Supreme Court judge Mary Laffoy will head up the new Citizens' Assembly which will examine the Eighth Amendment and other issues, writes Elaine Loughlin.
Cabinet today appointed the judge, who previously presided over the Commission of Inquiry in Child Abuse, as chairperson of the Citizens’ Assembly.
The programme for government commits to setting up a Citizens' Assembly to consider the Eighth Amendment, our aging population, fixed term parliaments and a number of other issues.
The new Citizens' Assembly will comprise Justice Laffoy and 99 members of the public randomly selected on the basis of being representative of the Irish electorate in terms of gender, age and regional spread.
The first item which the Assembly will consider 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.
It will then be referred for consideration to an Oirechtas Committee of both Houses which will in turn bring its conclusions to both the Dáil and the Seanad.