Journey to the House of Citizens
The Citizens’ Assembly of Scotland was a group of 100 citizens from across Scotland who were broadly representative of the population brought together to address what kind of country we are seeking to build in the 21st century. Following the conclusion of the assembly there was broad support among the assembly members for the further use of citizens' assemblies in future. A key recommendation from their report was for the creation of a permanent citizens' assembly (with a rotating membership) at the Scottish Parliament.
While this would not be the first such body, (the Ostbelgien Parliament in Belgium established a permanent Citizens Council in 2019) it would place Scotland at the forefront of democratic innovation and make it a global leader in citizen empowerment and engagement.
Citizens' assemblies have been used around the world and are a tried and tested democratic tool. A coalition of democracy organisations have put together a proposal for how the House of Citizens could work, with options for different levels of powers, and review processes to make sure the new chamber is working as intended. It is now up to the Scottish Government to take the next steps.