Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

The Wisdom of Crowds: Iceland citizen’s commission submits draft

Iceland’s Constitutional Council, composed of 25 ordinary citizens publicly elected by their peers, has submitted its draft constitution he to the Althingi, the country’s parliament. The Council had posted the draft constitution on the net in April, and worked through many re-drafts in response to 3600 written comments from the public. As one might expect, and consistent with prior research, we see that the participatory process has produced a highly participatory governance structure. Some 10% of the electorate can demand a national referendum on laws passed by Althingi and 2% of the electorate can produce a legislative proposal to Althingi. From here, the constitution bill must be passed by the parliament, and a public referendum is expected. As more of these wiki-process constitutions come into being, it will be interesting to examine their track record in terms of durability and governance.



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