Legal Problems and Decisions in the Cooperation between National Ombudsmen in South – East Europe Cover Image
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Правни проблеми и решения при сътрудничеството между националните омбудсмани в Югоизточна Европа
Legal Problems and Decisions in the Cooperation between National Ombudsmen in South – East Europe

Author(s): Nikolay Marin
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence, International Law, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Law and Transitional Justice
Keywords: ombudsman; cooperation; South-East Europe; Balkans; Paris principles on human rights institutions; human rights protection; Venice Commission; UN; Council of Europe

Summary/Abstract: The ombudsman institution is traditionally linked to the concept of human rights protection. In addition to this general notion, for the countries from South–Eastern Europe the ombudsman is a body related to the process of transition to rule of law and democratic values. In these countries the ombudsman has also the specific task of maintaining the social and ethnic peace and security. The ombudsman institutions in this region have also a beneficial effect on the process of accession to the EU and adherence to the principles of the Council of Europe as the human rights protection is in the heart of these organisations. The cooperation among ombudsmen in South–Eastern Europe is of crucial importance for the successful achievement of their tasks, especially in the context of challenging human rights issues with trans-border connotations. However the lack of a common model for the ombudsmen institutions, the difference in the mandate and functions and even the diverse title of these bodies, proves to be a serious hindrance to efficient collaboration and hence to the efficient protection of human rights at regional level. This is why the existence of international and European standards for the ombudsmen institutions from South-Eastern Europe is important in view of the need to bring them closer to each other but also closer to the successful model of a human rights protection body. The national status of the ombudsman is influenced by the International and European standards existing in this field, due to the tight link with international human rights regulations. Among these standards there are two important sources which can make a difference as far as the efficiency of ombudsman is concerned. The Paris principles of the UN are adopted in 1993 and are related to the requirement of independence, impartiality, financial independence and as broad mandate as possible for all human rights protection institutions. These principles require promotion and protection of all possible human rights, infringed by both public and private sector. A Status “A” indicates compliance with the highest standards for a human rights institution. Same principles are regulated by the Venice Commission for Democracy through Law. The process of bringing the institutions in compliance with the Paris principles and Venice commission rules is already on-going for the countries of South-Eastern Europe. The contemporarily concept of the ombudsman institution requires it to be proactive, open and transparent, closer to citizens in order to respond to their needs and to mediate between them and the malfunctioning institutions. The modern challenges of the ombudsmen are related to the protection of human rights violated by the private sector and the more urgent need of legislative initiative, which proves to be inevitable in the context of policy making processes.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 295-317
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Bulgarian