The Human Rights Ombudsman has certain powers stipulated by the Human Rights Ombudsman Act regarding all state authorities, local self-government bodies and holders of public authority. It may submit opinions to any authority on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in a case under consideration.

The Ombudsman carries out all tasks by resolving individual complaints sent by applicants in which they claim that their human rights have been violated. Anyone who believes that their human rights or fundamental freedoms have been violated by act or action of a state authority, local self-government body or holder of public authority may initiate a procedure. The Ombudsman may initiate a procedure of their own accord.

All state authorities must provide suitable assistance to the Ombudsman in the implementation of any investigation. In relation to its work, the Ombudsman has the right to access all information and documents pertaining to the competence of state authorities.

The Ombudsman may also act in cases of indecent or inappropriate behaviour by the authorities. In its work, the Ombudsman complies with the provisions of the Constitution and international legal acts on human rights and fundamental freedoms. While intervening, the Ombudsman must invoke the principles of fairness and good management. The procedure before the Ombudsman is confidential, informal and free-of-charge for parties involved.

The fundamental legal acts for Ombudsman’s operation are the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia (Article 159) and the Human Rights Ombudsman Act. The legal basis for the Ombudsman’s work is also the Act ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Optional Protocol). The Act stipulates that the Ombudsman also carries out the tasks of the National Preventive Mechanism against torture (NPM). In the role of the NPM, the Ombudsman provides recommendations to the competent authorities to improve the conditions and treatment of people, and eliminate inappropriate treatment.

The Constitutional Court Act that stipulates that the Ombudsman:

  • may initiate a procedure for the review of the constitutionality or legality of regulations or general acts issued for the exercise of public authority if they deem that a regulation or general act issued for the exercise of public authority unacceptably interferes with human rights or fundamental freedoms
  • may file a constitutional complaint in relation to a case they have been handling on the conditions stipulated by this Act.

Since 2007, the Ombudsman has been carrying out a pilot project Advocate – A Child’s Voice Project (Project). In its work, the Ombudsman is independent and autonomous.

Head of institution

Peter Svetina

Website

www.varuh-rs.si

Address

Dunajska cesta 56 (4th floor), 1109 Ljubljana

Year of establishment

1993

Accreditation status

B

Year of accreditation

2010

Number of staff

41

Regional offices

NA

Mandate(s)

  • Ombuds
  • National Preventive Mechanism under OPCAT Art. 3 (NPM)

Core functions

  • Monitoring
  • Publishing research, recommendations and opinions
  • Reporting to international and regional human rights mechanisms
  • Complaints handling
  • Cooperation with civil society organisations
  • Human rights education and training
  • Awareness raising activities