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

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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.




Farrell, D. M., Suiter, J., & Harris, C. (2019, January 2). ‘Systematizing’ constitutional deliberation: the 2016–18 citizens’ assembly in Ireland. Irish Political Studies. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.1080/07907184.2018.1534832

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