The Commission for Public Office and Elections of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia discussed the proposal to appoint a deputy ombudsman and supported it.
Ombudsman Peter Svetina proposes Dr Dijana Možina Zupanc as his deputy. In the proposal for her appointment, he explained that the candidate is distinguished by numerous competencies, broad knowledge of legal fields, credibility, and experience both in Slovenia and internationally. “The proposed candidate has rich experience. With her work, among other things, she advocated for maintaining the respect and reputation of independent institutions, and in the group of independent state bodies, she also participated closely in the area of the rule of law and the annual assessment of the situation in the country by the European Commission. She has obtained the title of state auditor, and in this field, she mainly dealt with performance audit reports dealing with environmental issues. She was also included in the audits of combating poverty, fulfilling the needs of social security services, and in many audits in the field of the environment, such as access to drinking water, reduction of greenhouse gases, handling of Natura 2000 protected areas, light pollution, and others. All these revisions raise important social and environmental issues that affect the provision of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Ombudsman Peter Svetina emphasised in the presentation. According to his words, throughout her career, the candidate has dealt directly or indirectly with various aspects of global challenges related to ensuring a safe, healthy, and dignified life for individuals. She was a negotiator for the Republic of Slovenia within the framework of the United Nations Convention in the Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for Climate Change, which, according to the Ombudsman, means that she is highly aware of the unimaginable consequences of the climate crisis for humanity, which also affects the provision of human rights. "In my opinion, Dr Dijana Možina Zupanc has proven with her previous work, expert knowledge, and professional involvement that she is highly suitable for the position of Deputy Human Rights Ombudsman. I believe that she will be of great assistance to me in protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia," Ombudsman Peter Svetina added in the explanation of his proposal.
Dr Dijana Možina Zupanc graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Maribor, and in 2017 she received her PhD in the field of law from the European Faculty of Law. Her PhD thesis in English examined the social, environmental, and economic aspects of sustainable development on the example of the degraded area of the Zasavje region. She placed great emphasis on the issue of ensuring human rights in the field of environment, space, and social security in her dissertation.
The Human Rights Ombudsman Act stipulates that the Ombudsman has a minimum of two and a maximum of four deputies. They are appointed by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia on the Ombudsman’s proposal, who decides on the proposal for the appointment of a deputy within 45 days from the submission of the proposal. The duration of the mandate of deputies is six years, after which they can be reappointed.