Adjournment Sine Die: Taking a Break Without a Set Return Date


In legal and legislative contexts, adjournment sine die (Latin for "without day") signifies the disconclusion of a meeting or session without specifying a date for resuming. It essentially signifies an indefinite break or suspension.

Key Applications:

  • Legislative bodies: Parliaments, assemblies, and councils often adjourn sine die at the end of their sessions,marking a hiatus until the next scheduled session.
  • Courts: Judges may adjourn proceedings sine die in rare circumstances, like when further action is impossible due to missing evidence or the defendant's unavailability.
  • Meetings and assemblies: Organizations and boards might employ sine die adjournments to conclude sessions or disband altogether.


  • Unfinished business: Any pending matters, debates, or legislation might need to be revisited upon reconvening, depending on the rules and procedures.
  • No automatic resumption: Without a set date, reconvening requires new procedures or triggers established within the governing body's regulations.

Distinguishing from Recess:

  • Clarity on return date: A recess implies a temporary break with a predetermined date for resuming.
  • Purpose: Recesses often occur within sessions for planned breaks or holidays, while adjournments sine die mark a session's termination.

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