The petitions system gives citizens an opportunity to interact with the parliamentary system on matters of general public concern or interest. Members of the public may submit petitions to the Joint Committee on Public Petitions, and only one signature is needed to submit a petition.

The Committee usually meets fortnightly to consider the petitions people have submitted. If a petition is in order, the Committee may seek oral or written evidence from relevant Government Departments and other bodies and agencies. The Committee has the power to invite Ministers to attend meetings and answer questions about the petition and may also invite the petitioner to speak on the matter.

This parliamentary petitions system presents an important avenue for individuals to participate in the democratic process, through the petitions process. Members of the public are able to take their policy concerns directly to the heart of Parliament and to influence the parliamentary agenda.

The adoption of Dáil Standing Order 125 and Seanad Standing Order 108 established the Joint Committee on Public Petitions.

See the Dáil Éireann Standing Orders and Seanad Éireann Standing Orders.