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Recently I was given a document titled Standing Rules of an English speaking club of a local community, which was written in English, and asked to study the contents. I wondered what difference between standing rules and rules is. Why can’t we simply put rules when there exists no other version of the club rules. So I checked dictionary.com, which showed me an example of the California State PTA.

It says

The standing rules direct the administration of the organization. They are more flexible than bylaws and are adopted by the membership as a need arises. Standing rules are procedural rather than parliamentary.

With the Rules of California State PTA, I found that there are rules, bylaw rules, and standing rules in regard with administration of an organization. Can anybody teach me the basic difference of these three rules in a easy to understand way? Or give me brief definitions of these three words. By the way, do we always need to affix standing to rules for club rules?

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Bylaws are usually laws implemented by a local chapter of a larger organization. Standing rules are just like other rules, but may be amended. And rules, as they say, are rules.

In all candor, I have to tell you that these terms are used pretty much on an ad hoc basis, and there is no central authority that determines which rules should be called what. If you are setting up an organization, you can pretty much call the rules that govern it any of the above, or choose a different synonym. If you are setting up a corporation, what your rules are called will be probably be according to the specifications of the state in which you incorporate; in any case, you'd be hiring a lawyer whose job it is to know these things.

Short answer: don't worry too much about it. It will only make you crazy.

  • Thanks. Robusto. I just placed this question as I was hunged up a question why we need to say ‘Standing’ rules when there is no ‘generic’ or ‘prototype’ rules. – Yoichi Oishi Jan 28 '11 at 1:07
  • If it's an informal organization, you can call them whatever you please. There are really no "rules" governing that. :) – Robusto Jan 28 '11 at 1:10

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