Canberra Liberals to call for inquiry into CTP citizens' jury
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Canberra Liberals to call for inquiry into CTP citizens' jury

The ACT Opposition will push for higher scrutiny of the citizens' jury on a new compulsory third party insurance scheme for the ACT after concerns the process has been undermined.

Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe will on Wednesday call for an inquiry into the citizens' jury on the insurance scheme currently under way.

ACT Opposition Leader Alistair Coe.

ACT Opposition Leader Alistair Coe.Credit:Karleen Minney

"The government's first shot at a citizens' jury has rightly made Canberrans sceptical of its merits," Mr Coe said.

"If deliberative democracy is going to become a function of government, Canberrans need to be able to trust that it is conducted in a fair and impartial manner.

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"If we can't trust the process, then deliberative democracy will be nothing more than expensive tokenism."

Mr Coe previously accused the Barr government of trying to "manufacture its preferred outcome" on the scheme, which he said was an "insult to the people who participated in good faith".

That came after an ANU academic found while the exercise in deliberative democracy was worthwhile, the close involvement of expert decision makers in the jury's deliberation stages risked undermining the autonomy of jurors.

He also found the public framing of the issue favoured abandoning the current model and jurors did not have enough time to get a good grasp of the subject matter.

The research was prompted by questions from the ACT Law Society, but was conducted independently of it.

Mr Coe's motion asks that the Justice and Community Safety committee look into how CTP insurance was chosen as its subject, how the facilitators were procured, how the jury was selected and what information they were given.

The inquiry would hold public hearings to determine what lessons can be learned from the current citizens' jury and whether these are best practice, Mr Coe said.

The stakeholder reference group and the jury will meet for the final time next month.

A model will be chosen later this year.

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Meanwhile personal injury lawyers dissatisfied with the government's citizens' jury have set up their own deliberative democracy workshop about the scheme.

That workshop will be held next Wednesday but is closed to the public to protect the privacy of the jurors, who are all CTP insurance claimants.

Katie Burgess is a reporter for the Canberra Times, covering ACT politics.

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