Organizational unity with the prosecutor’s office as a feature of Latin American ombudsman model: problems of ensuring the independence and effectiveness

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Author: Olga Gavrilova

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2016-6-123-134

Keywords: human rights; independence; Latin American state; ombudsman; prosecutor's office; soft law


This article provides an overview of the ombudsman in Colombia and El Salvador as a mechanism of the soft law that nowadays has a more broad understanding. Stepping up tendency of soft law is observed in the domestic law and the world spread of ombudsman is a part of that trend. Joint and served ombudsman’s work that based on collaboration is a valuable mechanism for resolving conflicts between the individual and the state. With an eye to the potential of ombudsman revealed in full, it is necessary to insure its independence. The article describes the aspects of the model when the ombudsman is merged or organization closely linked to the prosecutor’s office. A study of this issue conducted by the example of Colombia and El Salvador, where this model is used. These countries have a very high rate of crime, so it is possible that the association of human rights institutions can benefit in this situation. But the negative aspects manifested in the lack of independence of the General Prosecutor who is the part of administrative system from which the Ombudsman protects citizens. One more is a large number of complaints deviations on the violation of citizen’s rights by public authorities. The main line is given the arguments on why, in spite of the importance of their cooperation, should not fix the ombudsman on the same system with the prosecutor’s office, that takes place in Colombia and El Salvador. It is not consistent with its nature: in that case ombudsman is an integral part of a system in which citizens complain. Also this article provides an idea that searching and elimination of certain injustices by independent ombudsman entails a change in the whole state system.

About the author: Olga Gavrilova – Postgraduate student, Faculty of Law, National Research University – Higher School of Economics.

Citation: Gavrilova O. (2016) Vzaimosvyaz' s prokuraturoy kak osobennost' latinoamerikanskoy modeli ombudsmana: problemy obespecheniya nezavisimosti i effektivnosti [Interrelation with the prosecutor's office as a feature of Latin American ombudsman model: problems of ensuring the independence and effectiveness]. Sravnitel'noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, no.6, pp.123–134. (In Russian).


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