Today, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted new Law on the Protector of Citizens which strengthened independence and improved efficacy of work of this independent state institution for human rights protection.
According to this Law, the Protector of Citizens will be mandated to conduct, in addition to the tasks of the National Preventive Mechanism that it has been carrying out since 2011, the tasks of the National Independent Mechanism for Monitoring the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and tasks of the National Rapporteur in the field of Human Trafficking, and it also has the position of a special body that protects, promotes and improves child rights.
In terms of efficacy and improvement of citizens’ rights, the Law specifies the deadlines for acting of the Protector of Citizens, while the citizens may file complaints within three years following the occurrence of the violation of rights instead of one year as it was specified under previous Law.
New Law stipulates that a child who has reached ten years of age may independently file a complaint with the Protector of Citizens and that the child’s complaint cannot be rejected. The novelties in the Law relate to the independence of the Protector of Citizens in terms of appointing deputies and regulating the Secretariat and the fact that the Protector of Citizens is elected after a public call issued by the Speaker of the National Assembly for a term of eight years without the possibility of re-election.
The Law was drafted with respect to the Venice Principles on the Protection and Promotion of the Ombudsman Institution as well as on the grounds of proposals and work experience that have emerged throughout previous practice of the Protector of Citizens.