Peticijos teisės turinys ir forma.
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The article treats the features of the right to petition in the aspect of constitutional law science. The relevance of the subject of the article is presented in the introduction of the article. Further parts of the article present the prevailing conceptions of the petition right, defining the functions of the petition right, describing the influence of the development of human rights to the conception of the petition right. Right to petition (in its narrow sense) is seen by many countries as a freedom to submit requests and initiatives to legislative and executive institutions, without fear of the legal damage („by opening the public sphere“) and to raise society problems. In a broader sense, the petition right is understood as citizens’ (individuals’) opportunity to submit an appeal to the government institutions on the personal problems in the realization of individual rights and freedoms or to raise other individual problems. Right to petition makes it possible to inform the public authority institutions, that the existing legal regulation does not allow to effectively exercise individual rights and freedoms, or the absence of legal regulation restricts individual rights and freedoms, and the State’s duty is to examine the petitions filed, to check and reach a decision without formal legal means or court. Thus right to petition may bridge the gap of legal protection, i. e. to secure the interests of society and individuals, without using the classical instruments of legal protection (e. g. a complaint). Disregarding the variety of petition right functions, we may state, that the petition right in democratic rule of law states performs a double function: 1. to protect society interests; 2. to protect individual interests. In the process of development of the human rights institute, a number of political rights cannot be treated exceptionally as political ones. „The classification of political rights are changing and the rights like the right to associations (except for the right to join political parties), and freedoms of gatherings, demonstrations, meetings, free speech and press could already be ascribed to the political rights considering their content in the contemporary democratic state“ [11, p. 329]. The major political rights (to referendum, initiative to legislation) are only for the citizens of the given country, as subjects of political relations. The foreigners cannot exercise these rights. While analyzing the petition right, it becomes clear that the older generation constitutions like those of Italy or Spain name the petition right as belonging to the citizens, while the constitutions of many other countries, describing the subjects of the petition right, name the right as belonging to each person, not only for the citizen of the State (the constitutions of Latvia, Poland, Switzerland, the Czech Charter of Fundamental Rights of 1991) . No doubt, the petition right according to its content, functions and circle of the subjects can be reasonably recognized as one of the major civil and political rights, which means that it can be exercised by any resident of the State.
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