Policy jury

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In Canada a policy jury or citizen jury is a body of people convened to render a decision or advice on a matter of public policy. It is similar to juries used in modern court trial except that the subject of its deliberation is a matter of public policy, rather than law. The concept of the policy jury is closely connected with deliberative democracy or participatory models of democratic governance, and is similar to a deliberative opinion poll.

In some cases, policy juries are composed of randomly selected members of a given population. Citizens participating in a policy jury engage in a comprehensive learning and deliberation processes before settling on a conclusion or set of recommendations.

Policy juries have been used in Canada. Citizens’ Assemblies on Electoral Reform convened in British Columbia in 2004[1] and Ontario in 2006[2] used policy juries to address alternative electoral systems. Three of Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) have referred their Integrated Health Service Plans (IHSP) for 2010-2013 to policy juries for advice and refinement. LHINs referring their IHSPs to policy juries include the South East LHIN,[3] Central LHIN and Mississauga Halton LHIN.

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