Uninterrupted term of office until a new head of the Ombudsman institution is elected – the IOI’s stance
The Commissioner for Human Rights received a letter from the International Ombudsman Institute.
The International Ombudsman has been informed that a case of abstract constitutional control concerning the constitutionality of Article 3 para 6 of the Act on the Commissioner for Human Rights of Poland is pending before the Polish Constitutional Court. The issues which are the subject of the case, concerning the term of office of the Ombudsman and the transition period before the appointment of a new officeholder, are of great importance to the IOI. One of the key objectives of the IOI is to ensure that OI are able to fulfil their mandate without interruption and to perform their functions in the most effective way.
Having done a thorough research, the IOI concludes that the existing provision regulating the transitional period of the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights (Art. 3 para 6 of the Act on the Commissioner for Human Rights) is in line with international principles and also common among many other European jurisdictions.
The IOI would like to stress that it is indispensable for the effective functioning of an Ombudsman institution, in order to allow citizens to receive proper service, to have an uninterrupted term of office until a new head of the Ombudsman institution is elected.
The IOI reiterates its support for the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights. A strong, effective and independent Ombudsman Institution, in compliance with the Venice Principles, is a key element for the promotion and protection of human rights in Poland, Europe and beyond.