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Dear citizens,

The fulfillment and protection of your rights, as well as legal and correct determination of your obligations, are the primary responsibility of the state and all of its institutions and officials must act accordingly in a conscientious and dedicated manner. A large majority of them acts that way. However, nothing is perfect, neither the state nor its people. This is why there are mechanisms in place by which the state corrects injustice done by someone in its name. The Protector of Citizens or Ombudsman is one of them – the one who acts, as a rule, when other institutions fail or when their rules and procedures do not allow them to help you in an efficient manner. If you feel that your human or minority liberties and rights are violated, if the authorities have treated you in a malevolent, unconscientious or arbitrary manner; if they have deliberately caused you damage or humiliated you for some of your personal characteristics; if you have tried to correct such injustice in vain, and you still feel you are right, address the Ombudsman. Do it especially if you feel you are suffering injustice for any of your personal characteristics. My associates and I will check your claims, review not only the regulations, but all other facts and circumstances and determine, objectively and impartially, whether you have suffered damage, or we will refer you to some other mechanism for the protection of your rights and interests. Should we determine someone’s omission, we will request its correction and suggest an adequate method. However, we cannot, by ourselves, alter a disputable decision or correct a challenged procedure. By the power of arguments, public pressure and authority of the institution we represent, we can persuade the body before which you exercise your rights, legally based interests, or the one that determines your obligations, that it is necessary to correct the error. If you feel confident you are right, be persistent. But if you discard every possibility of being right, you may be disappointed. Every right is limited by the rights of others and has two sides – authority and obligation. Be prepared to accept both.

Protector of Citizens

Saša Janković