petition

petition
petitionable, adj.petitioner, petitionist, n.
/peuh tish"euhn/, n.
1. a formally drawn request, often bearing the names of a number of those making the request, that is addressed to a person or group of persons in authority or power, soliciting some favor, right, mercy, or other benefit: a petition for clemency; a petition for the repeal of an unfair law.
2. a request made for something desired, esp. a respectful or humble request, as to a superior or to one of those in authority; a supplication or prayer: a petition for aid; a petition to God for courage and strength.
3. something that is sought by request or entreaty: to receive one's full petition.
4. Law. an application for a court order or for some judicial action.
v.t.
5. to beg for or request (something).
6. to address a formal petition to (a sovereign, a legislative body, etc.): He received everything for which he had petitioned the king.
7. to ask by petition for (something).
v.i.
8. to present a petition.
9. to address or present a formal petition.
10. to request or solicit, as by a petition: to petition for redress of grievances.
[1300-50; ME peticioun ( < MF peticion) < L petition- (s. of petitio) a seeking out, equiv. to petit(us) (ptp. of petere to seek) + -ion- -ION]
Syn. 1. suit. 2. entreaty, solicitation, appeal. 9. solicit, sue. See appeal.

* * *

Written instrument directed to an individual, government official, legislative body, or court in order to seek redress of grievances or to request a favour.

In some jurisdictions, petitions brought by a sufficient number of people (represented by their signatures) are used to place a candidate on a ballot, to submit an issue to the electorate (see referendum and initiative), or to exert pressure on legislators to vote in a certain way. In the U.S., the right to petition is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

* * *

law
      written instrument directed to some individual, official, legislative body, or court in order to redress a grievance or to request the granting of a favour. Petitions are also used to collect signatures to enable a candidate to get on a ballot or to put an issue before the electorate. They are also used to pressure representatives and deputies to vote in a certain way.

      Most governments allow citizens to petition in some form for redress of grievances, and, indeed, in many countries it is an established right. The history of its growth has been wide and varied. In England the right of petitioning the crown was recognized indirectly as early as Magna Carta (1215) and reaffirmed in the Bill of Rights of 1689. At first, petitions to the crown appear to have been for the redress of private and local grievances. Moreover, in Parliament many statutes were drawn up based on petitions sent from the House of Commons to the crown and the latter's answers. Although the right to petition Parliament itself is not mentioned in the Bill of Rights, it is a convention of the constitution. In modern times the presentation of public petitions plays little effective part in parliamentary affairs because most fail to conform to very strict tests of technical validity.

      In the United States, the right under the First Amendment to the Constitution to petition the government for redress of grievances is one of the basic guarantees of civil liberties. In the Revolutionary era, American political theorists emphatically asserted that the colonists were entitled to all the historic guarantees of English liberty, and Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence listed the flouting of “petitions for redress” as a major grievance against the British king. In 1789 the first U.S. Congress incorporated the right of petition along with other freedoms in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Thereafter, virtually all the states incorporated guarantees of petition in their own constitutions. Both Congress and the various state legislatures still have well-defined procedures for receiving and acting upon materials of this kind. Although the rules are not as stringent as those in England, individual officials often have wide discretion in interpreting the validity of petitions.

      In France the petitions of the people and the National Assembly played a significant role throughout the Revolution.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pétition — [ petisjɔ̃ ] n. f. • XIIIe; peticiun « demande, requête » au sens génér. 1120; lat. petitio, de petere « chercher à atteindre » 1 ♦ Dr. Requête, réclamation faite en justice. 2 ♦ (1661) PÉTITION DE PRINCIPE : faute logique par laquelle on tient… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • petition — pe·ti·tion 1 n 1: a formal written request made to an official person or body (as a court or board) a petition for equitable relief the creditor filed a petition for involuntary bankruptcy 2: a document embodying a formal written request petition …   Law dictionary

  • petition — (or bankruptcy petition or petition for relief) the document that commences a bankruptcy proceeding (Glossary of Common Bankruptcy Terms) The document used to begin a bankruptcy case. See order for relief (Bernstein s Dictionary of Bankruptcy… …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • petition — pe‧ti‧tion [pˈtɪʆn] noun [countable] LAW an official letter to a law court, asking for a legal case to be considered: • He will file the petition early next week. ˈbankruptcy peˌtition LAW when a person or business that is owed money asks a… …   Financial and business terms

  • Petition — Pe*ti tion, n. [F. p[ e]tition, L. petitio, fr. petere, petitum, to beg, ask, seek; perh. akin to E. feather, or find.] 1. A prayer; a supplication; an imploration; an entreaty; especially, a request of a solemn or formal kind; a prayer to the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • petition — [pə tish′ən] n. [OFr < L petitio (gen. petitionis) < petere, to seek, rush at, fall: see FEATHER] 1. a solemn, earnest supplication or request to a superior or deity or to a person or group in authority; prayer or entreaty 2. a formal… …   English World dictionary

  • Petition — Sf Bittschrift, Gesuch, Eingabe per. Wortschatz fach. (14. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. petītio ( ōnis), zu l. petere zu erreichen suchen, greifen, bitten .    Ebenso nndl. petitie, ne. petition, nfrz. pétition, nschw. petition, nnorw.… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Petition — Pe*ti tion, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Petitioned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Petitioning}.] To make a prayer or request to; to ask from; to solicit; to entreat; especially, to make a formal written supplication, or application to, as to any branch of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • petition — PETITION. s. f. Demande, priere. En ce sens il n a guere d usage qu en parlant des sept demandes de l Oraison Dominicale. La premiere, la seconde petition de l Oraison Dominicale. On se sert aussi de ce mot en cette phrase. Petition de principe,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Petition — Pe*ti tion, v. i. To make a petition or solicitation. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Petition — (lat.), Bitte, Gesuch, namentlich an den Monarchen, an Behörden oder an die Volksvertretung; petitionieren, um etwas nachsuchen; Petent, Gesuchsteller; Petitionsrecht, die Befugnis, sich mit Gesuchen an die staatlichen Organe zu wenden.… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”