Article title E-Petition as a Form of Appeal Against Decisions, Actions or Omissions by Subjects of Public Authority
Authors

   

Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 11/2018
Сторінки [53-64]
DOI 10.33498/louu-2018-11-053
Annotation

The article focuses on the study of the specifics inherent in the legislative regulation of the institutional mechanism of electronic petitions in Ukraine as a form of appeal against decisions, actions or omissions by public authorities. Noting the doubtless importance of e-petitions as an essential component of e-democracy, the author accentuates the fact that the extent of legislative regulation of social relations associated with the making, submission and consideration of e-petitions, and also the statistical indicators of consideration of existing petitions, which were submitted to various subjects of public authority for consideration, show low efficiency of the existing legislative model of this institution in Ukraine. The purpose of the article is to identify the main factors leading to low efficiency of electronic petitions as a form of appeal against decisions, actions or omissions by public authorities, and also to formulate the proposals for improvement of the legislative regulation and the application practice of this progressive mechanism of E-democracy in Ukraine. Based on the statistical analysis of the practice of electronic petitions consideration by the President of Ukraine, the author identifies five major problems which he believes to entail a decrease in the potential of this institution, namely: 1) high threshold of citizens’ votes as a prerequisite for consideration of a petition by an authorized body; 2) inappropriate contents of an electronic petition; 3) unbinding nature of the electronic petition which received the necessary number of supporting votes; 4) unavailability of a mechanism of protection against “dilution” of votes when several similar petitions are registered at the same time; 5) unfriendly interface of websites where electronic petitions are published. Therefore, the article proposes to introduce a number of innovations with the aim of improving the legislative regulation and functioning of the institute of electronic petitions. Among such measures, the author proposes, for example, to establish the obligation of citizens to avoid an abuse of their right to submit an electronic petition and, possibly, to establish the right of the State to make citizens reimburse the costs associated with consideration of meaningless petitions through the court procedure. At the same time, the author emphasizes that such measures should under no circumstances limit the right of citizens to submit well-justified electronic petitions. Another innovation proposed by this article is to introduce various mechanisms aimed at increasing the influence of electronic petitions on the government, particularly, by giving the said petitions the attributes and signs of imperativeness. Also, the author proposes to implement a range of measures for the purpose of improving the tools of the websites where electronic petitions are published, all this together meant to significantly improve the efficiency of this form of influence on the subjects of public authority.

Keywords administrative appeal; citizens’ appeals; e-petition; E-democracy
References REFERENCES
List of legal documents
Legislation
1. Pro zvernennia hromadian [On Citizens’ Appeals]: Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine]
vid 2 zovtnia 1996 r. № 393/96-VR. Vidomosti Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrainy. 1996. № 47.
St. 256 (in Ukrainian).
Websites
2. ‘Vstanovlennia smitnykiv po m. Kyievu’ [‘Mounting of Trash Cans in Kyiv’]: elektronna
petytsiia [Electronic Petition] № 22/039512-ep (Ofitsiine internet-predstavnytstvo
Prezydenta Ukrainy, 29 serpnia 2017) <https://petition.president.gov.ua/petition/39512> accessed 12 October 2018 (in Ukrainian).
3. ‘Doroha dlia asfaltuvannia 230 m na kordoni, lytse nashoi derzhavy’ [‘Road for
Asphalting 230 m at the Border, the Face of Our Country’]: elektronna petytsiia
[Electronic Petition] № 22/039556-ep (Ofitsiine internet-predstavnytstvo Prezydenta
Ukrainy, 1 veresnia 2017) <https://petition.president.gov.ua/petition/39556> accessed
12 October 2018 (in Ukrainian).
4. ‘Snyzyt tseny na haz’ [‘For Reduction of Gas Prices’]: elektronna petytsiia [Electronic
Petition] № 22/039554-ep (Ofitsiine internet-predstavnytstvo Prezydenta Ukrainy,
1 veresnia 2017) <https://petition.president.gov.ua/petition/39554> accessed 12 October 2018 (in Russian).