July 21, 2023 at 8:36 am #110Jonathan BuhacoffKeymaster
The proposed right:
No government shall refuse to consider a peaceful petition.
A person has a right to petition the government to make a change or address a grievance. The right to peaceful assembly and the right to honest and peaceful communication already protect the ability of people to rally and protest publicly. However, the right to petition requires the government to go a step further and provide a venue for receiving the petition and to consider the petition.
The right to petition does not guarantee that a person will get their way, but at least they will be heard.
The right to petition does not cover petitions to private organizations. The right to assembly and the right to honest and peaceful communication already protect this activity, and private organizations are not required to listen.
If the petition is for a change in government, the venue for the petition is the legislature. If the petition is for addressing a grievance with the government, the venue for the petition is a letter to the government agency or a lawsuit in court. If the petition concerns criminal or unethical conduct, the Investigative Branch is also an appropriate venue for a petition to investigate it further.
If the petition is for a change in a private organization, the venue for the petition is a letter to the board or attending a board meeting and is not covered by this right. If the petition is for addressing a grievance with a private organization, the venue for the petition is a letter to the board of directors or a lawsuit in court, and is not covered by this right.
Comparison with the United States:
In the United States, the First Amendment to the Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The right to petition covers the last part that states “to petition the government for a redress of grievances”.
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