Report Open Access

Improving Deliberation, Improving Copyright. Outcomes and Reccomendations.

Edwards, Lee; Moss, Giles

This report presents the outcomes of the first two stages of the project Improving Deliberation, Improving Copyright led by Dr Lee Edwards (LSE) and Dr Giles Moss (University of Leeds). The first two stages of the project involved individual dialogues with 34 stakeholders representing a wide range of organisations and institutions in the copyright debate, and ten members of the public, about their experiences of consultations; and stakeholder workshops with 28 dialogue participants working together to answer three broad questions: who should participate in consultations; how they should participate; and why they should participate.

In their discussions, participants adopted a systemic perspective of consultations, treating them as an overall system of connected methods, and a stakeholder-centric approach, focusing on needs and perspectives of different stakeholders involved, rather than those of the institution leading the consultation. Participants adopted two purposes (epistemic and democratic) and four principles (inclusive, well-informed, equitable, accountable) for conducting consultations.

The report makes four general recommendations to guide decision making when using a stakeholder-centric, systemic approach to designing and implementing consultations:

  1. Design consultations as a system using the principles (inclusive, well-informed, equitable, accountable) as benchmarks for assessing the value and effectiveness of each part of the process.
  2. Prioritise novel solutions that can address multiple challenges, because these will enhance the overall quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the consultation.
  3. Use a mix of solutions that minimise tensions. Where tensions between principles and/or outcomes seem unavoidable as a result of a particular combination of solutions, then context-specific solutions for reducing them should be explored.
  4. Explain and justify decisions about the design and implementation of consultations in light of the principles and challenges identified here. When decisions are controversial, deliberation about the principles to apply in relevant situations can help provide an agreed basis for decision-making.

The report is accompanied by a toolkit to help with designing and evaluating quality of the consultations, which can be accessed here.

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