A parliamentary authority is a book of rules on conducting business (parliamentary procedure) in deliberative assemblies. A group generally creates its own rules and then adopts such a book to cover meeting procedure not covered in its rules. Different books have been used by organizations and by legislative assemblies.
The number one book on parliamentary procedure is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th edition, 2000 (RONR). More organizations prescribe RONR as their parliamentary authority (PA) than any other manual. BUT there are other PAs, and one must check their bylaws or other rules to see if and what PA is prescribed for any given organization.
It should be noted that the 1915 edition (the 4th) is the latest that is no longer protected by copyright law, and that there are numerous Robert's Rules of Order derived from this edition by modern authors. Some are merely the 4th edition with perhaps some formatting and illustration improvements, and others are a complete revision. But the standard is the 10th edition published by Perseus Publishing. Amazon.com has the table of contents and index.
The authorship team of RONR, 10th edition, have also published:
- Robert's Rules of Order in Brief, March 2004. This concise and user-friendly guide will expertly brief readers on the rules most often needed at meetings. It includes sample dialogues, helpful references to RONR, and handy tips for officers.
The American Institute of Parliamentarians, in addition to its principal interest in RONR, focuses on these parliamentary authorities (by testing of them as part of their credentialing process):
- The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, Alice Sturgis and the American Institute of Parliamentarians, 4th edition, 2000, McGraw-Hill.
- Cannon's Concise Guide to Rules of Order, Hugh Cannon, 1992.
- Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law and Procedure, George Demeter, Blue Book Edition, 1969, Little, Brown & Company.
- Riddick’s Rules of Procedure, Floyd Riddick & Miriam Butcher, 1985, Madison Books.
Some other parliamentary manuals, including some derived from Robert's Rules of Order, are:
- Meeting Procedures: Parliamentary Law and Rules of Order for the 21st Century, James Lochrie, 2003.
- Merriam Webster's Rules of Order, Laurie Rozakis, 1994, Merriam-Webster.
- Procedures for Meetings and Organizations, Kerr & King, 1996, a Canadian parliamentary authority.
- Webster's New World Robert's Rules of Order Simplified and Applied, Robert McConnell Productions, 2nd edition, 2001, Hungry Minds, Inc.