Natisni vsebino

Human Rights Ombudsman Celebrates 20th Anniversary (chronology)

01.01.2015 16:15
Category: work and news



Ljubljana, 1 January (STA) - January 2015 marks 20 years since the first Slovenian ombudsman took over. Since then, the ombudsmen have drawn the attention of politics to a number of issues, most notably the erased, the Roma and lengthy court proceedings. They have also managed to have some controversial provisions annulled by the top court.

4 October 1988: The council for the protection of human rights and basic freedoms is set up as a predecessor of the ombudsman's office, operating until 1990 under the wing of the socialist SZDL outfit. Its chair is acclaimed law expert Ljubo Bavcon of the Ljubljana Faculty of Law.

24 April 1990: A law on the council for the protection of human rights and basic freedoms takes effect, making the council an independent institution no longer under the SZDL wing and giving it the power to access all information of state institutions.

14 January 1994: A law on the human rights ombudsman takes effect, setting down the groundwork for its introduction and defining its powers. The law says the ombudsman is appointed by parliament upon proposal of the president of Slovenia with a two-thirds majority for a six-year term, with the option of another reappointment.

1 January 1995: Ex-Interior Minister Ivan Bizjak (1993-1994) takes over as the first Slovenian ombudsman. His term is marked with efforts to give the new institution due profile in the public. Pundits say that while he did a good job, he was defensive in his attitude towards the authorities.

21 February 2001: Sociologist Matjaž Hanžek takes over as ombudsman, selected only after two calls for applications fail through. Hanžek's turbulent term is marked by efforts to undo the wrongs suffered by the erased residents and the problems concerning a Roma family. Pundits agree he has proved one of the most powerful and influential human rights advocates in the country.

22 February 2007: Psychiatrist Zdenka Čebašek Travnik takes over as the third ombudsman in Slovenia. Setting children's rights as one of her priorities, Čebašek Travnik sets up an advocate of children's rights within her office. As opposed to her predecessor's, Čebašek Travnik's public ways of addressing issues is much more subdued in tone.

23 February 2013: State prosecutor Vlasta Nussdorfer, an outspoken advocate of victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, takes over as the new ombudsman. In selecting the candidate, President Borut Pahor invites incumbent PM Miro Cerar, at the time teacher at the Ljubljana Faculty of Law, to take the office, which the jurist rejects.

14 March 2013: In a procedure requested by the human right ombudsman, the Constitutional Court declares unconstitutional the provisions of the 2012 fiscal consolidation act reducing pensions for more than 26,000 retirees who get their pensions, partially or in whole, directly from the national budget.

14 November 2013: The Constitutional Court finds two articles of the same act unconstitutional in the part relating to women public servants who were forced to retire earlier and under different old-age pension requirements than their male colleagues. The review was also initiated by the human right ombudsman.

18 December 2013: In a procedure requested by the human right ombudsman, the Constitutional Court declares unconstitutional a part of the international protection act, arguing that Slovenia can deport or extradite an asylum seeker to a third country without examining the content of the asylum application only if it is convinced that the third country is safe.

21 March 2014: Upon initiative from the human right ombudsman, the Constitutional Court declares unconstitutional the provisions of the archives law which allowed the archiving of medical documents containing personal data about the treatment of patients.


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