further comment may given thereon after the declaration of the decision.
A session representation is the official statement of all the matters occurring and all the sayings said during the session, and shall include a description of the memorandums, proposals and suggestions recited and the sayings mentioned during the session, and a statement the discussions undertaken, the opinions given and the resolutions and recommendations issued therein, in addition to a statement of the names of those who have participated in voting along with the opinion of each member, whether in support, opposition or abstaining, and the names of absents members. A representation is edited for every session by the knowledge of the council employees and the supervision of the general secretary of the council.
The representation is distributed among the members one printed, and is presented for the certification thereof in the following session to the session at which it was distributed in accordance with the provisions of article (50) hereof. The certification of the council bureau is sufficient for the last sessions’ representations for the commencement term which have not been certified.
After certification of the representation, it shall be signed by each of the council chairman and the general secretary, kept in the records of the council and published in a special appendix to the official newspaper after sending it to the government.
The council chairman may, by himself or upon the request of the government, delete from a session’s representation any saying given by one of the members in violation of the provisions hereof, and if such decision is appealed thereon, the matter is presented to the council to take its decision in this regard without discussion.
After every session, a brief of its representation is prepared on urgent basis, explained therein the summary of the subjects presented on the council and the resolutions and recommendations taken therein, to be at the disposal of various media bodies.
The Head of Parliament shall inform the Chairman of Shura Council of what has been concluded by the parliament regarding the letter referred thereto by the Prime Minister, containing the royal decree in demand of amendment of the constitution in accordance with the provisions of articles (35) and (120) thereof.
The letter of the Head of Parliament shall include the determination of the articles of the constitution required to be omitted or added, or whose provisions are required to be changed, and it shall be enclosed with the letter an amendment request and an explanation of the necessitating justifications therefore, and the report of the parliament in regard thereto.
The Council Chairman shall order to print the letter of the Head of Parliament regarding the amendment and the report enclosed therewith, within twenty four hours of the time of its arrival to the council, and shall furthermore order the distribution thereof among all members.
The Shura Council shall convene a private session within a week of the date of arrival of the letter of Head of Parliament regarding the amendment of constitution and the report enclosed therewith to the Council Chairman.
The council chairman shall present a statement in explanation of the amendment request and the report of the parliament in regard thereto before he resolves the referral thereof the committee of legislative and legal affairs to prepare a report thereabout within fifteen days of the referral date thereto. The committee shall include in its report its opinion in the principle of amendment, and the wording that has been approved by the parliament for the draft bill of the articles proposed to be amended or added in case of its approval of the principle of amendment.
The committee’s report proposal shall be recited thereon in a session attended by at least two thirds of its members prior to the submission thereof to the council. Furthermore, it is required the approval of the committee in its majority of its members on the proposal of its report after its discussion thereof.
The council shall specify a session for the consideration of the report of the committee of legislative and legal affairs regarding the amendment of the constitution within the following fifteen days for the submission thereof to the council chairman, enclosed therewith the text of amendment request and the justifications therefore, and the report concluded by the parliament.
The committee report shall be recited at the council prior to the discussion thereof. The council shall issue its approval of the amendment by a two-thirds majority of its members, and in this case, voting is conducting through calling by name.
If the draft amendment of the constitution has been submitted by the council members in accordance with article (92) of the constitution, the draft amendment must contain a determination of the article of the constitution required to be deleted or added, or whose provisions are required to be changed, provided that the amendment request shall be enclosed with a statement of the necessitating justifications thereof.
Requests submitted by a number less than the resolved constitutional quorum are kept, and the council chairman shall inform the submitters of such requests of such action in written form.
The council chairman shall present the request submitted in suggestion of amendment within seven days of the submission date thereof to the committee of legislative and legal affairs to prepare a report regarding the principle of amendment and the subjects thereof. The report is presented to the council, and opinion is taken thereon through calling by name. If the council approves the principle of amendment and the subjects thereof by a majority of two thirds of its members, the draft amendment is referred to the government to set out a proposal scheme for amendment of the constitution, and then refer it to the parliament.
The Shura Council shall hold a private session within fifteen days of the incoming date of the draft amendment of the constitution, prepared by the government, enclosed with the report of the parliament. The draft amendment and the report shall be recited prior to the discussion thereof. The council’s resolution is approval of the amendment is issued in accordance with the provisions mentioned in article (89) hereof. The council may resolve to refer the draft amendment and the report of the parliament to the committee of legislative and legal affairs prior to taking a decision in regard thereto.