A citizens' assembly (also known as citizens' jury or citizens' panel or people's jury or policy jury or citizens' initiative review or consensus conference or citizens' convention) is a randomly-selected group of people who deliberate on important public questions.
It draws on the symbolism, and some of the practices, of a trial by jury. The purpose is to recruit a cross-section of the public to study the selected issues. Groups whose recommendations aren't binding are more similar to deliberative opinion polls as they need a referendum or other process of policy approval.
Assemblies aim to increase public trust by remedying the "divergence of interests" that arises between elected representatives and the electorate, as well as "a lack in deliberation in legislatures."
While earliest confirmed example took place in Athenian democracy, they have become newly relevant both to theorists and politicians as part of a growing interest in deliberative democracy and popular sovereignty. Assemblies have been used in countries such as Canada and the Netherlands to deliberate for example, on electoral reforms. Assemblies have also been used or proposed for dealing with divisive issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and decarbonisation.
Independent assemblies, such as the Le G1000 in Belgium or the We The Citizens project in Ireland may also convene, though state-sponsored efforts are most common. The People's Parliament was a UK forum of randomly selected citizens presented as a television program. Citizen's Assemblies have now been convened on a global level.
References[edit | edit source]
- Quoting w:Citizens' assembly (this version): https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Citizens%27_assembly&oldid=1143333875
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- Manin, Bernard (1997). The principles of representative government. Cambridge University Press.
- Pal, Michael (2012). "The Promise and Limits of Citizens' Assemblies: Deliberation, Institutions and the Law of Democracy" (PDF). Queen's University at Kingston. 38: 259–294. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-03-28. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
- Floridia, Antonio (2018-09-06). Bächtiger, Andre; Dryzek, John S; Mansbridge, Jane; Warren, Mark (eds.). "The Origins of the Deliberative Turn". The Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy: 34–54. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198747369.013.25. ISBN 9780198747369.