What is the role of an ombudsman institution?
The Public Defender of Rights is an independent body of the Slovak Republic. His/her mission is to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens in conflict with legal order or principles of a democratic and legal state in acting, decision-making, or inactivity of a public administration body.
His/her role is to draw attention to violations and propose recommendations to remedy the identified shortcomings. Public Defender of Rights does not have the power to change the decisions of the concerned institutions but to use soft power and arguments to persuade authorities to accept the recommendations he/she has proposed to remedy the situation in which is being made the violation.
On 29 March 2022, the term of the Public Defender of Rights, Mária Patakyová, ended. The National Council of the Slovak Republic has not yet elected a new Public Defender of Rights.
The Office of the Public Defender of Rights will receive and process complaints to the extent provided by law. Until the election of a new ombudsman, the office team will analyze the complaints and obtain the necessary documents and opinions for its evaluation. However, a finding of a violation of fundamental rights or freedoms will await assessment and decision by the new ombudsman, after being elected and taking the oath.