Tuesday, 3 January 2012

My report launching at 'Green House' Parliamentary event next week

   Radical thinktank report calls for institution of 'guardians' for future generations


In a new report to be launched at the House of Commons on 10th January 2012, Green House think tank Chair Dr. Rupert Read (that's me! ;-) will propose radical constitutional reform to Parliament in order to create strong 'guardians' to protect future generations' basic needs. In order to actualise this, the 'Guardians for future generations' report suggests creating a 'super-jury', picked by chance (as juries are) from the population at large, charged with preserving the basic needs of future generations, to be placed above the upper house.


The Guardians' central powers would be a veto over new legislation that would damage / compromise the basic needs of future people, and a right to force a review of existing legislation that is already damaging their basic needs.


·         The 'Guardians for future generations' report will be launched at 5pm [for 5.30]on January 10th 2012, in Committee Room 5, House of Commons. The meeting will be hosted by Dr. Caroline Lucas MP, Leader of the Green Party, and will also be addressed by Jon Cruddas MP of Labour and by Government Minister Norman Baker MP. Representatives of the 'Alliance for future generations' and the 'Intergenerational Foundation' will also be on hand to offer backing to the issuing of the report.

·         The guardians report can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/guardians-of-the-future/18743272 . By Jan. 10, it will be available for free download online at the Green House website.

·         Further information about Green House think tank can be found at http://www.greenhousethinktank.org


Summary of report findings:


'Democracy' means 'government by the people'; but who are 'the people'?

Society exists over time and decisions taken today can have significant consequences for people yet to be born. This report argues that the interests of future generations should be formally represented within our existing parliamentary democracy. In other words: Future people should be included among 'the people'.

Building on the precedent of Hungary's innovative office of Ombudsman for Future Generations, the report proposes the creation of a new legislative structure – Guardians of Future Generations. The members of this body would be selected by sortition, as is current practice for jury service, in order to ensure independence from present-day party political interests.

The Guardians would have a power of veto over legislation that was likely to have substantial negative effects for society in the future, and perhaps also the right to review major administrative decisions which substantially affected future people and the power to initiate legislation to preserve the basic needs and interests of future people.

[The report argues that two facts make the proposal especially timely; first, the government's intention to become 'the greenest government ever', contrasted with its closure of institutions designed to maintain our ecosystems for the future; second, the current process of radical constitutional reform (most notably, potential democratisation of the House of Lords).]

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