Committee of the Whole Law and Legal Definition

A Committee of the Whole is a mechanism in which a deliberative assembly is considered one large committee including all the members of the parent body. It is created for the purposes of discussion and debate of the details of bills and other main motions. In the U.S., United States House of Representatives, the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union is a parliamentary device in which the House of Representatives is considered one large Congressional committee.

The following is an example of a case law on committee of the whole:

The committee of the whole is nothing but the main body considering its business under suspended rules applicable to the main body. The whole purpose of forming the committee of the whole is to consider matters coming before the main body in an informal manner, as it is sometimes called. It is the same body transacting business in an informal instead of a formal manner under strict rules.[Acord v. Booth, 33 Utah 279, 282 (Utah 1908)].