Judge Mary Laffoy to chair Citizens' Assembly on the 8th Amendment

The cabinet approved her appointment at its meeting today

Judge Mary Laffoy to chair Citizens' Assembly on the 8th Amendment

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Ms. Justice Mary Laffoy | Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

The Government has appointed Supreme Court Judge Mary Laffoy as the chairperson of the Citizens' Assembly.

The cabinet approved her appointment at its meeting today.

The assembly will comprise the chairperson plus 99 citizens randomly selected on the basis of being representative of the Irish electorate in terms of gender, age and regional spread.

A Resolution approving the establishment of the Assembly was recently passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas.

The first item to be considered will be the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

The Assembly will first make a report and recommendation on this matter to the Houses of the Oireachtas and it will then be referred for consideration to a Committee of both Houses.

Once that report is completed, the Assembly will then consider several other items:

  • How we best respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population;
  • Fixed term parliaments;
  • The manner in which referendums are held; and
  • How the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change

The Assembly has a deadline of twelve months from its establishment to complete work on all its items, and it is expected that the first meeting will be in October.

The estimated set up cost for the Assembly for 2016 is €200,000 and this will be provided from within existing resources in the Department of the Taoiseach. The estimated cost for 2017 is approximately €400,000.