As we are now in the first quarter of Rotary’s 2011-12 year, there is less than 6 months to submit proposed legislation for the 2013 Council on Legislation.  RI must receive proposed legislation, along with its certification form signed by the district governor and proposer’s purpose and effect statement, no later than 31 December 2011.

The Council on Legislation, Rotary's "parliament," meets every three years to deliberate and act upon all proposed enactments and resolutions submitted by clubs, district conferences, the General Council and Conference of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, and the RI Board. The Council itself also makes proposals.

The Council on Legislation is an important part of Rotary's governance process. While the Board of Directors sets policies for Rotary International, the Council is where Rotary clubs have their say in the governance of the association. Every three years, each district sends a representative to the Council, which reviews proposed legislation. Every club and district is entitled to submit legislation to the Council, and some of Rotary’s most important work has resulted from Council action. Women were admitted into Rotary because of the action of the 1989 Council on Legislation, and PolioPlus was born as the result of the 1986 Council.

The Council comprises more than 500 representatives from every part of the Rotary world. Voting members include one elected representative of the clubs of each Rotary district. Some nonvoting members include the chair and vice chair of the Council, the RI president, members of the RI Board, and past RI presidents.

For districts holding a conference between now and December, legislation can still be proposed or endorsed at a district conference.  Districts that do not have a district conference before the deadline should know that where time does not allow for legislation to be submitted to a district conference, a ballot-by-mail may be conducted. The nect Council on Legislation will meet in Chicago in April 2013.

Additional information about and useful tools for the 2013 Council have been posted on the Council on Legislation section of the RI website (

If you have any questions about the Council on Legislation, please let me know.


Maureen Ninneman

Council Services Manager • Rotary International

1560 Sherman Avenue • Evanston IL 60201

+1-847-866-3302 • Fax: +1-847-556-2123