Available in Russian
Author: Aleksandr Larichev
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).
Dale D., Rider D. (2012) Mayor Rob Ford Wants to Eliminate City Watchdog Offices. Available at: http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2012/10/25/mayor_rob_ford_wants_to_eliminate_city_watchdog_offices.html (accessed 03.05.2016).
Doolittle R. (2012) Toronto City Council: Ombudsman Fiona Crean Under Attack for Scathing Report.Available at: http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2012/10/04/toronto_city_council_ombudsman_fiona_crean_under_attack_for_scathing_report.html (accessed 03.05.2016).
Gadlin H. (2000) The Ombudsman: What’s In a Name? Negotiation Journal, vol.16, no.1, pp.37–48.
Gillis W. (2012) Ontario Ombudsman André Marin Says Municipalities ‘Shockingly Secretive’. Available at: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2012/10/30/ontario_ombudsman_andr_marin_says_municipalities_shockingly_secretive.html (accessed 03.05.2016).
Kruchinin Yu.S. (2015) Voprosy sovershenstvovaniya zakonodatel'stva, reglamentiruyushchego deyatel'nost' regional'nykh ombudsmenov [The issues of the enhancement of legislation, regulating the activities of regional ombudsmen]. Rossiyskaya yustitsiya, no.8, pp.54–56. (In Russian).
Larichev A.A. (2016) Spetsializirovannye organy na urovne mestnogo samoupravleniya v Kanade [Special-purpose bodies at the local government level in Canada]. Administrativnoe i munitsipal'noe pravo, no.2, pp.155–159. (In Russian).
Larichev A.A. (2015) Pravovye osnovy mestnogo samoupravleniya v Rossiyskoy Federatsii i Kanade: sravnitel'noe issledovanie [The legal framework of local government in Russian Federation and Canada: A comparative study], Saint-Petersburg: Yuridicheskiy Tsentr. (In Russian).
LeBaron M. (2009) Watchdogs and Wise Ones in Winter Lands: The Practice Spectrum of Canadian Ombudsman. Available at: http://www.ombudsmanforum.ca/en/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Liz%20Hoffman%20Paper%202009%20(Eng).pdf (accessed 08.05.2016).
Lightbody J. (2006) City Politics, Canada, Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press.
MacLean M.V., Tomlison J.R. (2008) A User’s Guide to Municipal By-laws, 2nd ed., Markham, ON: LexisNexis.
Ministry of Justice of Russia (2016) O sostoyanii mestnogo samoupravleniya i deyatel'nosti Minyusta Rossii po razvitiyu ego pravovykh i organizatsionnykh osnov v 2015 godu [On the state of local government and the activities of the Ministry of Justice of Russia in the development of its legal and institutional framework in 2015]. Available at: http://minjust.ru/ru/press/news/o-sostoyanii-mestnogo-samoupravleniya-i-deyatelnosti-minyusta-rossii-po-razvitiyu-ego (accessed 09.05.2016). (In Russian).
Oosting M. (1999) The Ombudsman and his Environment: A Global View. In: Reif L.C. (ed.) The International Ombudsman Anthology: Selected Writings from the International Ombudsman Institute, The Hague: Kluwer Law International, pp.1–14.
Pamfilova E.A. (2016) Doklad Upolnomochennogo po pravam cheloveka v Rossiyskoy Federatsii za 2015 god [The Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation for the year of 2015]. Available at: http://ombudsmanrf.org/ombudsman/document/ezhegodnye_doklady (accessed 09.05.2016). (In Russian).
Pickl V. (1983) Investigating Complaints: A Comment. In: Caiden G. (ed.) International Handbook of the Ombudsman. Vol.1: Evolution and Present Function, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp.91–94.
Reif L. (2011) Transplantation and Adaptation: The Evolution of the Human Rights Ombudsman. Boston College Third World Law Journal, vol.31, no.2, pp.269–310.
Saburskaya S.H. (2016) O soblyudenii prav i svobod cheloveka i grazhdanina v Respublike Tatarstan v 2015 godu: doklad Upolnomochennogo po pravam cheloveka v Respublike Tatarstan [On protection of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen in the Republic of Tatarstan in 2015: Report of the Ombudsperson of the Republic of Tatarstan], Kazan'. (In Russian).
Tindal R., Tindal S. (2009) Local Government in Canada, 7th ed., Toronto: Thomson Nelson.
Wagner M.L. (2000) The Organizational Ombudsman as Change Agent. Negotiation Journal, vol.16, no.1, pp.99–114.