Meeting of the Assembly on Fixed term parliaments

The Citizens' Assembly meeting over the weekend 14-15 April 2018 considers its fifth and final topic "Fixed term parliaments".

The agenda is available to view here. A copy of the submissions document  on the topic is available to read here.

Saturday's Proceedings

The Chair's opening speech on the Saturday morning is available to read here.

Session 1: Explanation of current law and practice on the summoning and dissolving of Dáil and Seanad Éireann

  • Dr. Eoin Daly

Dr. Eoin Daly is a lecturer in the School of Law at NUI Galway, where he teaches Constitutional Law and Administrative Law. He previously held posts at University College Dublin and Dublin City University. His research focuses on the intersection between political theory and constitutional law, and he is author of three books on constitutional law and constitutional theory – Religion, Law and the Irish State (Clarus, 2012), The Political Theory of the Irish Constitution (with Tom Hickey) (Manchester University Press, 2015) and Rousseau’s Constitutionalism (Hart, 2017).

Dr. Daly's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. His accompanying slideshow is also available here. His presentation is available to watch back here.

Session 2: History of political practice in Ireland on the summoning and dissolving of Dáil and Seanad Éireann

  • Dr. Eoin O’Malley

Dr. Eoin O'Malley is an Associate Professor in political science at the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University. There he teaches politics and public policy and is the Director of the MSc. in Public Policy. His research is mainly on Irish politics and particularly on the position of the Taoiseach and cabinet government in Ireland, though he also does work on the Irish party system, media coverage of Irish elections and public policy. 

Dr. Eoin O'Malley's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. His presentation is available to watch back here.

Session 3: Fixed Term Parliaments- experience and practice in other jurisdictions

  • Prof. Petra Schleiter

Petra Schleiter is Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Oxford. She is also a Fellow of the Constitution Unit at University College London. Her research focuses on the comparative effects of political institutions – including constitutions and party systems. She is interested in the implications of these institutions for governments (their formation, duration and termination) and political outcomes such as the survival of democracies, political corruption, and electoral accountability. She has published in leading academic journals including the American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Political Studies, European Journal of Political Research, Party Politics, Government and Opposition, Parliamentary Affairs, Post-Soviet Affairs, Europe-Asia Studies and The Political Quarterly.

For her research profile and detailed information on her publications, please see: (

Prof. Scheiter's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. Her accompanying slideshow is also available here. Her presentation is available to watch back here.

Session 4: Fixed Term Parliaments: What if they were introduced in Ireland? Pros and cons, implications and issues arising.

  • Rory Costello 

Rory Costello is a lecturer in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Limerick. He specialises in electoral and legislative politics in Europe, with a particular focus on Ireland and on the European Union. He has published on topics such as government performance, bicameralism, political representation, and party competition.

Rory Costello's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. His presentation is available to watch back here.

Saturday Afternoon

In advance, the Members received a note on the voting arrangements that would apply at the start of the weekend. On Saturday afternoon they received the draft ballot paper, and they also heard the Chair's explanation of the draft Ballot Paper which is available to read here.

Sunday's Proceedings

The final Ballot Paper on which Members voted is available to read here, and the results of the Ballot is available to read here.


Over the course of the weekend the citizens engaged in roundtable discussions, with the assistance of facilitators at each table. Further details on the facilitation process are available here.

Each table was provided with the same Conversation Starters for each session. A copy of those used this weekend are available here.