Technical Committee Procedures for the
These procedures are to guide all activity of
the Technical Committees of the Unicode Consortium and are
established and amended by the
Officers of the Unicode Consortium under the direction of the
Board of Directors of the Unicode Consortium.
1.0. Technical Committee
Technical Committees are decision making bodies formally
established by the Full Members of the Consortium. The Technical
Committees of the Unicode Consortium are:
- Unicode Technical Committee (UTC)
- Unicode Common Locale Data Repository Technical Committee (Unicode CLDR-TC)
- Unicode Localization Interoperability Technical Committee (ULI-TC)
1.1. Voting member
Voting members at Technical Committee meetings are:
- Full Members (full vote)
- Institutional Members (full vote)
- Supporting Members (half vote)
1.2. Non-voting member
Non-voting members at Technical Committee meetings are:
- Associate Members
- Liaison Members
- Individual Members
1.3. Member in good standing
To be in good standing, a member is required to be current on
fees and obligations imposed by the Unicode Consortium. A member not
in good standing participates as an observer at Technical Committee
1.4. Member in regular attendance
To be in regular attendance, a member is required to be in good
standing and to be represented at the current meeting or have been
represented at least one of the two prior meetings.
1.5. UTC joint meeting
UTC meetings are normally held jointly with INCITS Technical
Committee L2, where the joint meeting constitutes an ad hoc meeting
under L2 procedures.
1.6. Ad hoc meeting
A Technical Committee of the Consortium may establish an informal
group to discuss specific issues or subjects. The meetings of such
groups are considered ad hoc meetings. Activities of these groups
may include the review of action items or bug reports and may result
in recommendations to a Technical Committee. The recommendations of
an ad hoc meeting are not binding on the Technical Committee.
1.7. Designation in writing
Designation in writing is written instruction made by letter,
fax, or given in e-mail correspondence that is signed by a member
representative. An e-mail sent from a member representative’s
address is considered to be signed by the member representative.
A designation in writing is effective upon receipt by the Chair.
2. Program of work of a Technical Committee
The principal activities of a Technical Committee are the
development and maintenance of its associated standards, technical
reports, and data files in accordance with the purpose of the
Unicode Consortium as stated in Article 1, Section 1 of its Bylaws.
The content of the Unicode Standard and the Unicode Common Locale Data
Repository and other associated data, technical standards, and technical
reports are defined by the set of proposals approved by the
respective Technical Committee, on the basis of these procedures.
3. Composition of a Technical Committee
A Technical Committee is comprised of representatives of voting
and non-voting members of the Unicode Consortium in good standing.
In the rest of these procedures, any use of the term "member"
without qualification refers to these definitions.
A member representative must be listed as a primary or alternate
representative on the Membership Roster of Unicode Inc. to represent
the member. Individual members are considered to represent
4. Member representatives
4.1. Primary representative
Each voting member of the Unicode Consortium is entitled to
designate one person as its primary representative for a particular
Technical Committee. This designation must be made in writing.
4.2. Alternate representatives
In addition, each voting member may designate one or more
alternate representatives for a particular Technical Committee. This
designation must be made in writing.
4.3. Representatives of non-voting members
Non-voting members may designate one or more representatives for
a particular Technical Committee. Individual Members are considered
to represent themselves.
4.4. Changes in assigned representatives
Members (other than Individual) may revoke or reassign their
assigned representatives at any time. Notice of changes must be
designated in writing.
5. Proxy representation
Voting members may designate a proxy for a Technical Committee
for a given period or subject matter. This designation must be made
in writing. The designation must be signed by the primary
representative or by an alternate representative acting as the
primary representative. Appointment of a proxy orally is not
Proxies may be revoked at any time by the primary representative
or by an alternate representative acting as the primary
representative. The revocation must be in writing if the
representative is not physically present at the meeting.
The proxy authorization or revocation is effective upon receipt
by the Chair. A person may hold and exercise multiple proxies.
5.1. Who may be a proxy
The Unicode Consortium imposes few restrictions on who may be a
proxy. It may be the representative of another member, a Technical
Committee Officer, or an Officer of the Consortium or any other
chosen person, except an employee of Unicode, Inc.
5.2. When is a proxy not required
A proxy is not required when a member is being represented by an
alternate representative (instead of the principal representative).
The alternate representative must be listed on the Membership Roster
of Unicode, Inc.
6. Technical Committee Officers
The officers of each Technical Committee are a Chair, a Vice
Chair and, optionally, a Recording Secretary, all appointed by the
Unicode Officers. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall
assume his/her duties. Other officers of a Technical Committee may
be appointed by a vote of the committee at its discretion.
Technical Committee meetings are referenced either by number or
date at the discretion of the Chair. Locations and dates for
Technical Committee meetings shall be decided upon by the committee,
and notification distributed to the committee membership at least 20
days in advance of the meeting.
A member is not obligated to send a representative to a Technical
Notification for meetings in person is distributed on the e-mail
lists. Announcement of these meeting plans are generally made a year
in advance. For telephone meetings, schedules may be announced a
week before the meeting.
7.1. Meeting procedures
7.1.1. Presiding Chair
The Chair presides over a Technical Committee meeting. In the
absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair presides.
7.1.2. Appointment of a temporary Technical Committee Officer
During a Technical Committee meeting, any Technical Committee
officer may appoint a member representative or Officer of the
Unicode Consortium as a substitute Technical Committee officer for
all or part of that meeting. This action must be recorded in the
Meetings of a Technical Committee are conducted in the following
- A quorum must be present to take decisions. See Section
8 Meeting quorum for information on determining a quorum.
- The Presiding Chair controls the floor in order to
manage the discussion of agenda topics.
- Members have an equal right to be recognized by the
- Consensus voting is used where possible; otherwise
motions must be made and seconded before discussion, and a vote
- Voting members and officers may raise points of order to
check procedural matters and may call the question on agenda topics.
- At the discretion of the Presiding Chair, discussion may
be conducted informally, especially on technical matters, unless any
7.2. Who may participate in Technical Committee meetings
Those who may participate in Technical Committee meetings are:
- Representatives of voting members
- Representatives of non-voting members
- Officers of the Unicode Consortium
- INCITS/L2 members in UTC Joint Meetings
Invited guests and others may attend at the discretion of the
Chair; they are observers and may only participate with permission
from the Chair.
7.3. Closed caucus
A proposal for a closed caucus can be raised at any time in a
meeting. If the proposal for a closed caucus is approved (according
to Section 9 Decisions), all except Officers of the Consortium and
representatives of Full Members shall be excused.
7.4. Audio or video recording of meetings
Audio or video recording of meetings is normally not permitted.
In exceptional circumstances, the Presiding Chair may waive this
rule, provided that all voting members and Consortium Officers
present at the meeting consent to the waiver.
If permission to record a meeting is not requested, the Presiding
Chair may confiscate the recording, and ask the person responsible
for the unauthorized recording to leave the meeting.
Closed caucus proceedings may not be recorded by tape or video.
8. Meeting quorum
The quorum for a Technical Committee meeting consists of fifty
percent (50%) of the total number of members in regular attendance,
where Full and Institutional Members are counted as one member
present, and Supporting Members are counted as one half member
A member may be represented either by a designated representative
or by a validated proxy.
Decisions of a Technical Committee are made by consensus when
possible, and otherwise by formal motions. Proposals may be made by
any voting member representative (primary, alternate, or proxy) or
by an Officer of the Consortium. If no voting representative objects
to a consensus, the proposal is accepted by the Technical Committee.
If there is an objection to consensus, then the proposal can be
withdrawn or a formal motion can be made. Motions may be moved or
seconded by a member representative (primary, alternate, or proxy)
or by an Officer of the Consortium. A motion must be seconded before
it can be voted upon. Acceptance of the motion is governed by
Section 10 Voting.
Decisions of a Technical Committee may only be appealed to the
members of the Consortium (Full Members).
10.1. Representation of voting members
Where one or more representatives of a voting member are present,
the principal representative will vote for the member, unless he/she
allows an alternate representative to vote instead.
In the absence of the principal representative, an alternate
representative votes for the member. When two or more alternates are
present, the alternates decide who shall represent the member in
voting. In any case of conflict, the Presiding Chair shall decide
who shall vote for the member.
In the absence of the principal representative and any alternate
representatives, a validated proxy may vote.
Representatives of Full and Institutional Members who are
eligible to vote may cast a full vote on any question.
Representatives of Supporting Members who are eligible to vote may
cast a half vote on any question.
10.2. Rights of proxies
A proxy holding a validated authorization has the same voting
rights as the voting member that he/she is representing, except
where the proxy authorization limits the scope of the proxy. In any
case, where the description of the scope is unclear, the Presiding
Chair shall decide whether limitations of the scope apply.
10.3. Absentee voting
A voting member representative may cast a ballot on any matter by
letter, telegram, fax, or equivalent written mechanism, provided
only that such a ballot is received in time to apply it. If any
change other than correction of typographical errors is made to the
wording or substance of a matter following receipt of a ballot, that
ballot shall, at the discretion of the Chair, not be voted.
10.4. Voting process
A vote on a motion is always taken on whether or not to approve
the proposal. A vote is never taken on whether or not to sustain an
objection to the proposal. Votes may be cast in favor, against, or
abstaining on any matter except on those matters for which
abstentions are not permitted by Technical Committee procedures.
At a Technical Committee meeting, voting is public, by count of
those voting (including absentee votes). However, an absentee vote
does not affect quorum and does not affect the determination of
10.6. Voting results
10.6.1. New decisions
A special majority is required to pass a motion that establishes
or overturns a precedent, or modifies an existing normative feature
of a current standard in the program of work in a non-backwards
Otherwise passage of a motion is decided by a simple majority
vote. For the UTC, a matter will be deemed to have passed only if
the sum of the favorable votes cast is over half of the sum of all
of the votes cast. Thus, abstentions have the same affect on determining a majority vote as negative votes.
For the Unicode CLDR-TC and ULI-TC, a matter is deemed to have
passed if the sum of favorable votes exceeds the sum of unfavorable
votes. For these two ommittees, abstentions are ignored for determining a majority vote.
Note: Unless an explicit precedent has been set, retracting a
character that has not yet appeared in a published version of the
Unicode Standard takes a simple majority vote, as does adding a
character that has previously been rejected.
A precedent is either of the following:
- An existing Unicode Policy, or
- An explicit precedent.
An explicit precedent is established by a separate motion, which
must pass by a special majority. This separate motion states that a
previous Technical Committee decision is considered an explicit
10.6.3. Special majority
For the UTC, a special majority is a 2/3 majority, whereby a
matter will be deemed to have passed only if the sum of the
favorable votes cast is 2/3 or more of the sum of the eligible votes
at the meeting, or, in case of a mail ballot, by 2/3 or more of the
sum of votes of all eligible members.
For the Unicode CLDR-TC and the ULI-TC, a special majority is at least twice as many
positive votes as negative votes.
Abstentions are counted in the same way for a special majority: for the UTC, abstentions have the same affect as negative votes, and for CLDR-TC and ULI-TC, abstentions are ignored for determining a special majority.
10.7. Recording of decisions
The outcome of a decision is recorded in the Minutes of a
Technical Committee meeting. Votes are recorded with a count of the
number of voting members who voted in favor, against, and abstained.
Decisions shall be recorded in the following matters:
- Ballots on motions related to a proposed standard,
including all votes on proposals, objections, etc.
- Ballots on motions related to committee procedures.
- Ballots on matters related to the scopes and programs of
work of Technical Committees and their subcommittees.
Decisions on any other matters may be voice votes or informal
unrecorded counts at the discretion of the Chair.
10.8. Approved UTC decisions as recommendations to L2
Approved decisions from the joint UTC/L2 meeting constitute
recommendations from the L2 Ad Hoc meeting and are forwarded to L2
for consideration at its next Plenary meeting.
11. Letter ballots
A letter ballot may be called by a vote of the Technical
Committee or by at least two Officers of the Unicode Consortium.
When a letter ballot is taken, the Chair shall designate a Teller to
conduct the ballot in the following manner:
- Ballots will be mailed, emailed, or distributed by hand
to all members and alternates and must be returned to the Teller
within 20 days of the date of distribution.
- Only one voting member representative may vote. Should
disagreeing ballots be received from more than one representative of
a member, only the ballot of the principal representative is
counted, and the ballot(s) of the alternate(s) shall be marked
invalid. If there is no ballot from the principal representative,
the others are disregarded.
- As soon as enough votes have been collected to decide
the issue definitively one way or another, the Teller shall close
the ballot and announce the results via e-mail to all principal and
alternate representatives and to all Consortium Officers.
- Results of the letter ballot shall also be announced at
the first Technical Committee meeting following the close of the
20-day return period, and also recorded in the Minutes of the
12. Public Review Issues
From time to time the Unicode Consortium seeks formal public
review and feedback on specific proposals by posting
Public Review Issues on its website. Public Review Issues are
created by Officers of the Consortium, typically upon request of a
Technical Committee. Each issue has a number, title, summary, and
deadline for receipt of public review comments. For UTC
and ULIT-C consideration, feedback must be submitted via the
contact form, indicating the number and title of the
issue. For Unicode CLDR-TC consideration, feedback must be submitted via the
CLDR bug reporting form. Resolution of a Public Review Issue is
normally made after consideration of the feedback at the following
Technical Committee meeting. The Technical Committee decisions are
not bound in any way by the existence or the wording of a Public
Subcommittees may be established by a Technical Committee to
address specific issues. All proposals, recommendations, or
decisions made by a Subcommittee are subject to approval or further
action by the Technical Committee, unless specific authority for a
decision has been delegated by a Technical Committee to the
The conduct of a Subcommittee meeting may, at the discretion of
the Chair of that Subcommittee, be less formal than the Technical
Committee rules require. There is no specific requirement for the
advance notice of a Subcommittee meeting. Subcommittee meetings may
also be held in closed caucus.
13.1. Who may participate in Subcommittee meetings
All those who can participate in Technical Committee meetings may
participate in Subcommittee meetings:
- Representatives of voting members
- Representatives of non-voting members
- Officers of the Unicode Consortium
- INCITS/L2 members in UTC Joint Meetings
Invited guests and others may attend at the discretion of the Subcommittee Chair; they are observers and may only participate with permission from the Subcommittee Chair.
13.2. Subcommittee Chair
The Chair of a Subcommittee must be an Officer of the Consortium
or a representative (principal or alternate) of a Full,
Institutional, or Supporting Member. Subcommittee Chairs are appointed by the
Technical Committee Chair. The status of Subcommittee organizations will
be reviewed annually.
13.3. Reporting requirements
The Chair of a Subcommittee must report to the Technical
Committee on meetings of that Subcommittee.
14.1. Mailing lists
The Chair or Subcommittee Chair shall designate a person to maintain a mailing list for participants in Technical Committee
or Subcommittee meetings. See Section 7.2 Who may participate in Technical Committee meetings and
Section 13.1 Who may
participate in Subcommittee meetings for those who may participate. Participation in mailing list discussions is considered
an extension of Technical Committee or Subcommittee meetings, and, as such, participation is at the discretion of the Technical
Committee or Subcommittee Chair.
14.2. Calendar of meetings
The calendar of Technical Committee meetings shall be available
on the public side of the Unicode Consortium Web site. The calendar
will also show other events or meetings of interest.
14.3. Agenda of meeting
The initial agenda of a joint UTC/L2 meeting shall be compiled
jointly by the Chair of the UTC and the Chair of L2, and made
available to members no later than one week before the meeting.
Additional agenda items may be added after the initial agenda is
distributed, up to and during the meeting itself. All members may
submit items to the Chair for inclusion in the agenda. The inclusion
of submitted items is at the discretion of the Chair, or during the
meeting at the discretion of the Presiding Chair.
For the Unicode CLDR-TC and ULI-TC, all members of email lists may submit items to
the Chair for inclusion in the agenda. Additional agenda items may
be added after the initial agenda is distributed, up to and during
the meeting itself. The inclusion of submitted items is at the
discretion of the Chair and Vice Chair.
14.4. Meeting documents
The Chair shall designate a person or procedure to assign
document numbers. Documents shall be numbered according to the L2
Documents to be considered at meetings of a Technical Committee
shall be distributed not later than one week before the meeting.
Documents received less than one week before a Technical Committee
meeting may, at the discretion of the Chair, be processed,
particularly if there is a need for action to meet a schedule for
standardization or for coordination with another group.
When a proposal is introduced for the first time in a Technical
Committee meeting, any voting member can ask for the decision to be
delayed to the next meeting, to allow time for study. The Chair will
normally honor the request, except under exceptional circumstances.
Meeting documents will be announced on the committee e-mail lists
and placed in the document register.
14.5. Meeting Minutes
The Minutes of a Technical Committee meeting shall be made
available within seven business days of the meeting.
14.6. Action Item list
A joint UTC/L2 list of action items shall be kept and reviewed at
each meeting of the UTC.
14.7. Member web site
The Unicode Office will maintain a password-protected Members
only section of the Unicode Web site.
15. The Unicode Consortium as a member of other organizations
Relationships with other organizations are at the level of the
Unicode Consortium, not at the Technical Committee level. For more
Unicode as a Member of Other Organizations.
16. Enforcement of these procedures
During a meeting, the Presiding Chair shall decide any question
concerning interpretation or application of these rules. Outside a
meeting, the Chair of the Technical Committee shall decide any
question concerning interpretation or application of these rules.
17. Handling of company private data
For information on handling of company private data, see
Confidential Data Policy.
Appendix A: Technical Committee Procedures -- Revision History
- January 1991, Draft, written by Mark Davis
- December 1997, Reformatted, by Julia Oesterle
- July 1998, Draft revision, by Joan Aliprand
- December 1998, Distributed with incorporated revisions
- October 1999, Revisions re proxies and recording of meetings, by Lisa Moore
- February 2001, Revisions regarding quorum determination,
precedents, acceptance voting, letter ballots, and other
clarifications, by Lisa Moore
- November 2001, Revisions regarding proxy designations
via e-mail, by Lisa Moore
- April 2004, Revisions regarding decisions, public review
issues, and miscellaneous updates by Lisa Moore
- May 2005, Revisions to include new and changed member
categories by Lisa Moore
- August 2005, merged UTC and Unicode CLDR-TC procedures and
removed approval voting, by Lisa Moore
- June 2007, clarified role of Subcommittee Chair in 13.1 and participation in mailing list discussions in 14.1
- April 2011, Updated with the formation of a third technical committee, Unicode Localization Interoperability TC
- December 2011, Clarified appointment of Subcommittee chairs