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citizen jury

Citizens’ chambers: towards an activism of selection by lot

Sortition would address the yawning deliberative deficit and weaken many of the pathways by which polarisation, cronyism and party influence occurs, says Nicholas Gruen. In a recent paper, James Fishkin identifies some potential shortcomings of citizens' chambers which justify his own preference for ad hoc, and temporary citizens' panels. He makes some good points. His central concerns are that a citizens' chamber might: have insufficient technical expertise be susceptible to corruption and not maintain the high quality of deliberation achieved in the best ad hoc citizens’ juries. These are legitimate concerns. But they have a 'theoretical' ring to me. Read More

Citizens juries: how do they fit into democracy?

How can a few dozen randomly-chosen citizen jury members have legitimacy? What they offer, beyond knee-jerk participation like a plebiscite, is a more deliberative approach — raising the bar for both political and media debate. Read More