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JURIES COULD BEAT SLEAZE

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Citizens' juries can help in the fight against sleaze in public life, a report from the Institute of Public Policy ...
Citizens' juries can help in the fight against sleaze in public life, a report from the Institute of Public Policy Research claimed yesterday.

Citizens' juries - small groups of people with no particular axe to grind - would be selected from the electoral register and brought together to consider issues of local or national importance, gather evidence and hear witnesses.

Their findings could guide political decisions, bring politics closer to ordinary citizens and help restore public confidence in the democratic system, the IPPR claims.

Councils could use juries to discuss planning guidelines and budget plans, the report suggests.

'Citizens' juries can help ordinary people become competent decision-makers. They bring valuable experience and understanding into the political process,' said Professor John Stewart, one of the report's authors.

Small trials of citizens' juries have taken place in Germany, Holland and the United States.

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