The Scottish parliament has a reputation for being at the cutting edge of public petitions. Its process have been observed by Westminster and the European Parliament a like.
The process of public petitions creates the ability for the public to raise issues of concern and allows members to consider the need for change. Any person, group or organisation can submit a public petition.
Petitioners are expected to have already approached locally elected representatives or the Scottish Executive for assistance in their matter. Details of these approaches and responses received should be included with your petition.
A petition can request the Parliament to amend or introduce new legislation, or take a view on a matter of wide public interest. However public petitions will not be accepted on reserved matters, local decisions of Councils or Health Authorities or the subject of court proceedings.
As a petition then becomes a public document petitioner need to be careful not to include any personal information they would not want in the public domain as well as avoiding defamatory remarks, or material that could identify people in relation to criminal accusations.
Templates of petitions can be downloaded from The Scottish Parliament website. However the Scottish Parliament also leads the world in e-petitioning. E-petitioning allows a petition to be hosted on The Scottish Parliament website, and could mean an increase in signatures to your petition. Your petition will also have it's own discussion forum where visitors can debate the issues which surround it.
Should you have any questions about parliamentary procedure at The Scottish Parliament, Westminster or Europe, which you would like answered, please contact Mairi.Campbell-Jack@shepwedd.co.uk.