In February 2020, the States Assembly agreed an amendment brought by the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel to the Carbon Neutral Strategy 2019 [P.127/2019: Second Amendment]. Part 2 of the amendment specified that:
"(ix) The Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel shall have the right to observe meetings of the citizens' assembly, as well as the selection and reporting process, and will report its observations and findings to the States Assembly."
What is a Citizens' Assembly?
Citizens' assemblies give members of the public the time and opportunity to learn about and discuss a topic and answer specific questions posed. Participants are given a wide range of information presented to them as evidence from academics, researchers, people with direct experience of the issue, other stakeholders, and campaigners. To find out more click here.
Why is the Jersey Citizens' Assembly for Climate Change being observed by Scrutiny?
As a Citizens' Assembly is a new undertaking for Jersey, it was agreed by the States Assembly that there should be additional measures in place to assure the public that:
- There will not be undue Government influence on the Citizens' Assembly; and
- There will be transparency in the process.
As the role of the Panel in the process is purely one of observation, Panel members will not participate in meetings or discussions. The Panel's presence in meetings is to seek to provide assurance to the public that the process is being conducted with transparency and openness.
The Panel will also be examining the selection process used for enrolling the members of the Citizens' Assembly at the outset. The Citizens' Assembly's make up is considered a fundamental factor of the process as it will impact the source data and reflect in the recommendations provided in the final report. The Panel's involvement is to review the procedures of the organisation that conducts the selection process and to assess the controls and measures used in practice to assemble a representative and random demographic of people.