The Position of Local Ombudspersons Institutions in Serbian Towns and Municipalities event bringing together professionals and scholars was held on 25 February 2022. It dealt with the local ombudsman institution (the former local citizens’ protector) introduced into the Serbian legal system two decades ago.
The event was held in a hybrid format (on-site and online), providing for the opportunity to bring together a huge number of colleagues, primarily local ombudspersons, and openly discuss the most important issues and challenges pertaining to functioning of this significant local-level institution with the colleagues from the academia.
The organizers and moderators of the event were Prof. Bogoljub Milosavljević, SJD and Prof. Jelena Jerinić, SJD and the speakers were the following:
- Nebojša Šarkić, SJD, the UUSL Dean;
- Nikola Tarbuk, General Secretary of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SKGO),
- Mijodrag Radojević, PhD, Research Assistant with the Political Studies Institute,
- Miloš Janković, a solo legal practitioner and former Deputy Serbian Ombudsman;
- Prof. Petar Teofilović, SJD, a teacher with Dr Lazar Vrkatić Legal and Business School and a former Provincial Ombudsman of the AP of Vojvodina;
- Marina Popov Ivetić, Local Ombudswoman of the City of Novi Sad;
- Miljko Valjarević, Ombudsman of the City of Belgrade;
- Miladin Nešić, Local Ombudsman of the City of Bačka Topola Municipality and the President of the Serbian Ombudspersons’ Association;
- Ankica Dragin, MA from UUSL;
- Prof. Dejan Milenković, PhD from the Faculty of Political Science;
- Prof. Vladimir Crnjanski, SJD from UUSL;
- Jelena Stojković Sokolović, Local Ombudswoman of the Town of Pančevo.
Some of the issues analyzed during the event were the following: the position of local ombudspersons’ institutions and their significance for human rights protection at the local level, their relationship with the local administration and other executive authorities, characteristics of the local ombudspersons’ institutions’ proceedings, their recommendations and effects thereof on the local administration practice, the role of local ombudspersons in advancement of the good governance principle with the local administration, etc.
The participants have unanimously agreed that it is necessary to strengthen the position of local ombudspersons in the law, be it by adopting a separate law on local ombudspersons, or by further specification and amendments to the Serbian Local Administration Law.
UUSL is especially glad that the event has actively engaged colleagues from the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities and the Serbian Ombudspersons’ Association.
The outcome of this event, as well as previous collaboration, UUSL and SKGO have published a compilation of papers presented, available also in the electronic format.