Ombudsman of Portugal

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The function of "Provedor de justiça" - which means "the one who demands justice" - has been created in Portugal in 1975. It is a function similar to those of Ombudsman. He is a member of the Iberoamerican Federation of Ombudsman.


[edit] Under the Monarchy

Before being connected to the judicial system, the title of "provedor" arose in the beginning of the fifteenth century linked to "Santa Casa da Misericordia", a charitable institution founded in 1498 by Queen D. Leonor to help widows, orphans and homeless of Lisbon.

The term "Provedor" was chosen because he was and is actually still responsible for receiving the providences necessary for the needs of the work in view to take care of the needy people in the sense to repair social injustice.

Under the monarchy, the Provedor was appointed by the king or queen. Since the Republic advent, he was appointed by the government to manage those institutions that today constitute the largest social solidarity organization of the country.

[edit] Under the Republic

In 1971, José Magalhães Godinho, who will become Provedor de Justiça five years later, defended the idea of creating a national council of defense of rights that was based on the principle of the ombudsmen.

According to the annual report of 2006, the Provedor received 6377 complaints lodged by 8227 complainants, that represents an increase of 11% compared to 2005.

According to this same report, 11.8% of the complaints were related to social security services, 10.7% referred to problems related to nationality, 10.4% regarding employment within public services, 7.8% with the tax departments, 7.3% with the judiciary and 6.9% of the complaints were related to problems of consumers.

Nearly 94% of the complainants are individuals residing mainly in Lisbon and its suburbs (2012 complaints), followed by Porto (827), Setúbal (403), Santarém (296), Braga (269) and Aveiro (245).

See a sheet about the Provedor de Justiça (in Portuguese)

[edit] Provedor de Justiça

  • Manuel Brás da Costa: 1975 - 1976
  • José Maria Barbosa de Magalhães Godinho: 1976 - 1981
  • Eudoro Pamplona Corte-Real: 1981 - 1985
  • Ângelo Vidal de Almeida Ribeiro: 1985 - 1990
  • Mário Raposo Ferreira Bastos: 1990 - 1991
  • José Manuel Menéres Sampaio Pimentel: 1992 - 2000
  • Alberto Henrique Freitas do Nascimento Rodrigues: 2000 - Present

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