Terms of Reference

Terms of reference

The Terms of Reference of the Dublin Citizens’ Assembly are as follows:

A Citizens’ Assembly, to be known as the Dublin Citizens’ Assembly, shall be convened to consider the type of directly elected mayor and local government structures best suited for Dublin, and to bring forward proposals in that regard. The Assembly will have a total of 80 members, including an independent Chairperson, 67 randomly-selected members of the public living in Dublin City and County, and 12 Councillors selected from across the four local authorities,

The Assembly considered, inter alia:

  • the strengths and weaknesses of the current model of local government in Dublin;
  • the potential benefits, risks, challenges and opportunities associated with a directly elected Mayor for Dublin;
  • what functions could be transferred from central government to regional or local government in Dublin, and how this should be funded;
  • the appropriate structure for local and regional government, councils and authorities, looking at models in other capital cities (e.g. a single elected Dublin authority with a mayor and no local councils, a two-tier structure like London or Paris with a mayor, regional assembly and local or borough councils, or a mayoral structure like Greater Manchester with a ‘super’ mayor sitting above the existing local authorities);
  • the perspectives of the general public, representative groups, advocacy groups, the sitting Councillors of the four local authorities, the Dublin Teachtaí Dála and Members of the European Parliament, local authority senior officials and staff, experts and policy makers;.

The Assembly shall:

  • commence and run in parallel with the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss;
  • hold its inaugural meeting in April 2022;
  • adopt a work programme designed to allow for the completion of consideration of the topics within an eight-month period;
  • conclude its work and submit its report ideally no later than nine months from its date of commencement, and sooner if possible;
  • have authority to determine a revised timeline for completion in the event of unexpected disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic or other extraordinary circumstances;
  • implement continuous improvement and adopt innovative working methods informed by learnings from previous Citizens’ Assemblies and international best practice, including in relation to the methodology for member recruitment, to the running of Assemblies subject to public health measures, and to developing internal capacity to ensure the quality of the deliberative process;
  • preclude from membership of the Assemblies any individual who is either:
    • (i) a politician currently serving in either House of the Oireachtas or the European Parliament;
    • (ii) a lobbyist as provided for under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015; or
    • (iii) a person unwilling to commit to adhering to public health measures as prescribed by Government and public health authorities from time to time;
  • have a Chairperson appointed for a period of up to twelve months, with scope to extend the term should circumstances warrant, and that an honorarium should be paid to the Chairperson based on a per diem rate to be sanctioned by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform;
  • make payment of a nominal honorarium to Assembly members to recognise their civic commitment;
  • have staff assigned to provide a Secretariat to the Assembly and to support the Chairperson;
  • agree its own rules of procedure and work programme to enable the effective conduct of its business in as economical and efficient a manner as possible;
  • determine all issues by a majority of the votes of members present and voting, other than the Chairperson who will have a casting vote in the case of an equality of votes;
  • operate in an open and transparent manner, including by live streaming public proceedings; and
  • make a report and recommendation(s) to the Houses of the Oireachtas on the matters before it. On receipt, the Houses of the Oireachtas will refer the report of the Assembly for consideration to a relevant Committee of both Houses; the Committee will, in turn, bring its conclusions to the Houses for debate. Furthermore, the Government will provide in the Houses of the Oireachtas a response to each recommendation of the Assembly and, if accepting some or all of the recommendations, will indicate the timeframe it envisages for implementing those recommendations.