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Law Book — Categories — 2019

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 / Published in GBC / 747 views

Law Book — Categories — 2019

(Rule of order)

(Proposed by Nrsimha Kavaca Das and Sponsored by Madhu Sevita Das and Praghosa Das)

Whereas the categories use to classify resolutions passed by the GBC have evolved over time, as can be seen by the following:

1987:All resolutions be categorized as a rule of order, law, or provisional order at the time of passing.

1997:That all GBC resolutions shall be categorized as one of the following:

a. Action Order (administrative, appointment, action oriented, directive or provisional orders, plus send to or form a committee, etc. that is temporary in nature and expires on completion)

b. GBC Rule of Order (permanent in nature)

c. ISKCON Law (permanent in nature)

d. ISKCON Vision and Goal (time bound) (future planning, strategies, standing objectives which push on the preaching of the Society and position papers, statements of appreciation, etc. that are permanent in nature), and

e. Guideline (behavior or action for ISKCON).


The following terms, when used as descriptions of the intent of GBC Resolutions and included in the language of the resolution when passed by the Body, shall henceforward have the following meanings:

1. LAW: A statement of principle applicable permanently to the whole of ISKCON.

1. GUIDELINE: A statement of principle recommended to be adopted by the whole of ISKCON.

2. RULE OF ORDER: A rule governing the internal functioning of the GBC Body. The Rules of Order as a whole also form a default set of rules for the internal functioning of other ISKCON administrative bodies, to be followed as applicable to their various circumstances, unless the other body has specifically resolved that it shall function differently.

Laws, Guidelines, and Rules of Order, in order to have the effect of Laws, Guidelines, and Rules of Order as described in these definitions, must be declared as such within the language of the resolution when passed by the GBC Body. The GBC Executive Committee shall cause updated compilations of all current Laws, Guidelines, and Rules of Order to be maintained and regularly made available to the society.

Other declarations of categories shall be optional, and the intent of a resolution shall be determined by the wording of the resolution itself and not by the category declared.

Whereas the existing categorizations of GBC resolutions have been found to be inadequate, and to some degree inappropriate, for the present functioning of the GBC;

Whereas the intent of the above resolutions – to help minimize confusion and improve the resolutions’ usability – was partly accomplished, it has been found that not all resolutions fit neatly into one of these categories, and some mis-categorizations have increased confusion rather than reducing it;

Whereas a better policy will be to let the resolution speak for itself, with optional categorization included in the resolution wording when such is deemed helpful to convey the intent of the resolution;

Whereas for those resolutions that establish enduring principles, the GBC should provide standard definitions for the category terms;

Whereas the GBC directed the current ISKCON Law Book Committee to keep as much of the work of the previous committee as possible, and;

Whereas the following was unanimously passed by the GBC at the AGM in 2016 but not recorded.


The following categories must be used to define any proposal being presented to the GBC Body to describe the intent of the proposal.

This language which will be included in the final resolution shall henceforward have the following meanings:

1. Constitutional principles

Enduring principles based on Prabhupada’s teachings on how ISKCON should be organized.

Enduring features of ISKCON as per Prabhupada’s teachings.

2. Governing laws:

Rules governing the practical functioning of ISKCON which are globally applicable.

3. Statutory regulations:

The Memorandum and Articles of Association which govern the internal functioning of the ISKCON GBC Society West Bengal.

4. Rules of order:

Procedures for the functioning of the GBC Body.

5. Administrative guidelines:

Detailed description of the practical application of laws. Includes Administrative Orders, Action Orders, Position Papers and Statements.

a. Administrative order:

Orders by which an administrative wing or branch of ISKCON with specific functions is created. E.g. a ministry or other functional unit that has an existence beyond the scope of the individuals performing the task.

b. Action order

A directive to a specific individual or group of individuals to perform a time bound task.

c. Position statements

Considered conclusions of the Body on particular subject matters.

d. Statements

Declarations setting forth decisions of the Body.

e. Guidelines

Guidance relative to setting standards or determining a course of action.

f. Votes of thanks

Statements of appreciation or recognition of outstanding service or contributions to ISKCON.

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