According to the Constitution and the law on the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman is an independent national institution with powers to protect human rights and freedoms of individuals or groups of citizens when they are violated by the state government.

The competences of the Ombudsman do not apply to the private sector or the judiciary, except in cases of unjustified delay in court proceedings or irresponsible of the court services. In that sense, the Ombudsman has no legislative, executive or judicial powers, and is neither prosecuting organ nor inspection authority.

The Ombudsman is a control mechanism that intervenes with proposals, suggestions, recommendations and a like. Its role is ethical and moral in terms of respect and exercise of human rights and freedoms. Therefore, his actions are aimed primarily at promoting and improving the efficient and effective performance of public administration as a service to citizens to exercise their right and as an educational and advisory role in the access and communication with citizens.

Principles that underpin the work of the Ombudsman are independence, impartiality, professionalism, conscientiousness, equity, objectivity, accountability and urgency from the perspective of the promotion, respect and protection of human rights and freedoms.

The Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia proposes, appoints and dismisses the Ombudsman by majority vote of all MPs as well as with a majority of votes of the total number of MPs who belong to the communities that are not majority in the country.

The Ombudsman is elected for a term of eight years, eligible for re-election. In carrying out its functions and powers, the Ombudsman is assisted by deputies elected on the Ombudsman’s proposal by Parliament in the same way as the Ombudsman.

The procedure for the protection of constitutional and legal rights of the citizens begins with the filing of a petition. The Ombudsman may initiate an ex oficio procedure whenever there are certain violations of constitutional and legal rights of citizens. It is important to note that complaints and proceedings before the Ombudsman are free.

The Ombudsman of the Republic of Macedonia received an additional responsibility with the adoption of the Ohrid Framework Agreement in 200 and that is the protection of the principles of non-discrimination, equitable representation of smaller communities in the state power bodies of local government as well as the public institutions and services.

The new Law on the Ombudsman, currently under preparation, will introduce among others the promotion of human rights as part of the mandate of the Ombudsman institution, to fully meet the Paris Principles and will include pluralism and financial independence as basis for the functioning of the institution.