Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria

The Ombudsman is the body protecting the rights of all citizens, including the rights of children, persons with disabilities, minorities, foreigners etc. The Ombudsman enjoys a broad scope of powers concerning all citizens’ rights – political, economic, civil, social, and cultural.

Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria
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The Ombudsman intervenes in cases where acts or omissions of state and municipal bodies and public services providers violate citizens’ rights and freedoms. In his activity the Ombudsman is guided by the following basic principles:

  • impartiality and independence;
  • rule of law and justice;
  • discretion as to the conformity with good governance requirements.

The Ombudsman:

  • Receives and reviews complaints concerning the violation of rights and freedoms by the state and municipal bodies and their administrations, as well as by public services providers;
  • Performs inquiries on the basis of the received complaints;
  • Responds to tipoffs and complaints, in writing, in one-month term or three-month term where the case requires more detailed inspection;
  • Makes recommendations to the respective bodies and their administrations regarding the restoration of violated rights and freedoms;
  • Acts as an intermediary between the administrative bodies and the persons affected, to overcome the violations and reconcile their positions;
  • Makes suggestions and recommendations for eliminating the violations of rights and freedoms;
  • May approach the Constitutional Court with a request for establishing the unconstitutionality of a particular law violating citizens’ rights (Article 150, para 3 of the Constitution);
  • Forwards requests to the Supreme Administrative Court and the Supreme Court of Cassation to adopt interpretative decisions or interpretative rulings in case of contradictory or incorrect court practice (Article 125 of the Judicial System Act);
  • Notifies the prosecution bodies in the case of data received about crimes that can be subject to prosecution.
Mandate(s)
  • Ombuds
  • National Preventive Mechanism under OPCAT Art. 3 (NPM)
Core functions
  • Monitoring
  • Publishing research, recommendations, opinions
  • Reporting to international and regional human rights mechanisms
  • Complaints handling
  • Legal assistance (but not free legal aid)
  • Advising government, parliament and other public bodies
  • Supporting the work of human rights defenders
  • Cooperation with civil society organisations
  • Awareness raising activities