The 40th anniversary of Ombudsman celebrated by Portugal Post

August 16th, 2015 got to know that Portugal Post issued a postage stamp to celebrate 40 years of Portuguese Ombudsman, the state body at the service of democracy, the Rule of law and fundamental rights. The stamp features the artistic view of the office of Ombudsman and the citizens of the country. The issue was released and put into circulation on the 15th of July.

The Ombudsman was created in Portugal in the year of 1975, more specifically on 21st April. This State body whose legitimacy is substantiated in a pre-constitutional legal-political system which gained further grounds in the Constitution of 1976, has anchored its democratic legitimacy in its election by the Portuguese Parliament, with the Law and Constitution establishing the Ombudsman as an independent, single-member, irremovable and impartial body.

The Ombudsman defends the fundamental rights, freedoms and guarantees of the Citizens and seeks to solve their problems in a manner that is swift, free of charge and informal. This body assures the justice and legality of the exercise of public powers, appraises complaints and issues the competent bodies with the necessary recommendations to prevent and repair injustices and illegalities.

It seeks the specific justice that is sometimes not possible to achieve within the formal system, but which is accomplished through informal means and the exercise of influence, persuasion and, ultimately, recommendation by this State body. The Ombudsman also represents a National Institution of Human Rights.

The scope of intervention of this State body primarily occurs among the Public Administration services in the defence of citizens' rights, especially the defence of environmental, urban and cultural rights, the rights of taxpayers, consumers and economic agents, social rights, the rights of workers, the right to justice and security and rights, freedoms and guarantees; health, education and constitutional values. The Ombudsman may also conduct inspections and visits to these services.

In Portugal democratic system, the Ombudsman, therefore, represents a constitutional body which guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms and defends Human Rights, also serving Justice and the Law, and through its action strengthening our democratic culture and the dignity of human beings.

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