Skip to content

What are Citizens’ Assemblies?

 

A citizens’ assembly is a randomly selected group of residents using demographic criteria such as gender and age. It’s a jurisdiction in miniature.

A citizens’ assembly is an in-depth analysis of a given issue, a deliberation over different solutions, a hearing of the pros and cons – leading to informed decision making.

Throughout the process, assembly members listen to expert witnesses. These include neutral experts, stakeholders and advocates representing all sides, for a balanced and complete picture of the issue. The assembly may request its own witnesses.

More information

For a straightforward explanation of how citizens assemblies work, go to citizensassemblies.org.

For more explanation and two examples of UK assemblies, go to citizensassembly.co.uk.

For a description of the work of the Irish Citizens’ Assembly, click here.

Eight key questions about Citizens’ Assemblies, here.

Citizens’ assemblies in Jersey

Guernsey has never held a citizens’ assembly but Jersey has run several, including climate change and the site for their new hospital.

Jersey’s Public Accounts Committee has reviewed five of Jersey’s citizens’ assemblies, with costs ranging from £5k to £150k, and published a detailed report comparing them. PAC concluded that the best model for future assemblies in Jersey is the Assisted Dying Citizens’ Jury (cost £66k). In November 2021, the Jersey’s States Assembly became the first parliament in the British Isles to decide ‘in principle’ to allow assisted dying.

From page 25 of the PAC report:

 

FAQs

1. Do the Assembly members get paid?

Usually, the people taking part get paid expenses only, which may include childcare. Sometimes they are paid a contribution for their time eg £200 per weekend.

2. Do the Assembly members make the final decision on the issue?

No, that’s still the responsibility of politicians. The Assembly makes recommendations.

Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.

miriam-makeba-SA

Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Are you from South Africa? Please email hello@womeninpubliclife.gg if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

Sign up to our newsletter 

The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

jacinda-adern-2

Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

Sign up to our newsletter