Upon the complaints of citizens or at his/her own initiative, the Protector of Citizens applies a special procedure to check if there are or have been omissions in the work of public administration bodies. If such omissions are identified, the Protector of Citizens requires from the administration body to correct them and recommends an appropriate method. The administration body is obliged to inform the Protector of Citizens on its actions upon recommendation, and if no action has been done, the administration body must explain the reason for that. In addition to initiating and carrying out procedures, the Protector of Citizens is allowed to mediate, provide advice and opinions and urge administration bodies to improve their work and protect human rights and liberties. Thus the Protector of Citizens acts preventively (prevents future violation of rights) and educationally (educates citizens, but also staff of administration bodies, on human rights and their protection).
If you feel you have suffered damage while trying to exercise your rights due to incorrect application of the regulations of the Republic of Serbia by administration bodies (or failure to apply them) and if you have already unsuccessfully tried to exercise or protect your rights in an appropriate legal procedure before competent state bodies, contact the Protector of Citizens by phone, mail or letter or come to our premises. If the problem is within the purview of the Protector of Citizens, the Secretariat staff will instruct you on how to file a complaint. The entire procedure before the Protector of Citizens is free of charge.
Please be aware of the fact that the Protector of Citizens must not provide free legal assistance, write to other bodies in your name or represent you. If, based on the data and circumstances you presented in the complaint, the Protector of Citizens evaluates that an omission may have occurred in the work of bodies or organizations exercising public authority, the Protector of Citizens will determine, impartially and in public interest, all facts and circumstances (including those that may not be to your advantage) and judge whether your rights have been violated by other person’s unconscientious or erroneous actions.
In addition to examining the regularity of implementing national regulations, the Protector of Citizens will scrutinize, with special attention, whether the employees in state administration bodies treat citizens in accordance with the code of conduct that characterizes good administration:
- Respecting dignity of clients
If you feel that your rights have been denied, you can contact the Protector of Citizens in written or verbal form by filing a complaint to the Office of Protector of Citizens. In order for the Protector of Citizens to take a complaint into consideration it should not be anonymous.
In a complaint handling procedure, the Protector of Citizens carefully reviews all provided evidence and facts based on which the justification of the complaint is given. If in a special procedure initiated upon complaint, the Protector of Citizens identifies omissions in the work of administration bodies, he will warn the administration bodies and require from them to correct the omission. If the administration bodies do not act upon recommendation, the Protector of Citizens takes the following measures:
- Notifies the public, the National Assembly and the Government
- Recommends the establishment of responsibility of administration body mangement
In addition to citizens’ complaints, the Protector of Citizens may, at his/her own initiative, examine the cases of violation of citizens.
By providing advice and opinion, the Protector of Citizens acts preemptively, preventing the violation of human rights and liberties and enhancing the work of administration bodies.
The Protector of Citizens cannot assist the citizens who complain about the work of the National Assembly, the President and the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Constitutional Court, courts and public prosecutors. According to the Constitution and law, the Protector of Citizens is not authorized to control the work of these bodies.
The Protector of Citizens is not authorized to control the work of:
- President of the Republic
- Government of the Republic of Serbia
- National Assembly
- Constitutional Court
- Courts and public prosecutors
Since it is not authorized to control the work of the aforementioned bodies, the Protector of Citizens is not able to act upon your complaint referring to their work.