Sceptical about the CTP citizen's jury? Now's your chance to see it in action
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Sceptical about the CTP citizen's jury? Now's your chance to see it in action

Sceptics of Canberra's CTP citizens' jury will have the chance to see the process for themselves with the final session to be open to the public.

Jurors are set to select their preferred model of compulsory third party insurance when they meet for the last time on March 24 and 25.

The last CTP citizens' jury session in 2017.

The last CTP citizens' jury session in 2017.

Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The models have been developed by an actuary, designer and stakeholder reference group that included lawyers, insurance brokers and healthcare representatives.

Democracy Co co-chief executive Emma Lawson, who's running the exercise, said it was a chance to see "democracy in action".

"We've never run a process like this before, where the community has been trusted to come up with the right answer for them," Ms Lawson said.

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However the jury has come under fire amid claims the design of the pilot gave stakeholders too much of a say and didn't allow jurors enough time to become familiar with the topic.

CTP lawyers even commissioned their own deliberative democracy workshop because of their reservations about the government's citizens' jury.

But Ms Lawson said that workshop was more of a "consultation" because it did not have an "evidence-based education component".

Countering criticism of the timeline, she said the jurors would be given the models next week so they could absorb them, and talk them over with their friends and family before voting at the end of the month.

She said people already had the "skillsets" to determine what the CTP scheme needed and which of the four models best fit the jury's priorities.

"They're not making a decision if they like the model, they're deciding if it meets the jury's objectives," Ms Lawson said.

On the influence of stakeholders, Ms Lawson said jurors were taught to think critically as part of the process.

While stakeholders will also be in attendance at the jury's final session to provide advice, Ms Lawson said there were strict rules governing their interactions with jurors, such as only providing advice if approached.

"We've designed this process so it enables all perspectives to be debated. That's the point of a citizen's jury - not to hide anything, or to say one view is right or one view is wrong. Our job is to make sure the jury gets all perspectives so they can make that decision for themselves.

"The jurors and the citizens of Canberra are smart, they're able to assess where people's perceptions come from.

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"It's very clear what's driving certain views and they're able to weigh those up to come to a conclusion about what's right for Canberra and Canberrans, that's the most important thing."

Those who want to watch the citizens' jury in action can RSVP at: yoursay.act.gov.au/ctp. Places are limited.

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

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