Chapter 4 - Absence of President, Deputy President and officers

14    Absence of both officers

If both the President and the Deputy President are absent, the senators present, if a quorum, shall elect a senator present to act as President for that day only, the question being put to the Senate by the Clerk.

Amendment history

Adopted: 19 August 1903 as SO 30

Amended: 22 October 1981, J.589 (change of title of office)

1989 revision: Old SO 30 renumbered as SO 14 and amended to remove option of the Senate adjourning in the absence of both officers rather than electing an acting President for the day


Absence of both officers

Extract from the Journals of the Senate dealing with the absence of both officers

Like SO 13, this standing order also reflects universal practice and was adopted without debate in 1903. Aside from the change of title from Chairman of Committees to Deputy President in 1981, the only change of substance occurred in the context of the 1989 revision when a provision for the Senate to stand adjourned till the next sitting day as an alternative to electing a senator as President for the day was suggested for deletion.[1] The provision had not been used. The prospect of a day’s business foregone merely because two senators were absent had never been an attractive one. No objection was raised and the revision proceeded without the original second sentence.[2]

Special arrangements are made if the absence of one of the officers is for part of the day only.[3]