The Ombudsman can:

1. Investigate a potential violation of your human rights

At the end of the investigation, the Ombudsman will issue an opinion on whether there has been a violation of your rights or not. Please note that the Ombudsman cannot change or amend the decisions of courts or state institutions.

The opinion of the Ombudsman is not binding on state institutions, but they can take it into account when deciding on your compensation claim. For example, if the Ombudsman has issued an opinion that your human rights have been violated, you can claim compensation for such a violation. The Ombudsman's opinion can help you defend your claim in the court or institution examining your claim.

2. Help to prevent future violations of a similar kind against you or other persons
If the Ombudsman’s investigation reveals a problem in a law or the practice of state institutions, he can propose changes to them to prevent future violations.

3. Help you to understand your human rights and explain how better to defend them

If you are not sure if your human rights have been violated or whether the Ombudsman can investigate your case, you can email ( or call (+371 67686768) the Ombudsman's office before you make an application. The Ombudsman can help you with various human rights related questions, but keep in mind that he cannot act as your lawyer, give unlimited free legal aid or represent you in court.

The Ombudsman cannot:

The Ombudsman can only fulfil those tasks which are outlined under the Ombudsman’s Law. Therefore, he cannot:

  • revoke or change decisions of courts or state institutions
  • examine the evidence in court cases
  • punish state officials or private individuals
  • give you compensation for a violation of your human rights
  • provide legal advice not related to your human rights
  • write applications to courts or state institutions or write other legal documents for you
  • represent you in the European Court of Human Rights or other international body

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education