‘Systematizing’ constitutional deliberation: the 2016–18 citizens’ assembly in Ireland

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Farrell, David M.
Suiter, Jane
Harris, Clodagh
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Taylor & Francis
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Ireland has become something of a trail-blazer in the use of deliberative methods in the process of constitutional review. It is the first case in which the process has been employed a second time: the Irish Citizens’ Assembly (2016–18) followed upon the Convention on the Constitution (2012–14). The creation of two mini-publics in quick succession and their significant role in supporting key referendums for constitutional change that followed (marriage equality in 2015 and abortion in 2018) suggests a degree of ‘systemization’ of deliberation in the Irish process of constitutional review. This report sets out the basic details of the most recent Citizens’ Assembly – how it was set up, its agenda, its manner of operation, and its outcomes. We conclude with a brief discussion of the recent Irish experience of constitutional mini-publics and the degree to which they speak to a process of systematizing deliberation in the Irish policy process.
Citizens’ assembly , Mini-publics , Deliberative systems , Referendums
Farrell, D. M., Suiter, J. and Harris, C. (2019) ‘Systematizing’ constitutional deliberation: the 2016–18 citizens’ assembly in Ireland', Irish Political Studies, 34 (1), pp. 113-123, DOI: 10.1080/07907184.2018.1534832
© 2018 Political Studies Association of Ireland. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Irish Political Studies on 01 Nov 2018 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/07907184.2018.1534832