The Greek Ombudsman: 15th anniversary - Conference minutes (12-13 November 2013)

The Greek Ombudsman: 15th anniversary - Conference minutes (12-13 November 2013)

 

In 2013, the Greek Ombudsman completed its first 15 years of operation.

This anniversary was an occasion for rethinking in depth the Ombudsman’s institutional role rather than for a mere celebration, given that the Independent Authority is required to safeguard and enhance the rule of law in a period of profound economic and social crisis.

The questions posed in the two-day conference reveal the axes of this introspection.

What is the Ombudsman’s role in a rule of law state? What position does it hold in the constitutional system of checks and balances in a modern democracy, given that the balance of this system is tested in times of crisis? What is its relation to the executive power and the constant mistrust of the latter towards the independent authorities? The non-binding mediation in citizens’ disputes with the state is yet another bureaucratic procedure? Or is it a method able to breach bureaucracy and to contribute in major administrative reforms? How fresh is the Ombudsman’s input in the 15 years of its operation in Greece or in the operation of the institution worldwide, compared with the role of the Courts in safeguarding rights, the rule of law and social welfare? And finally, how effective is the debate for rights and against discrimination in the present times?

This publication, made with the support of the Council of Europe, reflects the views of the conference participants on these questions.

 

The conference minutes have been published by Papazissis Publications

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