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Human Rights Petitions: Petitions

What is a Petition?


A formal application made to a court or other official body in writing that requests action on a certain matter.

The FIRST AMENDMENT to the U.S. Constitution guarantees to the people the right to petition the government for the redress of grievances. Petitions are also used to collect signatures to enable a candidate to get on a ballot or put an issue before the electorate. Petitions can serve as a way of pressuring elected officials to adhere to the position expressed by the petitioners.

Petition. (2010). In D. Batten (Ed.), Gale Encyclopedia of American Law (3rd ed., Vol. 7, pp. 488-489). Detroit: Gale.

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