Independent institutions

Independent institutions

Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson of Kosovo is an independent institution mandated to review cases of human rights violations or abuse of authority by public bodies. The Ombudsperson can accept and investigate complaints, free of charge, from any person in Kosovo who believes that his/her rights have been violated by any public institution in Kosovo. The institution carries out investigations, publishes reports and offers legal services and public advocacy. It also monitors policies approved by public institutions in order to ensure that they are in line with standards of human rights and good governance. In cases where the Ombudsperson deems a case has a considerable impact on a person, a group or all citizens of Kosovo and concerns international human rights standards, it can publish a special report including recommendations for the government. It is also able to investigate independently of any personal complaint when it deems a human rights violation has taken place. If such a violation is found, the Ombudsperson will try to find solutions through different channels; it can, for example, mediate between the victims and public institutions, recommend actions to public institutions, publish reports and voice its concerns in the media.

The Ombudsperson also offers its services and support to Kosovo citizens whose rights have been infringed by public authorities outside Kosovo, notably by referring the case to the Ombudsperson or another responsible institution operating in that specific country. Although it monitors compliance with international human rights standards, the Ombudsperson replaces neither courts of justice nor the police in investigating and judging crimes; it is also unable to change a court decision or issue binding decisions of its own. Moreover, it does not deal with disputes between individuals and does not have jurisdiction over the administration of the United Nations in Kosovo (UNMIK), KFOR and military forces responsible for security on the territory of Kosovo.