Every organization has the
right to protect itself from members whose behavior is unethical or
reprehensible. Unless the discipline affects the accused member's public
reputation or means of livelihood, the problem is more a moral than a legal
Discipline can be of varying
degrees, depending on the seriousness of the offense.
right to speak for a certain period of time.
For minor in-fractions of the organization's roles, a member may be required to
remain silent for a time.
Where the offense is more serious, discipline may take the form of denial of
right to attend a certain number of meetings. Suspension should be defined and
a procedure for invoking it should be described in the By-Laws.
Certain offenses may call for a payment of an amount of money. Both the offense
and the amount of the payment must be fixed in the By-Laws. Thus unexcused
absence or tardiness may result in fines assessed against a member.
The most severe penalty is that which requires a member to leave the membership
on a permanent basis. Expulsion proceedings must include the following
Te notice should be written, including a statement of the charge and the time
and place of the trial proceedings be- fore all the members.
Right of accused to appear to
answer charges, to
offer contrary evidence, to provide witnesses on his behalf, to cross examine
Requirement of a 2/3 (two
thirds) vote to
expel a member; (this is based on the requirement in the U.S. Constitution that
"each House may…with the concurrence of two-thirds expel a member." Art. I,
Section 5, Par. 2).