Varuh ДЌlovekovih pravic

Slovenian experiences and the regulation of the Ombudsman institution are shared in the Hague

On 25 October 2022, at the invitation of the Dutch National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen, the Ombudsman Peter Svetina attended a consultation in The Hague, the Netherlands, on the topic of standards that such institutions (should) refer to in their work in their contacts with the authorities over which they have competence. In addition to the host and the Slovenian Ombudsman, the consultation was attended by representatives from England, Denmark, Estonia and Belgium.

Ombudsman Svetina presented to his colleagues the Slovenian regime, according to which the Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia, in his work under the Human Rights Ombudsman Act  (ZVarCP), is not only guided by the provisions of the Constitution and international legal instruments on human rights and fundamental freedoms, but may also refer to the principles of fairness and good governance in his interventions (Article 3). As he said, the Slovenian Ombudsman Institution may also provide state authorities, institutions and organisations that have public authority with proposals to improve their operations and treatment of clients (Article 45). In this context, Mr Svetina also provided some concrete examples from practice.

The Slovenian experience is good compared to the European countries mentioned above, both at the normative and practical levels. For example, the enactment of the option for the ombudsman to rely on other sources than those of a formal legal nature, such as international conventions and the national constitution or legislation, and thus the standards that the ombudsman believes the authorities should meet in specific cases, is the exception rather than the rule.