Ombudspersons’ control over municipal authorities: the Canadian experience and its applicability in Russia

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Author: Aleksandr Larichev

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2016-5-83-96

Keywords: municipal bodies; municipalities; ombudsman (ombudsperson); ombudspersons in Russia; protection of rights


The institution of ombudsman takes a special niche in the framework of the rights and freedoms protection and is an important instrument of guaranteeing it. This article shows functioning of this institution in Canada, including ombudspersons’ activities in current control over municipal authorities and other local governments in the context of their relations with the public. Canada’s experience in this sphere is also compared with the conditions and practices of the ombudspersons’ control over municipal authorities and other subfederal governments in Russia. The author describes the development of the institution of ombudsman in Canada as well as the increasing involvement of ombudspersons in the “watchdog” control over municipal and local governments. In many ways, these processes are associated with the evolution of the legal status of municipalities, increased autonomy of local governments and expansion of their powers. These changes require the enhancement of public control over the activity of municipal and local governments. In Russia, however, the expansion of municipal bureaucracy and the increase in the municipalities’ functional agenda is accompanied by the decrease of traditional public control over the authorities through elections. This makes the development of appropriate forms of ombudsman’s control acutely actual and demanded. The author comes to the conclusion that certain features of Canadian experience in this sphere could be applied in Russia, including, for example, the broadening of the circle of subjects empowered to appeal to ombudspersons, the latters’ control over organizations and institutions, affiliated with the municipal and local authorities, the use of mediation and other alternative procedures to resolve conflicts, as well as granting ombudspersons the power to influence and control efficiency and quality of local authorities’ performance as well as their services to the citizens.

About the author: Aleksandr Larichev – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, Department of constitutional and municipal law, Karelian Branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.

Citation: Larichev A. (2016) Kontrol' instituta ombudsmenov za deyatel'nost'yu munitsipalitetov: opyt Kanady i ego primenimost' v rossiyskikh usloviyakh [Ombudspersons' control over municipal authorities: the Canadian experience and its applicability in Russia]. Sravnitel'noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, no.5, pp.83–96. (In Russian).


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