The first Constitution of the Republic of Croatia introduced the institution of the Ombudsman into Croatian political and legal system in 1990. It was the first and the oldest mandate which defined the Ombudsman as a commissioner of the Croatian Parliament for protection of human rights of citizens in cases of maladministration. The Office of the Ombudsman was established in 1993.
Citizens have the right to report cases of maladministration to the Ombudsman. Based on the available information and the documentation delivered, the Ombudsman initiates investigation proceedings. In the process of the examination of an individual complaint concerning alleged maladministration, the Ombudsman contacts public administration bodies which are obliged to provide him/her with all necessary information about the case in question. Within the scope of its authorities and on the basis of citizens’ complaints, the Ombudsman issues opinions, suggestions, recommendations or warnings to the relevant public administration bodies and, if necessary, can report on the issues at hand to the Croatian Parliament.
When a public administration body does not provide the Ombudsman or the citizens with the information requested the Ombudsman can notify the Government or the Parliament about the case of administrative silence.
The Ombudsman monitors whether the legislation is aligned with the Constitution and with the international human rights treaties and can notify the Government about the need for legislative change in the field of human rights protection and the rule of law. S/he may indicate to the Parliament the need for an alignment of laws and bylaws with the international standards and the Constitution as well. The Ombudsman is entitled to file a request to initiate the proceedings before the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia for a review of the conformity of laws and other regulations with the Constitution.