A Citizens' Assembly in the Scottish Parliament

Edinburgh Uni

With the seemingly unstoppable rise of populism and the word "post-truth" being nominated as the Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2016, is it time to re-imagine democracy? Would incorporating ordinary people into government take the sting out of the populist appeal?

Join us to deliberate together on the merits of adding a Citizens' Assembly as a second chamber to the Scottish Parliament. This chamber could be composed of 73 representative, randomly selected citizens (one from each constituency, balanced to be gender and age representative) who deliberate upon and review proposed government legislation and pass informed judgement upon it – it would be an institutionalised jury of the people. Whether they would have the power to reject or only delay legislation is an open question.

A panel of four critics and proponents will present arguments for and against the idea and join in small-group discussions – come to listen to others and have your own say on the proposal to have a Citizens' Assembly in the Scottish Parliament.


  • Brett Hennig (author, director of the Sortition Foundation),
  • Robin McAlpine (director of Common Space, Scotland),
  • Angela Haggerty (journalist, broadcaster, editor),
  • Marc Geddes (Lecturer in British Politics, University of Edinburgh),
  • Andy Wightman (Member of the Scottish Parliament).

Hosted by Oliver Escobar from University of Edinburgh.

March 20, 2017 at 3:00pm - 4:30pm
University of Edinburgh
Room 1/18 Paterson's Land
Holyrood Road
Edinburgh EH8 8AQ
United Kingdom
Google map and directions
Neil Giles Neil Giles Patrick Iain Chalmers Patrick Chalmers Brett Hennig

Will you come?

Order book Blog Contact

get updates