Data

General Issues
Identity & Diversity
Labor & Work
Specific Topics
Gender Equality & Equity
Location
Victoria
Australia
Scope of Influence
Regional
Files
Gender Equality Bill Citizens Jury Report
Gender Equality Bill exposure draft discussion paper
Links
https://engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality
https://www.themandarin.com.au/98838-citizens-jury-endorses-public-sector-gender-quotas/
https://www.newdemocracy.com.au/2018/10/18/victorian-government-gender-equality-bill-citizens-jury/
https://womensagenda.com.au/politics/a-citizens-jury-in-victoria-managed-to-reach-a-consensus-on-gender-quotas/
https://www.themandarin.com.au/98838-citizens-jury-endorses-public-sector-gender-quotas/
Start Date
End Date
Ongoing
Yes
Time Limited or Repeated?
A single, defined period of time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Approach
Consultation
Spectrum of Public Participation
Consult
Total Number of Participants
83
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Limited to Only Some Groups or Individuals
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
stratified
General Types of Methods
Deliberative and dialogic process
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Facilitate decision-making
Recruit or select participants
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Citizens' Jury
Q&A Session
Sortition
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
Yes
Facilitator Training
Professional Facilitators
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Face-to-Face
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Ask & Answer Questions
Information & Learning Resources
Written Briefing Materials
Expert Presentations
Decision Methods
Voting
If Voting
Super-Majoritarian
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Report
Type of Organizer/Manager
Regional Government
Non-Governmental Organization
For-Profit Business
Funder
Government of Victoria
Type of Funder
Regional Government
Staff
Yes
Volunteers
No

CASE

Gender Equality Citizens' Jury

General Issues
Identity & Diversity
Labor & Work
Specific Topics
Gender Equality & Equity
Location
Victoria
Australia
Scope of Influence
Regional
Files
Gender Equality Bill Citizens Jury Report
Gender Equality Bill exposure draft discussion paper
Links
https://engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality
https://www.themandarin.com.au/98838-citizens-jury-endorses-public-sector-gender-quotas/
https://www.newdemocracy.com.au/2018/10/18/victorian-government-gender-equality-bill-citizens-jury/
https://womensagenda.com.au/politics/a-citizens-jury-in-victoria-managed-to-reach-a-consensus-on-gender-quotas/
https://www.themandarin.com.au/98838-citizens-jury-endorses-public-sector-gender-quotas/
Start Date
End Date
Ongoing
Yes
Time Limited or Repeated?
A single, defined period of time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Approach
Consultation
Spectrum of Public Participation
Consult
Total Number of Participants
83
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Limited to Only Some Groups or Individuals
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
stratified
General Types of Methods
Deliberative and dialogic process
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Facilitate decision-making
Recruit or select participants
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Citizens' Jury
Q&A Session
Sortition
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
Yes
Facilitator Training
Professional Facilitators
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Face-to-Face
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Ask & Answer Questions
Information & Learning Resources
Written Briefing Materials
Expert Presentations
Decision Methods
Voting
If Voting
Super-Majoritarian
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Report
Type of Organizer/Manager
Regional Government
Non-Governmental Organization
For-Profit Business
Funder
Government of Victoria
Type of Funder
Regional Government
Staff
Yes
Volunteers
No

To assist in the preparation of a Gender Equality Bill, the Victorian state government commissioned a Citizens' Jury to consider the issues surrounding using quotas in the public sector to enhance women's representation and participation in public sector leadership.

Problems and Purpose

In 2018 the Victorian State government put forward a draft Gender Equality Bill that would cover the public sector, universities and local councils [1]. The Bill was open for public consultation and the government undertook a number of engagement activities, which included a citizens’ jury. The jury was asked specifically to consider the possible implementation of quotas for public sector organizations [2].

Background History and Context

The state of Victoria has implemented a number of deliberative democratic processes in recent years at both state and local level. Infrastructure Victoria, a statutory body managing transport across the state has convened two such engagement processes which included citizens’ juries. In regional Geelong, a citizens’ jury was also used to help decide a new governance structure for the city.

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

The citizens’ jury was convened by the state government’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The process was designed by the newDemocracy Foundation and facilitated by MosaicLab

Participant Recruitment and Selection

A total of 83 jurors participated in the jury, from an initial invited group of 100 [3]. Participants were selected through a random sample stratified for gender, age, linguistic diversity, sexual identity, disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity and location [4].

Methods and Tools Used

The overall engagement process involved a number of activities, including stakeholder workshops and forums [5]. The citizens’ jury itself differed slightly from the traditional model by having a larger juror group, and meeting over one weekend only. A citizens’ jury typically involves up to 25 people that meet several times over a longer period. 

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

The jury met for two full days of deliberation over a single weekend. Prior to meeting, they had been provided with background information about gender equality in Victoria and proposed legislation under the draft Gender Equality Bill.

Facilitators introduced the jury to the concept of critical thinking and how to utilise them [6]. The jury then heard from expert speakers on the subject of quotas, but it is noted in the jury’s final report that the speakers’ views were not diverse, with a bias towards supporting quotas [7].

Jurors deliberated in small groups and worked in small groups to draft proposals, which were then assessed and voted on, and circulated in different groups of jurors to be redrafted and refined [8]. Finally, recommendations were presented to the whole group and were voted on by super-majority for inclusion in the final report. Recommendations that did not reach super-majority were included as a minority report within the final report.

The jury provided 11 practical and aspirational recommendations which included support for 40-40-20 gender quotas, where 40% of roles should be filled by women and men respectively, and 20% for either [9].

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

The jury’s recommendations fed into a broader consultation process, which included a series of stakeholder forums with entities who will be affected by any legislation. This process continued into 2019 and feedback was used to propose changes to the Gender Equality Bill. It is expected that this will be introduced to the parliament by the end of 2019 [10].

Analysis and Lessons Learned

The final jury report includes a minority report that expressed concern over potential bias in the jury’s findings. Only three expert speakers presented to the jury and all three supported the introduction of gender quotas. Therefore, the jury did not have much opportunity to deliberate over opposing views. A small group of jurors also expressed concern that the jury process ‘was extremely rushed and did not allow jury members to reach a proper and truly considered opinion’ [11].

An appendix to the report provides detail of experts who were invited to speak – particularly against quotas – but who were unavailable [12]. This case highlights the challenge for deliberative practitioners of sourcing diverse perspectives and the important and complex role of experts in deliberative processes.

See Also

References

[1] Government of Victoria (2019) Gender Equality Legislation. Available at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality

[2] MosaicLab (2018) Current Projects: Gender Equality Citizens' jury. Available at: https://www.mosaiclab.com.au/current-projects

[3] Hanasz, P. (2018). A citizen’s jury in Victoria managed to reach a consensus on gender quotas. Women's Agenda. Available at: https://womensagenda.com.au/politics/a-citizens-jury-in-victoria-managed-to-reach-a-consensus-on-gender-quotas/

[4] Gender Equality Bill Citizens' Jury (2018). Gender Equality Bill Citizens' Jury Final Report [doc]. Available at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality

[5] Government of Victoria (2019) Gender Equality Legislation. Available at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality

[6] Hanasz, P. (2018). A citizen’s jury in Victoria managed to reach a consensus on gender quotas. Women's Agenda. 25 September 2018. Available at: https://womensagenda.com.au/politics/a-citizens-jury-in-victoria-managed-to-reach-a-consensus-on-gender-quotas/

[7] Donaldson, D. (2018). Citizens’ jury endorses public sector gender quotas. The Mandarin. 20 September 2018. Available at: https://www.themandarin.com.au/98838-citizens-jury-endorses-public-sector-gender-quotas/

[8] Ibid.

[9] Gender Equality Bill Citizens' Jury (2018). Gender Equality Bill Citizens' Jury Final Report [doc]. Available at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality

[10] Government of Victoria (2019) Gender Equality Legislation. Available at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality

[11] Gender Equality Bill Citizens' Jury (2018). Gender Equality Bill Citizens' Jury Final Report [doc]. Available at: https://engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality

External Links

https://www.newdemocracy.com.au/2018/10/18/victorian-government-gender-equality-bill-citizens-jury/

https://engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality


Notes