Civic participation

Civic participation is an important component of an individual’s public life and is a core part of democracy.

Civic participation includes many different aspects that define the public life of a citizen. This includes the right of every citizen to take part in the conduct of public affairs, the right to vote and to be elected, and the right to have access to public services, amongst other things. It is central to democracy and for ensuring that decisions taken by public bodies are approved by the people affected by them. Civic participation also contributes to public unity and helps citizens feel more included in society and public life.

Civic participation & Human rights

Civic participation is closely linked to various human rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to peaceful assembly, the right to free election, and the prohibition of discrimination.

About this Guide

This Guide aims to encourage citizens to learn about and exercise their rights to civic participation and to guide them through legal aspects on their way to becoming active participants in public life.

This Guide explains the rights to civic participation which citizens and non-citizens have, and how the law protects these rights. It also provides information on how to complain and the remedies which are available where the right to civic participation has been violated.

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Last updated 16/08/2023