Posts in "Ombudsman" category
According to a press release that came out today, the European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has invited citizens, interest groups, and other organizations to submit comments on a draft statement of principles that should guide the conduct of EU civil servants. The draft “public service principles” take account of best practice in the Member States, established through a consultation with the European Network of Ombudsmen. Comments can be submitted until 15 May 2011 and will be considered before the principles are finalized.
There has been a lot of coverage in the press and the blogosphere of President Obama’s appointment of Professor Elizabeth Warren as special adviser to the White House to oversee the development of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (for one example of the many articles on this appointment, see this piece published in the New York Times).
One of the difficult administrative law questions facing most legal systems today is the tradeoff between independence and accountability. Last Monday, June 28, the US Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in the case of Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board that highlights this tension.
The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, gave a talk on the role of Ombudsmen in promoting and protecting human rights. This was part of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Symposium on “Strengthening the fundamental rights architecture in the EU” that took place on May 7, 2010.
The Supreme Court heard oral argument on Monday in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (08-861), an important separation of powers case.
In an op-ed published in the Washington Post of September 13, 2009 (available here, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) argues that the deployment of a great number of White House “czars” “sets a dangerous precedent that undermines the Constitution’s guarantee of separated powers.” The White House czars are presidential assistants charged with responsibility for given policy areas. Sen. Hutchison’s argument is that these officials hold unknown levels of power over broad swaths of policy; therefore, President Obama should submit each of his policy czars to the Senate so that the latter can review their qualifications, roles and the limits on their authority.