In this paper, I look at some arguments for introducing a greater degree of lay participation into decision-making in the criminal justice system and other central institutions. I distinguish two types of argument for the conclusion that we should introduce greater lay participation: the Correction Thesis, that lay participation is necessary to correct for certain limitations and biases inherent even in the best decision-making that is carried out by people in possession of superior knowledge of an issue; and the Common Ownership Thesis, that democratic self-governance generates responsibilities that we cannot simply devolve to a technical association or bureaucracy to sort out for us. I argue that the Correction Thesis is inadequate to provide a general justification for greater lay participation. Such a general justification might more plausibly be given by the Common Ownership thesis. But the latter must be improved before we can fully understand its scope and plausibility.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 41-54
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.