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Petitions are inputs, with which people in Germany can express their needs and complaints in personal matter. They can be submitted for others or for the general interest and refer to the action or the omission of public authorities and other institutions, that execute public works. Also, requests according to the state’s legislation are possible. The right to petition is guaranteed by law in article 17 of the Constitution and in article 19 of the constitution of Saxony-Anhalt.

Photo: Landtag

Who can submit a petition?

People in Germany have the right to defend themselves, when they feel disadvantaged or offended and feel unequally treated by a governmental agency. This right applies regardless of nationality, residence, personal conditions or age. Every citizen, even minors, stateless persons, foreigners, prisoners or citizens‟ initiatives and associations can refer to this right.

When can the committee on petitions take action?

The committee on petition of the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt rates all concerns according to administrative measures of public offices and authorities in the state Saxony-Anhalt. The committee will examine the official decisions objectively and – if necessary – work towards changing, cancellations or even towards the waiver to omitted decisions.

The committee has no right of instructions towards public authorities. It can only recommend the implementation or omission of a certain decision. The resolutions of the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt towards petitions are only recommendations to the administration.

What issue can the committee not take care of?

The committee on petitions cannot interfere in judicial decisions. Due to the judiciary independence neither the committee of petition nor the state parliament is allowed to pass a judgement or to examine, to modify or to annul judicial decisions. However, petitions may be used to point out faults and injustices in a law, which forms the foundation of a judgement.

Furthermore, the committee of petitions cannot interfere in private-law cases, such as conflicts between tenant and lessor, in the neighborhood, in working life or in the family. The same counts for the control of other states’ administration or federation’s administrations. As far as there are petitions present, they will be forwarded to the responsible committees of petitions.