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{{short description|expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2018}}{{Distinguish|Censer|Censor (disambiguation)|Sensor}}A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism.WEB,weblink censure, The Free Dictionary, In parliamentary procedure, it is a debatable main motion that could be adopted by a majority vote. Among the forms that it can take are a stern rebuke by a legislature, a spiritual penalty imposed by a church, or a negative judgment pronounced on a theological proposition. It is usually non-binding (requiring no compulsory action from the censored party), unlike a Motion of no confidence (which may require the referenced party to resign).

Parliamentary procedure

Explanation and use

The motion to censure is a main motion expressing a strong opinion of disapproval that could be debated by the assembly and adopted by a majority vote. According to Robert's Rules of Order (Newly Revised) (RONR), it is an exception to the general rule that "a motion must not use language that reflects on a member's conduct or character, or is discourteous, unnecessarily harsh, or not allowed in debate."BOOK, Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, Robert, Henry M., Da Capo Press, 2011, 978-0-306-82020-5, Philadelphia, PA, 344, 11th, harv, et al., Demeter's Manual notes, "It is a reprimand, aimed at reformation of the person and prevention of further offending acts." While there are many possible grounds for censuring members of an organization, such as embezzlement, absenteeism, drunkenness, and so on, the grounds for censuring a presiding officer are more limited:Demeter, p. 261
More serious disciplinary procedures may involve fine, suspension, or expulsion. In some cases, the assembly may declare the chair vacant and elect a new chairman for the meeting; or a motion can be made to permanently remove an officer (depending on the rules of the assembly).{{Harvard citation no brackets|Robert|2011|pp = 651–654}}WEB,weblink Frequently Asked Questions about RONR (Question 20), 5 February 2016, The Official Robert's Rules of Order Web Site, The Robert's Rules Association, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 12 November 2004,


If the motion is made to censure the presiding officer, then he must relinquish the chair to the vice-president until the motion is disposed.{{Harvard citation no brackets|Robert|2011|p = 451}} But during this time, the vice-president is still referred to as "Mr. Vice President" in debate, since a censure is merely a warning and not a proceeding that removes the president from the chair.Demeter, p. 263 An officer being censured is not referred to by name in the motion, but simply as "the president", "the treasurer", etc.After a motion to censure is passed, the chair (or the vice-president, if the presiding officer is being censured) addresses the censured member by name. He may say something to the effect of, "Brother F, you have been censured by vote of the assembly. A censure indicates the assembly's disapproval of your conduct". ([at meetings.] This phrase should not be included as the cause for censure may have occurred outside of meetings.) "A censure is a warning. It is the warning voice of suspension or expulsion. Please take due notice thereof and govern yourself accordingly." Or, if the chair is being censured, the vice-president may say, "Mr. X, you have been censured by the assembly for the reasons contained in the resolution. I now return to you the presidency."Demeter, p. 264


In politics, a censure is an alternative to more serious measures against misconduct or dereliction of duty.PARL, DEM, 260, (Demeter){{Harvard citation no brackets|Robert|2011|p = 643}}


{{See also|Contempt of Parliament}}Censure is an action by the House of Commons or the Senate rebuking the actions or conduct of an individual. The power to censure is not directly mentioned in the constitutional texts of Canada but is derived from the powers bestowed upon both Chambers through section 18 of the Constitution Act, 1867. A motion of censure can be introduced by any Member of Parliament or Senator and passed by a simple majority for censure to be deemed to have been delivered. In addition, if the censure is related to the privileges of the Chamber, the individual in question could be summoned to the bar of the House or Senate (or, in the case of a sitting member, to that member's place in the chamber) to be censured, and could also face other sanctions from the house, including imprisonment. Normally, censure is exclusively an on-the-record rebuke — it is not equivalent to a motion of no confidence, and a prime minister can continue in office even if censured.{{cn|date=August 2018}}Louis Riel faced Parliamentary censure for his role in the Red River Rebellion, and was expelled from Parliament 16 April 1874.WEB,weblink, Murray Brewster, 3 February 2010, Canadian Press; republished by Metro News, Toronto, 5 February 2010, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 4 June 2011,


In Japan, a censure motion is a motion that can be passed by the House of Councillors, the upper house of the Japanese Diet. No-confidence motions are passed in the House of Representatives, and this generally doesn't happen as this house is controlled by the ruling party. On the other hand, censure motions have been passed by opposition parties several times during the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administrations from 2009. The motions were combined with a demand from the opposition to take a certain action, and a refusal to cooperate with the ruling party on key issues unless some actions were taken.For example, on 20 April 2012 the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Your Party and New Renaissance Party submitted censure motions against ministers of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's cabinet. They censured Minister of Defense Naoki Tanaka and Minister of Land Takeshi Maeda,The Japan Times Censure motions passed on ministers April 21, 2012 Retrieved on 29 August 2012 and refused to cooperate with the government on passing an increase to Japan's consumption tax from 5% to 10%. Noda had "staked his political life" on passing the consumption tax increase, so on 4 June 2012, Noda reshuffled his cabinet and replaced Tanaka and Maeda.The Asahi Shimbun Noda gets rid of censured Cabinet ministers June 4, 2012 {{webarchive |url= |date=4 June 2012 }} Retrieved on 29 August 2012On 28 August 2012, a censure motion was passed by the LDP and the New Komeito Party against Prime Minister Noda himself. The opposition parties were to boycott debate in the chamber, it means that bills passed in the DPJ-controlled House of Representatives cannot be enacted.The Wall Street Journal Japan's Prime Minister Hit With Censure Motion August 29, 2012 Retrieved on 29 August 2012


The Senate has censured two Prime Ministers in recent decades that of Paul Keating and John Howard.WEB,weblink Labor as much at sea as the sheep Alan Ramsey -, The Australian Attorney General George Brandis was censured on 2 March 2015 for his treatment of Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs.WEB,weblink Abbott defends Brandis after Senate censure motion, 2 March 2015, Senator for Queensland Fraser Anning is facing a censure for remarks he made about the Christchurch mosque shootings.NEWS,weblink Fraser Anning punches teen after being egged while speaking to media in Melbourne, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 16 March 2019, 16 March 2019,

United Kingdom

In the UK The Crown cannot be prosecuted for breaches of the law even where it has no exemption, such as from the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act. A Crown Censure is the method by which the Health and Safety Executive records, but for Crown immunity, there would be sufficient evidence to secure a H&S conviction against the Crown.HSE, Enforcement against Crown bodies, Retrieved 5 November 2015

United States

Censure is the public reprimanding of a public official for inappropriate conduct or voting behavior. When the president is censured, it serves only as a condemnation and has no direct effect on the validity of presidency, nor are there any other particular legal consequences. Unlike impeachment, censure has no basis in the Constitution or in the rules of the Senate and House of Representatives. It derives from the formal condemnation of either congressional body of their own members.


To date, Andrew Jackson is the only sitting President to be successfully censured, although his censure was subsequently expunged from official records.WEB, U.S. Senate: Art & History Home > Historical Minutes > 1801-1850 > Senate Censures President,weblink 1 April 2006, On 2 December 1954, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy from Wisconsin was censured by the United States Senate for failing to cooperate with the subcommittee that was investigating him, and for insults to the committee that was trying to censure him.On 10 June 1980, Democratic Representative Charles H. Wilson from California was censured by the House of Representatives for "financial misconduct", as a result of the "Koreagate" scandal of 1976. "Koreagate" was an American political scandal involving South Koreans seeking influence with members of Congress. An immediate goal seems to have been reversing President Richard Nixon's decision to withdraw troops from South Korea. It involved the KCIA (now the National Intelligence Service) funneling bribes and favors through Korean businessman Tongsun Park in an attempt to gain favor and influence. Some 115 members of Congress were implicated.On 20 July 1983, Representatives Dan Crane, a Republican from Illinois, and Gerry Studds, a Democrat from Massachusetts, were censured by the House of Representatives for their involvement in the 1983 Congressional page sex scandal.Committee on Standards of Official Conduct {{webarchive |url= |date=29 March 2008 }}On 12 July 1999, the U.S. House of Representatives censured (in a 355-to-0 vote) a scientific publication titled "A Meta-analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples", by Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovich, and Robert Bauserman; (see Rind et al. controversy) which was published in the American Psychological Association's "Psychological Bulletin (July 1998)."Skeptical Inquirer" Vol.24, No.1 Jan/Feb 2000 p20,1 Kenneth K. Berry & Jason Berry "The Congressional Censure of a Research Paper: Return of the Inquisition?" WEB,weblink Archived copy, 21 June 2008, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 28 September 2008, On 31 July 2007, retired Army General Philip Kensinger was censured by the United States Army. The censure came after misleading investigators of the Pat Tillman death in 2004.NEWS,weblink Retired General is Censured for Role in Tillman Case, Neil A. Lewis, 1 August 2007, The New York Times, 8 April 2008, On 6 July 2009, Republican South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford was censured by the state GOP executive committee for traveling overseas on taxpayer funds to visit his mistress.NEWS, Peter Hamby CNN Political Producer,weblink South Carolina GOP votes to censure Sanford,, 7 July 2009, 15 December 2009, On 13 October 2009, the mayor of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Bob Ryan was censured due to a YouTube video that showed him making sexually vulgar comments about his sister-in-law taken at a bar on a cell phone.WEB,weblink 14 October 2009, {{dead link|date=June 2016|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}} The censure was voted 15-0 by the Sheboygan Common Council. His powers were also quickly reduced by the Common Council, and he was ultimately removed from office 2 1/2 years later in a recall election for continued improprieties in office.In November 2009, members of the Charleston County Republican party censured Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from the state of South Carolina. The censure was in response to his voting to bail out banks and other Wall Street firms and for his sentiments on immigration overhaul and cap-and-trade climate change legislation.NEWS,weblink The New York Times, Kate, Phillips, Senator Graham Censured Again, 5 January 2010, On 2 December 2010, Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel from the state of New York was censured after an ethics panel found he violated House rules, specifically failing to pay taxes on a villa in the Dominican Republic, improperly soliciting charitable donations, and running a campaign office out of a rent-stabilized apartment meant for residential use.On 4 January 2010, members of the Lexington County Republican Party censured Senator Lindsey Graham from the state of South Carolina for his support of government intervention in the private financial sector and for “debasing” longstanding Republican beliefs in economic competition.On 22 January 2013, the Arizona Republican Party censured longtime Sen. John McCain for what it called his “long and terrible” record of voting with liberal Democrats on some issues.NEWS,weblink CNN, Arizona GOP rebukes McCain for not being conservative enough, 26 January 2014, On 16 August 2017, a group of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill to try to censure President Donald Trump (thus far, it has not moved forward) in the aftermath of the Charlottesville 2017 Unite the Right rally.NEWS,weblink Washington Times, Democrats demand Congress censure Trump after Charlottesville, 16 August 2017,

Roman Catholic Church

{{canon law}}

Canon law

In canon law, a censure is a penaltyWEB,weblink Code of Canon Law - IntraText, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 25 May 2012, imposed primarily for the purpose of breaking contumacy and reintegrating the offender in the community.John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green (editors), New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (Paulist Press 2002 {{ISBN|978-0-8091-4066-4}}), p. 1534The ecclesiastical censures are excommunication and interdict, which can be imposed on any member of the Church, and suspension, which only affects clerics.WEB,weblink Code of Canon Law - IntraText, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 29 March 2008,

Theological censure

In Roman Catholic theology, a theological censure is a doctrinal judgment by which the church stigmatizes certain teachings detrimental to faith or morals.

See also



External links

{{Wiktionary|censure}} {{Parliamentary Procedure}}

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