NewDemocracy is an independent, non-partisan research organisation aiming to identify improvements to our democratic process. It conducts practical real world trials to show communities that democracy is an area where we can innovate. Random selection of citizens - the jury model - is a central concept newDemocracy seeks to test in terms of its usefulness in public decision making.

   

Features Intro

The Magna Carta is a touchstone for democracy: a devolution of power from an absolute Monarch to his subjects. The Treaty, in all its chapters, became a complementary measure to the way the King, the government of the day, governed.

This year, on the 800th anniversary of that treaty, we think a further complementary measure is needed to reflect the aspirations of Australians.

We think a complementary house of randomly selected people - A Citizens' Senate - could be trialed as a third house of parliament.

We might be wrong, and that’s why we think a fair method for studying this measure, along with any others, is to put the question to a Convention, and let them spend some months deliberating on the measures.

The Irish Constitutional Convention of 2013 is a precedent in this regard.

The Irish had a mix of everyday people selected by lot (as in a jury) together with politicians - two thirds/one third.

In Australia, we could have a similar mix to consider: ‘How can we govern ourselves better?’ and report back to Parliament.

Submissions would come from all and sundry on how to improve our government.

Democracy is more than ‘the vote’; it’s a way of organising ourselves, for no other reason than for ourselves.

Who We Are

Research Committee

Research Committee

The Hon Nick Greiner AC, Chair THE HON GEOFF GALLOP AC | RESEARCH COMMITTEE  CAROLYN HENDRIKS | RESEARCH COMMITTEE  

Board & Executive

Board & Executive

LUCA BELGIORNO-NETTIS AM | FOUNDER LYN CARSON | DIRECTOR KATHY JONES | DIRECTOR IAIN WALKER | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR  

Jurors

Jurors

newDemocracy Jurors

Supporters

Supporters

PROF. PETER SHERGOLD AC PROF. JANE MANSBRIDGE  CHERYL KERNOT MARK TEDESCHI AM JENNIFER WESTACOTT 

Our Work

The Foundation exists with a goal of finding improvements to how we make trusted public decisions - democratic decisions – which represent the informed general will of the people. To do so, we seek to run practical projects in controversial areas of low public trust and where genuine public discourse is impossible as the topic generates...

The City of Greater Bendigo has a large urban area home to around 85% of the local government area's population; in turn this is surrounded by an array of rural areas and small towns. In most circumstances this pattern generally leads to a sense that the centre “gets everything” at the expense of the outer areas. We have no idea of...

Like many local government areas in NSW and across the country, Eurobodalla Shire Council faces the challenge of having significant infrastructure to manage, maintain and renew as well as having an enormous breadth of services to deliver. Coupled with finite income sources; a geographically, socially and economically diverse community; and a...

As citizens and voters we all want and value infrastructure. Unfortunately, over the years this has led to the community looking at public decisions about major public investments with a weary cynicism: is this really the project we need, or is this simply a project to appeal to a marginal electorate? This perception is enough to have a...

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In the Media

Criticism of the State Government's decision to turn to citizens' juries for advice on our nuclear future overlooks the importance of gaining a "social licence" for such a momentous decision, writes Nathan Paine.

The long-awaited release of the Royal Commission’s Report into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle was an important...

Victoria’s citizens’ jury on obesity was the biggest such initiative so far in Australia. Ensuring the process was unbiased and uncensored was critical to making it credible. But beware over-reliance on technology.

The critical success factor in making citizens’ juries work is ensuring there is no censorship. That’s one of the...