The Citizens' Assembly met over the weekend 14-15 April 2018 to consider its fifth and final topic fixed term parliaments.
Agenda for meeting of the Citizens' Assembly on fixed term parliaments
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 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 delivery of his paper on "Dissolution of Dáil Éireann: Constitutional principles" was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. His presentation to the Assembly can be watchedback here.
Session 2: History of political practice in Ireland on the summoning and dissolving of Dáil and Seanad Éireann
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 delivery of his paper on "The practice of Dáil terms and dissolution" to the Assembly can be watched back here.
Session 3: Fixed Term Parliaments- experience and practice in other jurisdictions
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: (http://www.politics.ox.ac.uk/index.php/profile/petra-schleiter.html).
Prof. Schleiter's delivery of her paper on "Fixed Term Parliaments: Experience and practice in other jurisdictions" was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. A one page infographic about parliamentary terms internationally, prepared by Prof Schleiter, can be viewed here. Her presentation to the Assembly can be watched back here.
Session 4: Fixed Term Parliaments: What if they were introduced in Ireland? Pros and cons, implications and issues arising
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 delivery of his paper on "Fixed Term Parliaments: What if they were introduced in Ireland? Pros and cons, implications and issues arising." can be watched back here.
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.
A full transcript of Saturday afternoon's proceedings can be read here.
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 Members 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.
In advance of the meeting, the Members were provided with the final reflective exercise they would be asked to complete. This reflective exercise focused on their experience as an Assembly member throughout the entire process. A copy of the document they completed is available here.
A list of Members at the meeting on fixed term parliaments is available here.