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Are you having problems with the Hamburg public authorities? Ask the Petitions Committee.

Anyone who 

  • feels they have been unfairly treated by an official body of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, or
  • objects to the working methods of the Hamburg public authorities and its agencies

can turn to the Petitions Committee.

Who is on the Petitions Committee?

The Petitions Committee deals with requests and complaints (petitions) made to the Hamburg Parliament (Bürgerschaft) by the public. It is appointed by Parliament at the beginning of the legislative period. There are 16 Members of Parliament serving on it at present. The make-up of the committee reflects the distribution of power in the Bürgerschaft.

Who can submit a petition?

Anyone can ask the Petitions Committee for help, e.g.

  • adults
  • minors (under-18s)
  • legally incapable people
  • prisoners
  • German and foreign nationals and stateless persons
  • citizens’ initiatives or legal entities under civil law (e.g. registered associations).

Petitions can be submitted on your own behalf, for another person or in the general interest.

What does the Petitions Committee deal with?

For example with

  • matters relating to foreign nationals
  • building and construction issues
  • civil service (e.g. personnel issues)
  • and much more.

The Petitions Committee cannot help with issues covered by private law, e.g. conflicts between neighbours, family disputes or tenancy problems. It is also not allowed to review the substance of court decisions. If the requests or complaints concern federal authorities, or institutions subject to federal supervision, they should be submitted to the Petitions Committee of the German Bundestag.

Die Mitglieder des Eingabenausschuss bei einer Ausschusssitzung. Einige Personen heben zur Abstimmung die Hände.

Petitions process

How can you submit a petition? What happens then? What rules do you have to follow? You can find further information here.

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Hardship Commission

The Hardship Commission is set up by the Senate and made up entirely of Members of the Hamburg Parliament. It meets to discuss special cases to do with residence permits for foreigners.

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