Procedure and Conduct in Tynwald Court and the Branches
The procedures in the Chambers are govered by Standing Orders and by precedent or tradition.
The President of Tynwald presides at sittings of Tywnald Court and the Legislative Council and in the House of Keys it is the Speaker. Members are bound to attend all sittings unless they have leave of absence. Leave of absence may be granted by the appropriate presiding officer for sufficient cause or in accordance with Standing Orders.
Each Chamber has its own set of Standing Orders. These set out the conduct required of Members during sittings and the procedures for any business undertaken.
Any Member wishing to raise a point of order should specify the relevant Standing Order when doing so.
The interpretation of Standing Orders is a matter for the Presiding Officer, whose interpretation is authoritative.
Click for the latest editions of Standing Orders.
Commencing a Sitting
In the House of Keys and Legislative Council, Members must be seated in the Chamber prior to the arrival of the Presiding Officer. The sitting begins with prayers, usually led by the Chaplain in the House of Keys and the Lord Bishop in the Legislative Council.
Members of the House of Keys must be seated in the Tynwald Chamber before the sitting begins. Members stand as the Speaker of the House of Keys and Clerk of Tynwald enter, and once they have taken their seats, all sit down. The Members of the Legislative Council then enter and take their seats. There follows an announcement, 'Honourable Members, please be upstanding for the President of Tynwald', and all Members stand while the President enters. At this point the Sword of State is also brought into the Chamber and placed on the table in the centre. The Sword of State must be present as it represents the authority of the Sovereign at the sitting.
Click here to watch the beginning of a sitting of Tynwald.
Entering and Leaving
Members are permitted to go out for short periods during a sitting. They must bow to the Presiding Officer on entering and leaving the Chamber and should not walk between the Presiding Officer and any Member who is speaking. The Presiding Officer may call Members back to the Chamber, for instance if a vote is taking place and the Chamber is inquorate, by ringing a bell.
Speaking to the Court
Members are called upon to speak by the Presiding Officer. As the previous speaker concludes, those who wish to speak should rise in their places. The member who first "catches the eye" of the presiding officer will be called upon to speak. There is usually no limit to the length of speeches, but speeches should be relevant to the motion being debated and contain no unnecessary repetition.
Addressing Other Members
Members refer to each other by constituency and by name, or by the position they hold, sometimes in Manx.
Click here for political terminology in Manx.