Marko M. Lazarević
THE ROLE OF THE OMBUDSMAN IN STRENGTHENING HORIZONTAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM OF SERBIA
The author in this paper starts from the paradigm that in most of young democracies, especially in the postcommunist part of Europe, there is a pronounced domination of the executive authority in relations with the legislative and judicial branch of government, which jeopardizes the chances for a successful democratic development. In such a distribution of political power there is a deficit of horizontal accountability, and searching for new institutions that will solve this systemic problem has led to development of new forms of controlling the work of public authorities, with the help of independent bodies, such as the Ombudsman. By analyzing the role of the Ombudsman in the process of strengthening horizontal accountability in the political system of Serbia, mutual relations realized in practice between the Ombudsman and public authorities are determined more closely. Based on empirical data and individual cases that this independent control body has led, the author points out the importance of this independent control body in the process of democratization of the political system in Serbia. The aim of the paper is to draw conclusions based on theoretical observation and empirical analysis of individual cases that the Protector of Citizens has led in the past period. These conclusions in the form of recommendations would further improve the work of the Protector of Citizens, thereby encouraging strengthening horizontal accountability within the political system, which would implicitly lead to better democratization of the political system in Serbia.