A Citizens’ Assembly is a group made up of members of the general public, who have been selected to deliberate on an issue or issues of national importance. Citizens’ assemblies can be traced back to the 2011 Programme for Government, which committed to the establishment of a Constitutional Convention.
Building on the work of the Convention on the Constitution, citizens’ assemblies have been established to examine important societal issues over the last decade, including the repeal of the eighth amendment, population aging, gender equality, and biodiversity loss amongst others.
The current Programme for Government includes a commitment to holding four citizens’ assemblies in its lifetime. Two of these assemblies are already complete, the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss and the Dublin Assembly. The third Assembly on Drugs Use is underway with the final Citizens’ Assembly to commence in due course.