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People's jury

Aa People's Jury, or Citizen's Jury, is an institution used by a democcratically elected body to resolve a divisive issue, in order to reach a consensus. An example, which occurred in Oxfordshire in the late 1990s, was the use of a People's Jury to resolve where to site a waste recycling plant. A group of twelve people was selected, as though they were going to belong to a legal jury. They were then taken on a guided tour of the county and introduced to experts in various fields. After they had been given the opportunity to perform sufficient research, they were asked to choose the site to use.

Whilst the idea of People's Juries has been hailed as being of great benefit in a democracy, it has also been pointed out that the jury's vote is not likely to be representative of the views of the population in general. It is argued that Because a People's Jury is making an informed judgement, it is unlike a referendum, where the views of the most uninformed or ill-informed people carry equal weight.