What is the Human Rights Ombudsman
The Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia is independent and not tied to state institutions. The Ombudsman's office monitors whether state bodies, local community bodies and holders of public authorisation operate in observance of the rights of individuals and groups.
She herself, her deputies or her professional staff may be approached if you believe that any of your rights have been violated. Before writing to the Ombudsman, however, you should yourself try to reach a solution to your problems through the various avenues of making a complaint. If you do not succeed in getting the violator to respect your rights, and you believe that you have done everything possible, or you simply do not know what to do, then the Ombudsman is the right body for you to approach.
What can the ombudsman do?
The Ombudsman can caution violators that they should put right their violation or eliminate irregularities committed, or can even propose compensation. On your behalf, and with your authorisation, he can lodge with the Constitutional Court a request for assessment of the constitutionality and legality of regulations or official documents, or he may submit a constitutional complaint owing to the violation of some right. He may submit to the government or parliament initiatives for the amendment of laws and other regulations. He may also suggest to all bodies that fall within his competence that they improve their dealings and relations with clients.
The Ombudsman may also communicate his opinion to anyone regarding cases that are linked to the violation of rights and freedoms. Here it is not important what kind of procedure is involved, nor the stage of processing it has reached at the body in question.
What the Ombudsman cannot do!
The Ombudsman cannot perform work or remove violations or irregularities in place of the specific state body, local community body or holder of public authorisation. Those that committed the violation or irregularity are bound also themselves to putting right the violation or irregularity. Equally, the Ombudsman cannot deal with cases that are subject to court proceedings, except in exceptional cases.
How can the Ombudsman be approached?
You can send a written complaint to the Ombudsman by post or by e-mail, and you can also approach his office via the toll-free telephone, or you can make an appointment for a personal interview with him or one of his staff. If you are unable to see him personally in Ljubljana, several times a year you have the chance of meeting with him when he works outside the head office or visits various places around Slovenia. You do not need the help of a lawyer to submit a written complaint.
The procedure is free and informal. Simply fill in the attached form, on which you must also include your personal data and signature, since the Ombudsman does not deal with anonymous complaints. You can also send a complaint by e-mail to email@example.com, although owing to technical limitations that prevent the transmission of the complainant's authentic signature, the Ombudsman's staff will request that you subsequently sign the complaint, or that you send a signed hard copy by ordinary mail to the Ombudsman's office.
The Ombudsman works in Slovenian, but you may submit a complaint in your own language if you have no command of Slovenian.
Basic information on the work of the Ombudsman, basic official documents and other information can be obtained by calling the toll-free telephone no. 080 15 30, or by visiting the Ombudsman's website www.varuh-rs.si