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Citizens assembly for Scotland

From Civil society Scotland Wiki

Background[edit | edit source]

On 25th April 2019, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed plans for a Scottish Citizens’ Assembly to be established, as she set out proposals for another Independence vote.

The move will see a group of community representatives come together to look at what type of country should be built, how challenges such as Brexit can be best overcome and what should happen to ensure people can make informed choices about the future of Scotland.

The plans have been welcomed by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), which called for a Citizens’ Assembly to be formed at the end of last year in a bid to give people a say on the Brexit stalemate.

Read more at http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/tfn-news/citizens-assembly-plan-welcomed#cCFzdiDcVghiYPHl.99

Analysis[edit | edit source]

Key questions to consider Hot topics Suggestions for discussion
What should the model be? Models to review:
  1. Ireland's citizens assembly model
  2. Scottish Youth Parliament's 'Young People's Rights Review' with the Scottish Government
Cohort of 200 selected citizen jury, randomly selected, but covering key characteristics of Scotland's people

Additional 100 members as serving politicians with real influence and power at different levels


Provisions made to support carers, and participants with additional needs (e.g. cost of alternative caring arrangements, timing of meetings, creche facilities, accessibility, transport support).


There is certainly a need to make the platform accessible for disabled people, using the principles of 'Design for All'.


What should the theme and questions be? Overriding focus is future governance of Scotland

Need a set of specific issues for the Assembly to consider

What should Scotland's relationship be to UK and Europe?

What should Scotland's responsibility be to the planet?

What should the overall approach to governance of the Citizen Assembly as an institution?


Clear principles and terms of engagement

Clear approach to accountability, transparency and participation

Clear approach to evidence used in deliberations

Adopt an Open Government approach and state this as a core guiding principle

Need to consider gender balance

Need to consider how evidence is made available to CA members - who filters?


Need to record equality profile (with a focus on intersectionality).

Need to consider accessibility of citizens assembly from the perspective of Scotland's digital divide

What should the timescales be? Needs to fit with 2021 timescale for Indyref 2 Needs to fit with 2021 timescale for Indyref 2:

Overall approach planned by end of May, Assembly starts running by Autumn, Reports by May 2020

Selected properly & scientifically - Democratic & demographic (ensure equal representation using protected/intersectional characteristics particularly marginalised groups) & geographic cross section people.

Who should be the Chair? Needs to be well respected by all political parties

Independent of Scottish Government

Needs to be respected by the people and communities that third sector supports, not just big business and political parties.
Who should be a member of the Citizen Assembly? Participants selection based on scientifically accepted methods

Representative by democracy, demography, geography

Anyone on Scotland's electoral role - 16 plus.

Provisions for members of Scottish Youth parliament including under 16s to be part.