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Citizens' Panel on Public Participation to meet in the Scottish Parliament
27 October 2022
The Citizens’ Panel, comprised of 22 people broadly reflecting the demographic make-up of Scotland, will come together to deliberate how the Scottish Parliament can best work with communities to ensure their needs are reflected in its work.
The Citizens’ Panel will meet for two full weekends at the Scottish Parliament and three shorter evening sessions online.
Earlier this year, the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee launched an inquiry into Public Participation, looking at how people’s voices are heard in the work of the Parliament.
The Citizens’ Panel will assist the inquiry by making recommendations on improving how Holyrood’s work involves, reflects, and meets the needs of the full range of communities it represents, focusing on improving engagement for those currently under-represented.
Throughout the sittings, the Citizen’s Panel will have the opportunity to hear from MSPs and leading academics about democracy and public participation to help facilitate discussion and inform their findings.
Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Convener Jackson Carlaw, MSP, said:
“Our inquiry into Public Participation is important because we know that the Parliament doesn’t hear enough from some groups and communities.
“We want to make sure that the views and opinions of everyone in Scotland are included in the work of the Parliament, and the Citizens’ Panel will be crucial to helping us understand how we can improve this.
“Ensuring the Scottish Parliament is accessible to a diverse range of people, particularly when developing new laws or policies that affect them, is essential and the Committee will eagerly anticipate the Citizens’ Panel recommendations.”
SPICe have published a blog on the background to the inquiry, findings to date and what the next steps include.
Read the blog: Turning the lens inwards – the Citizen Participation and Petitions Committee’s Public Participation Inquiry
Inquiry evidence gathered to date can be found on the Committee's page:
Background on what the Citizens' Panel involves:
A Citizens’ Panel is an innovative democratic tool used all over the world.
It brings together a randomly selected group of people who broadly represent the entire community.
The people who attend learn about issues, discuss them with one another, and then make recommendations about what should happen and how things should change.
The Citizens’ Panel will meet for two full weekends at the Scottish Parliament, Friday evening to Sunday:
- 28th – 30th October
- 25th - 27th November
The Citizens’ Panel will also meet online on three shorter evening sessions.
4,800 household addresses from across all eight Parliamentary regions of Scotland were randomly selected from the Royal Mail address database to receive letters of invitation to participate in the Citizens’ Panel.
Once registration closed, 22 people were randomly selected from those who registered their interest, to take part in the event. This random selection was weighted to make sure that there are people from all across the community attending.
Anyone aged 16 and over by the close of registrations, who is normally resident in Scotland and who lives full or part time at an address that had received this invitation could apply to take part, with a few exceptions.
Recommendations from the panel will be considered by the Committee, alongside evidence from focus groups and written submissions. The Committee will then produce proposals on how the Scottish Parliament can improve collaboration with under-represented groups.
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