Observers’ Interim Report on Citizens’ Assembly Process
19th July 2021
its observation of meetings held by the Climate Change Citizens’ Assembly, as
well as its Expert Advisory Panel, the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure
(EHI) Scrutiny Panel has found that the process was conducted with an
appropriate degree of independence and with no undue influence from Government.
adoption of the second
amendment to the Carbon Neutral Strategy, in February 2020, tasked the EHI Panel
to observe the Citizens’ Assembly meetings, including the selection and
reporting process, and report back its observations and findings to the States
Assembly. The Panel’s main objective was to ascertain whether the process was
conducted independently, and without undue influence from Government. Having
now observed the entire Citizens’ Assembly process, the EHI Panel reports a
total of 29 findings and 8 recommendations.
Panel found that the Expert Advisory Panel comprised an adequate and
well-balanced selection of members that demonstrated combined local and
international knowledge. Furthermore, the Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel
independently led the meetings of the Expert Advisory Panel and the members demonstrated
free autonomy and communicated their concerns easily and openly during the
relation to the selection process undertaken to form the Citizens’ Assembly,
the Panel found that although the sortition process aimed to closely match
participants’ concern levels for climate change with that of Jersey’s
population, slight skewing from the set target resulted in slightly more weight
being afforded to the upper concern level for climate change and slightly less
to the lower end of the concern spectrum. Therefore, it is difficult for the
Panel to ascertain whether a balance of views was accurately represented in the
final constitution of the Citizens’ Assembly. However, the EHI Panel is
satisfied that the selection process did achieve a randomly selected group of
individuals, broadly representative of Jersey Society.
Panel is further satisfied that the reporting process of the Citizens’ Assembly
was fair, transparent and independent of undue influence from the Expert
Advisory Group, the Chair–Convenor and the Government of Jersey.
has recommended to the Government of Jersey that an evaluation of the Citizens’
Assembly process, reflecting on any successes and failures, should be
undertaken and the findings published before the end of 2021. It is the EHI Panel’s
intention to follow up with a final report, in early 2022, scrutinising both the
Government’s response to the Citizens’ Assembly’s recommendations (as
recommended by the Citizens’ Assembly in its report), as well as the
Government’s evaluation of the Citizens’ Assembly process.
Mike Jackson, Chair of the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel,
evident throughout our observation of the process, that the Citizens’ Assembly
was conducted with a great deal of autonomy and transparency. However, this was
a new process for Jersey and it will be important for Government to learn from the
experience, evaluating both the costs and benefits it has brought. The Panel
eagerly awaits the Government of Jersey’s response to the Citizens’ Assembly
recommendations, as well as the findings of their evaluation process.”
The full report can be found here.
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