In parliamentary procedure, a recess refers to a short intermission in a meeting of a deliberative assembly. The members may leave the meeting room, but are expected to remain nearby. A recess may be simply to allow a break (e.g. for lunch) or it may be related to the meeting (e.g. to allow time for vote-counting).

Motion to recess
ClassPrivileged motion
In order when another has the floor?No
Requires second?Yes
May be reconsidered?No
Vote requiredMajority

Sometimes the line between a recess and an adjournment can be fine.[1] A break for lunch can be more in the nature of a recess or an adjournment depending on the time and the extent of dispersion of the members required for them to be served.[1] But at the resumption of business after a recess, there are never any "opening" proceedings such as reading of minutes; business picks up right where it left off.[1] The distinction of whether the assembly recesses or adjourns has implications related to the admissibility of a motion to reconsider and enter on the minutes and the renewability of the motion to suspend the rules.[1]

Under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, a motion to recess may not be called when another person has the floor, is not reconsiderable, and requires a second and a majority vote.[2] When adopted, it has immediate effect.

If made when business is pending, it is an undebatable, privileged motion.[2] It can be modified only by amendment of the length of the break.[2]

Stand at ease edit

Stand at ease is a brief pause without a recess in which the members remain in place but may converse while waiting for the meeting to resume.[3]

Use by legislatures edit

Brazil edit

In the National Congress of Brazil, a recess is a break in congressional activities. During every year-long session, the congress has two scheduled recess periods: a mid-winter break between 17 July and 1 August, and a summer break between 22 December and 2 February of the following year.[4][5]

United States Congress edit

In the United States Congress, a recess could mean a temporary interruption or it could mean a longer break, such as one for the holidays or for the summer.[6][7]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Robert, Henry M.; et al. (2011). Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-306-82020-5.
  2. ^ a b c Robert 2011, p. 231
  3. ^ Robert 2011, p. 82
  4. ^ "Brazil - The legislature". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  5. ^ "The National Congress". Portal da Câmara dos Deputados (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-01-09.
  6. ^ "recess glossary term". Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  7. ^ Bolton, Alexander (August 3, 2014). "Five things to know as Congress takes a five-week summer recess". The Hill. Retrieved February 22, 2016.