The ombudsman concept is not an English term , but a Swedish one and can be translated as representative or commissioner, although the synonym of public defender is normally used. This institution exists in most Latin American countries and in Spain.
General considerations about the public defender
The figure of the public defender has as a general rule a series of attributions and all of them are present in the constitutional texts of each country. Ombudsman
- – Its main function is to supervise the proper functioning of the Public Administration and support citizens who consider their freedom of expression and rights violated;
- – His appointment of the people’s representative as an ombudsman is generally elected by consensus among the various political forces;
- – The figure of the public defender must not receive instructions from any authority and must enjoy autonomy during the time he holds the position;
- – In order for this institution to be legally protected, the designated person enjoys immunity and protection during his term of office.
The public defender periodically receives complaints from the people regarding any type of circumstance that interferes with the administration of the state . If the complaint you receive is related to justice , your obligation is to refer it to the administration of justice, as the institution of the public defender is not competent in legal matters. Ombudsman
This defender of the people has the legitimacy to mediate a series of appeals , such as the amparo or unconstitutionality appeals. Also, if a citizen acts illegally, the public defender can initiate a habeas corpus lawsuit.
Your skills are limited
Although the figure of the ombudsman must support citizens in the face of possible irregularities in the administration, there are normally a series of limitations in their performance. The main limitation consists in not having acted in previous public administrations, since its function is to correct irregular situations and not to replace another administrative body. Ombudsman
On the other hand, the public defender cannot interfere when it comes to a conflict between individuals, since in this case the courts of justice of Organs responsible bodies are responsible.