Published on 14 November 2019

Irish Ombudsman and IOI President Peter Tyndall has warmly welcomed a Council of Europe recommendation which will further strengthen ombudsman institutions across Europe.

The 47-member Council of Europe has called on member States to put in place independent ombudsman institutions with a firm legal basis and protect them when needed. 

The recommendation complements the ‘Venice Principles’ on the protection and promotion of the ombudsman institution which were adopted by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission) in March 2019. 

Mr Tyndall, who actively participated in the development of the ‘Venice Principles’ and the Council of Europe recommendation, said:

“This is a very strong and comprehensive recommendation which recognises the important role that ombudsman institutions play in protecting the rule of law and human rights. Importantly, the Council has also acknowledged the threats and attacks that ombudsman institutions across Europe can face”. 

The Council of Europe recommendation provides that:

  • Ombudsman institutions should be in place in all member States
  • Member States should provide a firm legal basis for ombudsman institutions, preferably at the constitutional level
  • The process of selection and appointment of the head of an Ombudsman institution should promote its independence
  • Member States should ensure that ombudsman institutions are allowed to carry out their mandate independently of any provider of public services over which they hold jurisdiction. 

The full recommendation is available on the Council of Europe’s website: www.coe.int
 
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