Category Archives: Democracy and Participation

Why did Citizens Juries never take off in the UK?

In September 2007 Gordon Brown announced that his New Labour Government would undertake a number of ‘citizens juries’ on key social issues such as crime and punishment and the future of the NHS. He said that this was party of a process of “reaching out, of doing the business of government differently”. However, despite this pledge, the concept of Citizens Juries in the UK has never really taken hold as a conventional political practice. So, what is a Citizens Jury and why have they never had a significant impact on the UK political process?

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How effectively are Human Rights and Civil Liberties protected in the UK?

Britain is a liberal democracy. As part of this, it is expected that civil rights and civil liberties will be strongly protected. However, how well this is done is a matter of debate that will be considered in this article.

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Has the use of E-Petitions enhanced democracy in the UK?

Petitions are not actively encouraged by Parliament and the Government.

Petitions have a long history in Britain. For over a thousand years they have been a tool for citizens to try to address their grievances to the monarch or to the government. In 1689 the right to petition the King was even enshrined in the Bill of Rights:

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