The Application of Institute of Right to Petition in Lithuania – Trends and Experience
Keywords:petition, right to petition, legislative initiatives
AbstractThe right to petition is one of the measures to identify citizens participation in legislative process. On one hand this article is aimed at giving a retrospective view of the implementation of right to petition in Lithuania. On the other hand, its aim is to identify general trends of application of petition institute in Lithuania. The research is grounded on the social researches which were carried out during the years of 2004 – 2012. It is also based on the work experience of Commission of Petitions in Lithuania’s Parliament. The research shows that the right to petition is more effective to individual persons compared to other regulations in the field of legislative initiatives. The analysis confirms assumption that citizens have a different conception of right to petition than it is formulated in Lithuania’s Law on Petitions. Petitions are perceived as one of the instruments to express their opinion, but not as an instrument of legislative initiatives. This situation requires one of the possible solutions - either to make a regulatory change, or to implement educational programs that enable people to use the right of petition more effectively. The data of work experience of Commission of Petitions in national Parliament shows that legal awareness of applicant is increasing, but also observed a negative trend to abuse a right to petition.