Public Councils as a Legal Form of Partnership between the State and Its Citizens
Keywords:deliberative democracy, stste-private partnership, social institutions, public councils, public authority, public governance
Today, the existence of every society and every state is marked with the presence of generally accepted phenomena that radically distinguish the legal status of an individual from his ancestors, who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago. These phenomena are: democracy, legal society, human rights, good governance, participatory democracy, etc. The study of legal relations between an individual or a group of individuals and the state, represented by the system of government in one form or another, has been carried out by a large number of well-known legal scholars, sociologists, political scientists, and economists, all of whom offered numerous theoretical concepts, represented different scientific schools, and worked in various fields of research. The basic issue they have been trying to solve both in the past and at present is how an individual citizen or a group of individuals can influence the decision-making processes of public authorities that affect the interests of each of them. It turned out that the institutions we are aware of (like those of political parties, public organizations, unions) are not the only legal forms of association of the country citizens who seek to exercise public power and represent the interests of certain groups of their compatriots. The active changes that took place in the world after the Second World War, as well as the emergence of the third generation of human rights were a logical continuation of the growing influence of liberal ideas and views, which proved the existence of new scientific alternatives, ideas and concepts for developing the theory of deliberative democracy. The latter’s main objective was the idea of citizens’ active involvement in decision-making by the authorities and local governments, which consequently led to the phenomenon of public-private partnership. The article under discussion contains a legal analysis of the institution of public councils as one of the legal forms of such interaction through the theory of communicative action. At the same time, the paper will contain an attempt to analyze the current Ukrainian legislation that determines and regulates the legal status of public councils. This will enable to draw conclusions about the level of involvement of citizens in the decision-making process. In addition, the article will lay particular emphasis on a study of the already established and existing public councils in Ukraine, as well as will identify the positive and negative aspects of their activities, which will help to work out the problematic aspects of their legal status and offer practical ways to eliminate them.
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