Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland

Friday June 14th, 2019

First step to set up new Assembly to help shape Scotland’s future.

The process of establishing the new Citizens’ Assembly to explore some of the major challenges facing Scotland has begun.

A contractor is being sought to randomly select 120 members of the public to serve on the Assembly. The individuals will be broadly representative of Scotland’s adult population in terms of age, gender, socio-economic class, ethnic group, geography and political attitudes.

The Assembly will consider three broad issues:

* what kind of country should be

* how can Scotland best overcome challenges, including those arising from ‘Brexit’

* what further work is required to enable people to make informed choices about the future of Scotland

Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell said: “This is the first time a Citizens’ Assembly has been used in Scotland and will bring together a wide range of ordinary people from across our country in a genuine attempt to reach consensus on the issues that we face. Similar models have been used successfully in countries including Ireland, Canada, Australia and Poland.

“It is a bold idea and one I hope everyone, whatever their political view, can embrace. I believe we all want the best for Scotland and if we have learnt anything from ‘Brexit’ it is the need to make space for people to engage with information and to exchange different views.”

The Citizens’ Assembly is one strand of the Scottish Government’s three pronged approach to chart a distinctive course for Scotland. The others are the establishment of a legal framework providing the option for a referendum and cross-party talks to identify areas of agreement on constitutional change.

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