Concord is a short set of rules for group organization that prioritizes efficiency and discourages divisivness and power-grabs.

This document contains the Concord System Rules. It refers to itself as Bylaws, but depending on the type of organization, this document may be incorporated into Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, a Constitution, a Charter, or similar governing documents.


Concord is a governance system, that is, a set of procedures for elections, meetings, and decision-making.

The voters elect officials and also vote directly on issues. Major officals include:

There are also Boardelectors, who play a role in the selection of Boardmembers, a Judicial Selection Commission which nominates Judges, and other Judges who serve on Tribunals to resolve disputes.

Getting started

The system is started in three phases; first an Acting Secretary is elected, who then organizes a hasty election for temporary leadership. Second, the temporary leaders organize an ordinary election while also setting up and operating the organization. Finally, the first ordinary election is held and the first ordinary Cycle begins.

The first thing to do is elect an Acting Secretary, as follows. Nominations for Acting Secretary are collected (self-nominations are allowed). When no more nominations seem to be coming, a last call for more nominations is made; if nominations come in, another last call must be made, but if, after a last call, no more nominations come in after a short time, then nominations are closed and voting begins. Each Voter may cast a vote of '0' or '1' for each candidate; if no vote is cast by some voter for some candidate, this is treated as a '0'. A Voter may vote '1' for as many candidates as they wish. If no one raises an objection to public voting, and if each voter has one vote, then candidates may be presented one by one and each Voter may raise their hand (or similar) to vote '1' for the candidate. If an objection is raised or if some voters have multiple votes, however, then voting must be by secret ballot. The candidate who has the most '1' votes wins. If there is a tie, the voting repeats, with only the tied candidates remaining as nominees, until there is a single winner with no tie.

The Acting Secretary then organizes an Election according to the procedure in the Election section below; this election must be held as soon as possible, and the Acting Secretary is encouraged to set the timeline and deadlines to be very fast, with little time for campaigning, negotiation, or deliberation.

After this initial Election, there will be 3 temporary Chairs and 4 temporary Boardmembers (three elected by the Boardelectors, and one randomly chosen Boardnominee). Note that, although temporary, these Chairs and Boardmembers are actual, full Chairs and Boardmembers, will all of the power and authority of those roles. The temporary Boardmembers then select a CEO according to the procedure in the CEO section below.

This initial Cycle, called the 'zeroth Cycle', is abnormally short; the temporary Secretary immediately begins organizing a new election and holds it as soon as possible, but this time a properly deliberate pace is encouraged. In the meantime the CEO and temporary Boardmembers function in their usual capacities and should begin setting up and operating the organization. The temporary Chairpeople serve as Acting Judges. The various structures select the Judicial Selection Committee members for the next Cycle as usual. The Forum does not operate during the zeroth Cycle.

After the new election, the next Cycle (called 'the first Cycle') is a normal Cycle. During the first Cycle, the 3 temporary Boardmembers elected by the Boardelectors from the zeroth Cycle serve their second term, and the Judicial Selection Committee members who were selected during the zeroth Cycle start their work; the CEO continues on as CEO unless and until they are replaced by the Board; the Procedural Tribunal remains empty, so the Chairpeople serve as Acting Judges there, and also serve as Acting Judges on other matters unless and until other Judges are nominated and confirmed; and the Forum functions as usual.

Major Officials and bodies


The 3 Chairs are directly elected by the Voters via Triscore Voting.

The first Chair holds the office of Speaker, and presides over the Forum and Boardmeetings. The second Chair holds the office of Secretary, and administers elections and certifies documents. The third Chair holds the office of Treasurer, and co-signs transactions.

Each Chair serves the voters as an investigator, prosecutor, and ombudsperson (this does not mean that they must be the primary or only investigators, prosecutors, and ombudspeople). Any Chair, acting alone, can:

When any two Chairs agree, they can recommend or veto the admission or expulsion of voters.

When all three of them agree, they can pardon those convicted by Tribunals, or authorize emergency procedures for urgent action.

At any time when less than 3 Board seats are held, all three Chairs temporarily serve as Acting Boardmembers in addition to the Boardmembers, and similarly serve as Acting Judges when there are less than 3 Judges.



todo Triscore voting to create a queue for issues to be discussed. Each time the queue is empty triscore voting is used to select three new issues


The 7 Boardmembers vote on Policies and Directives, and select the CEO.

See the Board Deliberation procedure, below.

Board composition


The Boardelectors can vote to remove any Boardmember for any reason by a secret ballot vote with a threshold of >=2/3 of all Boardelectors. In this case, if the random Boardmember was removed, a new Boardmember is randomly chosen, and otherwise, the Boardelector Supporters of the removed Boardmember choose a replacement via Triscore Voting, in which the removed Boardmember is ineligible.



The Chief Executive Officer (CEO)


If there is currently no CEO and a vote for a CEO is tied, then the Secretary chooses the CEO from amongst the tied candidates.

Judges Panels

Judges serve and are selected in groups of 3, called Judge Panels.

A Judge Panel is nominated by the Judicial Selection Commission using Triscore Voting, and confirmed by the Board with a threshold of >=2/3.

Judge Panels serve for a term of 3 Cycles.

If any Judge in a Judge Panel resigns, or becomes permanently unavailable and has no Understudy, that Judge Panel ends its term of office, and the other two members of that Judge Panel are no longer Judges. If any Judge in a Judge Panel becomes temporarily unavailable and has no Understudy, the other two members of that Judge Panel are also temporarily inactivated.

Judges on a Judge Panel serve together on cases.

Judges must be independent of and protected from improper influence.

Procedural Tribunal

The Procedural Tribunal interprets what these Bylaws and other rules (except for Board Rules) mean with respect to particular situations.

The Procedural Tribunal is composed of three Judge Panels (9 Judges). One of these Judge Panels is selected randomly from all Judge Panels which were current as of the end of the previous Cycle (except for those from which a member resigned or is unavailable and has no Understudy), and serves for a term of 1 Cycle (if the Judge Panel's term would have ended this Cycle, this extends the term of that Judge Panel for 1 Cycle).

The other two are newly constituted Judge Panels nominated for this purpose by the Judicial Selection Commission and confirmed by the Board. Each Cycle, the senior Judge Panel of these two rotates off, and a new junior Judge Panel rotates on.

Whenever there are no active Judge Panels on the Procedural Tribunal, the Chairs serve as Acting Judges.

The Procedural Tribunal exercises judicial review over Rules, ensuring that they are consistent and respect the Order of Precedence.

The Procedural Tribunal operates by majority vote.

Judicial Selection Commission

The Judicial Selection Commission (JSC) consists of 7 seats Commissioners, all of whom are chosen in the previous Cycle: 3 seats chosen by all Boardelectors, 2 seats chosen by all Judges, 1 seat chosen by the Chairs, and 1 seat randomly chosen from the Boardnominees in the same manner as the seventh seat on the Board. All of the seats except for the randomly chosen one are chosen via Triscore Voting by the relevant group.

If a seat in the JSC becomes empty, it is replaced by the same method that chose that seat. If any group with representative seat(s) on the JSC did not elect representatives to these seats in the previous cycle, these seats remain empty in the current cycle.

Each Cycle, the Judicial Selection Commission may nominate a Judge Panel to rotate onto the Procedural Tribunal at the beginning of the next Cycle (and may continue to nominate another such Judge Panel each time their nomination is voted down by the Board).

The Judicial Selection Commission may also nominate other Judge Panels to serve on other Tribunals.


Election, voting, and membership procedures



Each ballot should also include the question of whether to suspend the prohibitions on multiple offices and term limits.

Triscore voting

This is a voting procedure to select one or more winners out of a number of candidates. The number of people to be selected is called the number of 'seats' and denoted here by '#SEATS'.

Ballots: Each voter gives each candidate a vote of -1, 0, or +1; they may choose +1 for many different candidates if they want. 0 is the default; a ballot indicating no choice for a candidate is the same as a ballot indicating 0 for that candidate. Write-ins are allowed.

Round 1: The summed score of each candidate is computed ('Round 1 score'). Proportional Score Voting (see below) on the Round 1 scores is used to select the best 3*#seats candidates ('semifinalists').

Round 2: The number of -1s of each semifinalist candidate is computed ('Round 2 score'). Proportional Score Voting on the Round 2 scores is used to (proportionally) eliminate the most hated candidates, leaving 2*#seats remaining candidates ('finalists').

Round 3: The number of +1s of each finalist candidate is computed ('Round 3 score'). Proportional Score Voting on the Round 3 scores is used to select the winners.

Ties: If there is a tie for last place in Round 1 or Round 2, tied candidates are not eliminated, so more than 3*#seats or 2*#seats may become semifinalists or finalists, respectively. If there is a tie for last place in Round 3, the tie is broken first by choosing the lowest Round 2 score, and then by choosing the highest Round 1 score. If there are still ties, the Secretary (or Temporary Secretary) chooses which of the tied winners wins.

Note that the output of this procedure is not only who won the seats, but also the order in which they were won.

Proportional Score Voting subprocedure:

Each ballot is given an initial "weight" of 1.

Repeat the following P times, where P is the number of winners to be chosen:

1. The weighted scores on the ballots are summed for each candidate, thus obtaining that candidate's total score.

2. The candidate with the highest total score (who has not already won), is declared a winner.

3. When a voter "gets her way" in the sense that a candidate she rated highly wins, her ballot weight is reduced so that she has less influence on later choices of winners. To accomplish that, each ballot is given a new weight = 1/(1+SUM/2), where SUM is the sum of the scores that ballot gives to the winners-so-far ('winners-so-far' refers only to winners within the current round of the Proportional Score Subprocedure)

TODO normalize to nonnegative

Score voting with Runoff


Prohibitions on multiple offices and term limits

No single entity may simultaneously occupy more than Chairpersonship, nor more than one seat on the Board, nor more than one seat on any Judge Panel or Tribunal, nor more than one seat on the Judicial Selection Commission. No entity can be more than one of the following simultaneously: Chair, Boardmember, Judge. Any entity which has not spent any of the immediately previous 3 Electoral Cycles without holding any of the offices in: (Chair, Boardmember, Judge, CEO), may not hold any of the following offices in the next Electoral Cycle: Chair, Boardmember, Judge.

These prohibitions on multiple offices and term limits are suspended for the Electoral Cycle following any election in which the voters vote to do so with a threshold of >=2/3s.

An exception to these prohibitions/limits is when there do not exist enough candidates who satisfy the prohibitions/limits to fill all of the open seats (where a 'candidate' is any voter who wants to be one).

Corporate entities can vote and hold office

Voters and officeholders may be individuals or corporate entities.


Executive and financial procedures

Transaction co-signing

All transactions must be co-signed by the CEO, and the Treasurer; except that the Treasurer may determine (and later modify at any time) criteria for transactions that do not require their signature.

Note that, like other powers and requirement, these may be delegated; for example, the CEO need not personally sign each transaction, they have the power to delegate this so that various employees have the capacity to sign for various things in various amounts.


The level of compensation, if any, of any office mentioned in the Bylaws, except for Boardmembers and Boardelectors, is set by a Resolution of the Board, subject to any limits set by Policy.

The level of compensation of Boardmembers is set by the lower of:

The level of compensation of Boardelectors is set separately by the same procedure.

In the absence of a relevant Board Resolution, an office is uncompensated; however, the Board may make Standing Resolutions on compensation that persist until amended.

Compensation is fixed for the duration of each Electoral Cycle at the level specified at the end of the previous Electoral Cycle.


If there is not enough money to pay for all planned expenditures, any payments required to be made in order to avoid default on debt must be prioritized.

No retaliation against whistleblowers

The Organization and its employees and officers may not retaliate against anyone for reporting anything to the Chairs or Board members.


Legislative procedures

Amending these Bylaws

There are two methods of Amending these Bylaws.

First, the Bylaws may be immediately amended by a Bylaws Amendment signed by Voters holding >=2/3s of the votes.

Second, the Bylaws may be amended by the same procedure as an ordinary Proposal, starting with a Bylaws Amendment Proposal with a voting threshold of >=2/3s; except that, after the Bylaws Amendment passes and becomes a Bylaws Amendment Resolution, it does not become a Bylaws Amendment until the end of the next Cycle following the Cycle in which the Bylaws Amendment Resolution was passed. Anytime during the interim between passage and taking effect, the Bylaws Amendment Resolution may be cancelled by a Veto.

No Bylaws Amendment Proposal or Bylaws Amendment Resolution takes effect until it becomes a Bylaws Amendment.

How Proposals are enacted: Proposals, Resolutions, and Acts

There are two methods of passing Acts.

First, a Proposal may immediately become an Act upon being signed by Voters holding the required proportion of votes (see Proposal voting thresholds, below).

Second, a Proposal may be made in either the Board or the Forum according to the Board Rules or Forum Rules. If the Proposal meets the required voting threshold (see Proposal voting thresholds, below) in the body in which it was proposed, it becomes a Resolution. A Resolution becomes an Act at the end of the next Board Meeting which was called with regular notice after the passage of the Resolution. Anytime during the interim between passage and becoming an Act, the Proposal may be cancelled by a Veto.

No Proposal or Resolution takes effect until it becomes an Act.

Proposal voting thresholds

Here are different voting thresholds according to the nature of the proposal. These apply to both the Board and the Forum.

All Bylaws Amendment Proposals or amendments to the Board Rules require a voting threshold of >=2/3.

By default, all other Proposals require a vote of >=60%. However, any proposal which meets ALL of the following criteria requires only >50%:

A Veto Proposal requires only >50%.


A Veto is a type of Resolution which cancels another Resolution (or Bylaws Amendment Resolution) before the target Resolution takes effect. It may be passed by either of the Board or the Forum (note that any Resolution or Bylaws Amendment Resolution may be vetoed by either body, regardless of which body originally passed it).

Forum Deliberation


Board Deliberation

In this section and in Board Rules, votes are assumed to refer to votes of Boardmembers present at Boardmeetings, weighted according to the number of Board seats held by each member.

The Board may make or amend Board Rules by a vote of >=2/3 (see also Initial Board Rules, below). The Bylaws take precedence over Board Rules. Board Rules persist across Board sessions.

The Speaker presides over Board meetings according to the Board Rules. Both Board Rules and the Speaker's actions/decisions while presiding must be procedurally fair/impartial.

Any 3 Boardmembers may appeal a decision of the Speaker in their role as presiding officer to the three Chairs, who may overturn the decision by majority vote if it violates the Board Rules or the Bylaws.

All Boardmembers and all Chairs have the right to attend every Boardmeeting, although only the Boardmembers vote and have the right to speak.

Speaking limits must be the same for all members. Speaking limits may be altered by a vote of >=2/3s.

Meetings can be called either by the Speaker or by the holder(s) of any 3 Board seats. The caller(s) of the meetings set the time, date, and location. Meetings do not require physical presence and may be held over any communications medium. Two weeks notice must be given unless all 3 Chairs unanimously agree to waive that requirement for a specific meeting.

A Quorum is a majority of Board seats. No Proposals may be passed a meeting without a Quorum at the time that the Proposal was voted upon. If Quorum is lost mid-meeting, or regained, the Speaker or any member may cause this to be noted in the Minutes. If a Quorum persistently cannot be satisfied after three sincere attempts, a majority of those Board seats who attend the third such meeting may call an early election.

The Secretary takes meeting minutes. The minutes of each previous meeting are presented by the Secretary to be adopted by majority vote (after discussing and amending them, if necessary) at the beginning of the next meeting. The minutes of the Board are signed and published by the Secretary.

Initial Board Rules

This section gives initial Board Rules. Although this section is in the Bylaws, it may be overridden by amendments to Board Rules.

Any Board Rule may be temporarily ignored by unanimous consent of the Boardmembers present.

In order to gain the floor, a member raises their hand (or similar) and then waits for recognition by the Speaker.

Each Boardmember has the right to give at least two 5-minutes speeches on every substantive Proposal before it goes to a vote, unless the Board votes to cut off discussion early with a threshold of >= 2/3s.

Boardmembers are bound by the following rules of decorum during each meeting and may be ruled out-of-order by the Speaker if they do not follow them:

The holder of each Board seat is given a chance to introduce a new topic of discussion or Proposal in a round-robin fashion (who is next in line persists across meetings). This sequence can be interrupted in order to discuss urgent business, even mid-discussion, by a vote with a threshold of >=2/3s. After the urgent issue is disposed of, discussion returns to the topic (or turn to propose a topic) where it was left off.

The Board has three standing committees: Nominations and Governance, Compensation, and Audit.

Committees are chaired by the senior committee member, defined as the member with the longest continuous service on the Board.

At any one time, only one Proposal, and its Alternative Proposals, are under discussion (the original Proposal is treated just the same as its Alternatives and is itself considered an Alternative). At the beginning or of during the discussion of a topic, an on-topic Alternative Proposal or Amendment may be introduced by any Boardmember when they have the floor. The Speaker immediately calls for a Second; if no Second can be found, the Proposal, Alternative, or Amendment dies. A Boardmember holding multiple Board seats may Second themself. The exact wording of all Proposals, Alternatives and Amendments must be fixed before introduction, preferably in writing. After its introduction, an Amendment is immediately voted upon, without further discussion, with a threshold of >=2/3s. If an Amendment passes, then the Proposal/Alternative it targets is amended as specified. An Alternative (including the original Proposal) may also be killed through the same procedure as Amending.

Discussion ends when no Boardmember wishes to speak who has not yet reached their speaking limit.

When the discussion of any Proposal ends, all surviving Alternatives shall be voted upon by Score Voting with Runoff, where the runoff choice shall be between the Score Voting winner and the Status Quo (that is, to take no action, as if the Proposal had never been introduced).

In addition to ordinary Proposals, Proposals may be introduced to replace the Board's selection of CEO (these are voted upon with Score Voting with a runoff against the incumbent) or to create a Committee. A Proposal to create a Committee may specify the committee members, or it may call for the members to be elected by Triscore Voting. In addition to ordinary Alternatives, an Alternative may propose to send the matter to a committee (an existing committee or an ad-hoc committee created for this matter, whose membership may be as in the previous paragraph), after which it will return to the Board.


Judicial procedures


A Tribunal is convened when a Plaintiff accuses a Defendant of a rule violation.

A Tribunal is presided over by a Judge Panel (randomly selected by the Treasurer out of the available Judge Panels, subject to the constraint that a Judge Panel containing a Judge with an apparent conflict of interest cannot be chosen; when there are no such available Judge Panels, the Chairs serve as Acting Judges). Disagreements within the Judge Panel are resolved via majority vote.

The Judge Panel initially receives the complaint. By unanimous vote, the Judge Panel can dismiss the case after a quick preliminary investigation. Otherwise, Jurors are selected and a Trial begins (see the Trials procedure, below).

The Procedural Tribunal (see section 'Procedural Tribunal', above) is an exception and has a different composition and role from other Tribunals.


At the beginning of a trial, the defendant (except when the defendant is the Organization, in which case the plaintiff chooses) may choose a method of allocating legal costs from among the following:

6 Jurors are selected randomly from a pool of volunteers, subject to the constraints that (a) no Juror may have an apparent conflict of interest, (b) for each of the non-randomly chosen Boardmembers, a Juror is chosen out of the Supporters of that Boardmember, and (c) no Judge may be a Juror on the same Tribunal that they are judging.

The result of a Tribunal is determined by a vote of the 3 Judges on the Judge Panel added to a vote of the 6 Jurors. The defendant is cleared unless the plaintiff gets at least 6 votes; except when the defendant is the Organization, in which case the plaintiff needs only 5 votes.

The result of ordinary Tribunal cases can be appealed to the Procedural Tribunal, which may or may not chose to examine the appeal, and may or may not determine that the ordinary Tribunal misinterpreted the rules and then refer the case back to a new ordinary Tribunal. An appeal can be made only by the defendant, except when the defendant is the Organization, in which case an appeal can be made only by the plaintiff.


In case of conflict between the following types of rules, the highest precedence wins. From highest to lowest precedence:


Emergency procedures


All three Chairs, acting together, may declare a State of Emergency.

During a State of Emergency, the CEO may unilaterally suspend Policies and issue special temporary Policies and Directives called Decrees with the effect of any Policy or Directive that would require less than a 2/3s voting threshold. The Bylaws may not be suspended or amended during a State of Emergency, except by the method of signatures of 2/3s of vhe voters.

A State of Emergency may be ended at any time by any one of:

Immediately upon such declaration or vote, all Policies resume their force, and all Decrees cease to be in force.

For the purpose of determining who held an office at the time of the declaration of the State of Emergency in this section, any periods of State of Emergency separated by less than one Electoral Cycle are treated as a single State of Emergency.


The holder of any office may delegate any of their powers as desired (except for the power to cancel delegations), including the power to satisfy requirements such as co-signatures. These delegations may be cancelled at any time.


The holder of any office mentioned in these Bylaws (or any candidate for office) may at any time designate an Understudy, or change their designation. An Understudy serves in place of the officeholder, holding their seat and exercising all of the rights and powers of the office, whenever the primary officeholder is temporarily incapacitated or unavailable (as defined by the official designating the Understudy). If the official designating the Understudy becomes permanently incapacitated or unavailable, the understudy permanently replaces them. Incapacitation and unavailability may be defined separately by each official designating an Understudy.

Even when the primary officeholder is present, Understudies have the same rights to attend meetings and get information that their primary officeholder has.

When a determination is made as to how many officeholders are available/present or how many seats are held, an officeholder is counted as available/present/holding a seat if their Understudy is.

An Understudy may designate their own Understudy in case the primary officeholder and the Understudy both become unavailable, and this Understudy may designate their own Understudy, etc.

Order of Succession

In case that the CEO and their Understudy and their Understudy's Understudy, etc, all become unavailable and urgent decision-making is needed, or in the case that the Secretary and Understudy and their Understudy's Understudy, etc, all become unavailable or refuse to organize an election and an election is more than half a Cycle late, the the order of succession is: Speaker, Secretary, Treasurer, Board members (from greatest to least seniority), Procedural Tribunal Judges (from oldest to youngest individual age). If an election is a full Cycle late, then an Acting Secretary may be elected by the Voters as in the section Getting Started.


Miscellaneous procedures

Medium of activity

Any activity referenced in the Concord System Rules may be carried out electronically, or in writing, or in person, and asynchronously or synchronously, unless Resolutions say otherwise.


All official actions taken by the Chairs, the Board, the Forum, and the Procedural Tribunal are public.



About definitions

Many words with definitions are capitalized throughout this document, to highlight that the word is referring to something formally defined within this system.


Synonym for Act of the Organization.

Act of the Organization

A formal decision made by the Organization.

Subcategorized as either Policy or Directive.

Board Rules

Rules that the Board makes for itself. They are interpreted by the Chairs, unlike other procedural rules, which are interpreted by the Procedural Tribunal.


This document refers to itself as Bylaws. However, depending on the legal character of the Organization, some organizations may need to place some or all of the content of this document into a document known as a Charter, Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, or something else.


Synonym for Chairperson.


An office.


Synonym for Electoral Cycle.


An Act of the Organization which has a one-off effect.


Synonym for Judicial Selection Commission.


A standing rule created by an Act of the Organization. All current Policies are collected into a single document, and new Policies or changes to Policy take the form of edits to this document.


A formal decision made by a body.


Rules include these Bylaws, Policy, Directives, and Board Rules.


The Seniority of a person in a role is calculated as the length of time of continuous service in that role (time when they were temporarily incapacitated or absent or replaced by their understudy still counts).


'Tribunal' refers both to a proceeding, and to a body of entities who vote within that proceeding.


Those who are eligible to vote on group affairs. The word 'member' is not used because some groups may have members who are not eligible to vote.

Voting strength

Throughout this document, phrases such as "a vote of the voters with a threshold of >=2/3s" are used. If the organization has voters with different voting strengths, then this is defined to mean a proportion of the weighted vote, rather than a proportion of the raw numbers of voters. For example, "a vote of the voters with a threshold of >=2/3s" means "a vote with a threshold of >=2/3s of the weighted votes of the voters".