Sovereign Juries

A significant problem for any large society hoping to reflect the will of its people is how to ensure that government properly represents what the public thinks and feels. faq

One of the cornerstones of Local Sovereignty’s solution is that the jury system can be used to provide constant feedback on how well the system is meeting the needs of the public, by bringing randomly selected samples of the electorate together to witness the work of officials and elected representatives at critical points. faq

We would therefore recognise the instititution of the jury as an official ‘fourth estate’ of government, establishing a general principle that the primary function of juries, both in the political sphere and within the judicial system, is to act as witnesses to the exercise of power and confirm the public’s acceptance of it. more

A Sovereign Jury would always be convened for the ratification of Acts of Parliament faq. The jurors would be presented with a summary of the parliamentary debate (along with any criticisms from Members of Parliament or officials of the other branches of government) and would have an opportunity to withold public consent to ratification if they felt that the Act had not been properly debated or was clearly contrary to the interests of the wider public. faq

We would also explicitly empower communities to insist on the introduction of sovereign juries at local government level through the processes outlined in our Spontaneous Democracy proposal.

Juries might also be convened on more routine occasion – for example to witness parliamentary Select Committees’ questioning of ministers – when they would not have any formal engagement with the process, but would be given an opportunity to publicly air criticisms of what they’d witnessed. faq


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