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Iceland: The Birth of the World's First Crowd-Sourced Constitution?

Katrín Oddsdóttir

Keywords: Iceland; Constitutional Assembly; Ratification; Economic Crisis

Following the country's devastating economic crash in 2008 and the liberal ‘Pots and Pans Revolution’ it precipitated, Iceland embarked on a novel, massively participatory constitutional drafting process in a bid to establish a new Constitution for the Nordic island nation. This involved a world-first use of ‘crowd-sourcing’ and social media to gather ‘citizen generated content’ in the final Draft Constitution. The Draft's current status is uncertain, however, as it has not yet been ratified by the Althingi, the Icelandic Parliament. This note, written from the perspective of a Rejkjavik public lawyer and one of the 25 Members of the Constitutional Council, tells the saga of the world's first crowd-sourced constitution, the social and economic environment in which it was conceived, and speculates as to the circumstances which might lead to its revival.

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