right to petition

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right to petition
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{{Missing information|the historic development and necessity, and the differences between governments where the right is not as strong|date=September 2019}}The right to petition government for redress of grievances is the right to make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, one's government, without fear of punishment or reprisals.{{cns|date=September 2019|The right can be traced back to the Bill of Rights 1689, the Petition of Right (1628), and Magna Carta (1215).|reason= Need reliable source that these are the main sources of the right to petition - particularly since China seems to have had memorial to the throne.}}In Europe, Article 44 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union ensures the right to petition to the European Parliament.Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000), Article 44 Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany guarantees the right of petition to "competent authorities and to the legislature".Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, Article 17{{better source|date=September 2019|reason=Link is to Wikipedia article, not to a source for the Basic Law or a reliable source interpretation.}} The right to petition in the United States is granted by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (1791).

United States

The prohibition of abridgment of the "right to petition" originally referred only to the Congress and the U.S. federal courts. The incorporation doctrine later expanded the protection of the right to its current scope, over all state and federal courts and legislatures, and the executive branches of the stateWEB,weblink Illinois First Amendment Center, The Right to Petition, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 11, 2013, and federal governments.{{update|part=the remainder of this section|date=September 2019|reason=Section appears to be a bunch of violations about events that were recent or in the future when added, but didn't actually come into force or get ruled on by any court. Should probably be removed.}}The right to petition includes, under its umbrella, the petition.{{clarify|date=September 2019}} For example, in January 2006, the U.S. Senate considered S. 2180,WEB,weblink, Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2006, an omnibus "ethics reform" bill. This bill contained a provision (Section 204)WEB,weblink Section 204,, {{citation broken|date=August 2012}} {{cns|date=September 2019|to establish federal regulation, for the first time, of certain efforts to encourage "grassroots lobbying".}} {{cns|date=September 2019|The bill said that "'grassroots lobbying' means the voluntary efforts of members of the general public to communicate their own views on an issue to Federal officials or to encourage other members of the general public to do the same".}} {{cns|This provision was opposed by a broad array of organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Right to Life Committee, and the National Rifle Association.|date=December 2011}} {{cns|On January 18, 2007, the US Senate voted 55-43 to strike Section 221 from the bill.|date=November 2018}}There are ongoing{{when?|date=September 2019}} conflicts between organizations that wish to impose greater restrictions on citizen's attempts to influence or "lobby" policymakers.WEB,weblink First Amendment Center, Adam, Newton, Petition - Right to sue, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 24, 2011, and the right of individuals, groups, and corporations (via corporate personhood{{Citation needed|date=February 2012}}), to lobby the government.Another controversial bill, the Executive Branch Reform Act, H.R. 984, would require over 8,000 Executive Branch officials to report into a public database nearly any "significant contact" from any "private party", a term that the bill defines to include almost all persons other than government officials. The bill defines "significant contact" to be any "oral or written communication (including electronic communication) . . . in which the private party seeks to influence official action by any officer or employee of the executive branch of the United States." This covers all forms of communication, one way or two ways, including letters, faxes, e-mails, phone messages, and petitions. The bill is supported by some organizations as an expansion of "government in the sunshine", but other groups oppose it as an infringing on the right to petition by making it impossible for citizens to communicate their views on controversial issues to government officials without those communications becoming a matter of public record.Memorandum {{webarchive|url= |date=2007-04-01 }}: "Congressman Waxman advances grave new threat to citizens’ ‘right to petition’ government officials," by Douglas Johnson and Susan Muskett, J.D., National Right to Life Committee, February 20, 2007.Letter from Richard D. Hertling {{webarchive|url= |date=2007-06-14 }}, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of Justice, to the Honorable Henry Waxman, Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives, March 8, 2007.Letter from Robert I. Cusick {{webarchive|url= |date=2007-06-27 }}, Director, Office of Government Ethics, to the Honorable Henry A. Waxman, Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives, February 14,valentines day, 2007.


Ancient and Imperial Chinese dynasties recognised the right to petition for all subjects. Commoners could petition the Emperor to remove local officials.BOOK, Brook, Timothy,weblink The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China, University of California Press, 1999, 978-0-520-22154-3, 33-34, . The Huabiao, a ceremonial column common in traditional Chinese architecture, is believed to have originated from signboards set up by ancient rulers to offer an avenue for the public to write petitions.Culture of Beijing: HuabiaoIn modern China the use of local petitioning bureaus remains common, however, those who remain dissatisfied still travel to the capital as a last resort to appeal to the central government.NEWS,weblink Petitions in China, James Reynolds, 9 April 2009, BBC, 2009-04-08, The National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration ({{zh|s=国家信访局}}) and local bureaus of letters and calls receive suggestions and grievances. The officers then channel the issues to respective departments and monitor the progress of settlement, which they feedback to the filing parties.NEWS,weblink Chinese official web site:国家信访局, 2009-04-08, If unsatisfied, they can move up the hierarchy to bring complaints to the next higher level.HRW's "Alleyway" citing Li Li, "Life in a Struggle," Beijing Review, May 4, 2005,weblink's "Alleyway" citing Jonathan K. Ocko, "I'll take it all the way to Beijing: Capital appeals in the Qing," Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 47.2 (May 1988), p.294

See also



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