Raise a question of privilege (RONR)
ClassPrivileged motion
In order when another has the floor?Yes, but should not interrupt a person who has begun to speak, unless unavoidable
Requires second?No, but if the question of privilege thereby raised is in the form of a motion, the motion must be seconded
May be reconsidered?No
Vote requiredAdmissibility of question is ruled upon by chair

In parliamentary procedure, a motion to raise a question of privilege is a privileged motion that permits a request related to the rights and privileges of the assembly or any of its members to be brought up.[1]

Explanation and use

In Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), questions of privilege affecting the assembly may include matters of comfort, amplification, or safety.[2] For example, it may be difficult to hear the speaker. In this case, a question of privilege could be raised to close the doors and windows. A question of privilege can only be interrupted by the motions to take a recess, adjourn, or fix the time to which to adjourn, or any incidental motions that must be disposed of at that time.[3]

An example of a question of privilege is a motion to go into executive session.[2] A question of privilege cannot interrupt a vote or the verification of a vote.[3]

When a question of privilege affects a single member (rather than the entire assembly), it is called a question of personal privilege.[2] Such a question may include a need for assistance, to be excused for illness or personal emergency, or the need to immediately answer a charge of misconduct made by another member.[2] The member rises immediately and without waiting to be recognized states, "Mr. Chairman, I rise on a question of personal privilege," or similar words.[4] If the member has interrupted a speaker, the chair must determine if the matter is of such urgency as demands immediate attention; otherwise, the member will have the floor immediately after the current speaker is finished.[4] According to RONR, questions of personal privilege "seldom arise in ordinary societies and even more rarely justify interruption of pending business".[2]

A question of privilege (not personal) has precedence over questions of personal privilege, should they conflict.[2]


  1. ^ Robert, Henry M.; et al. (2011). Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-306-82020-5.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Robert 2011, p. 227
  3. ^ a b Robert 2011, p. 226
  4. ^ a b Robert 2011, p. 228