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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Presenting a petition to the States

Issues I can present a petition about

If you want to present a petition to the States it must be about something that the States is responsible for. Some examples of petitions that you can present are:

  • a proposed new housing development where the Minister for Planning and Environment will need to give permission  
  • the lack of a pavement along a stretch of public road maintained by the Minister for the Department for Infrastructure 
  • a request for improved health services in Jersey to treat a particular illness

Issues I can’t present a petition about

A petition cannot be presented to the States if it is about an issue that is not the States' responsibility. Some examples of petitions that you cannot present are:

  • concerns about the upkeep of a parish road
  • the prices charged by a private company

What to include in a petition

You must include who is responsible for the petition. This may be:

  • just yourself
  • you and an interested group of people
  • an organisation you are representing such as a charity or a residents' association

You must include the background to the issue, for example: 

“There is currently no pavement on La Grande Route de Guernsey, St Mary, between its junction with La Rue d’Aurigny and Le Chemin de Sercq which means that pedestrians are placed at considerable risk along this stretch of road, with 1 child being injured in a road traffic accident in June 2006.”

You must also include the action you would like the States to take, for example:

“The Minister for the Department for Infrastructure is requested to take the necessary steps to establish a pavement on La Grande Route de Guernsey, St Mary, to improve safety for pedestrians in this area.” 

Amount of signatures you need for a petition

You can present a petition as long as it has 1 signature but petitions will often contain hundreds or even thousands of signatures. Every person who signs the petition must include:

  • their name
  • their full postal address (a telephone number or post code is not enough)
  • their signature

If the petition has more than 1 page of signatures, the details of the petition must be copied on to every sheet that contains signatures.

Presenting the petition to the States

Only a States member can present a petition to the States. It may be a good idea for you to arrange a meeting with the member you think would be best to present your petition before you start collecting signatures. You may decide to choose a particular States member because:

  • they are a Constable or Deputy in a parish which the petition is about
  • they have a particular interest in the petition subject

However, any States member can present your petition.

What to do when the petition is ready to be presented

  1. once you have collected all the signatures for the petition, the States member you have chosen will meet with the Greffier of the States to make sure that the wording is correct
  2. the States member must then submit the petition to the States Greffe at least 4 days before the petition is due to be presented
  3. the Greffier will count all of the signatures on the petition and discount any who have not put in their full name, address and signature
  4. the petition will be presented during a States sitting and you are welcome to sit in the public gallery during the presentation
  5. the States member can make a brief statement about the petition they are presenting but no debate is allowed
  6. the States member also lodges a proposition about the action that the petition asks for so that the issue can be debated at a later date
  7. the petition is referred to the ministers who are responsible for the issues in the petition and they must then present a report to the States within 8 weeks
  8. once the report is presented, a debate can take place

Example petition

Extract from standing orders relating to petitions

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