National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) have become hallmarks of good governance and democracy. Although many countries have an NHRI, it remains unclear how they operate on the regional level in political systems where democracy malfunctions and human rights are under pressure. Drawing on interviews, this essay examines how Russian nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) established a shadow Ombudsman—the Human Rights Council (HRC)—to protest against the appointment of an Ombudsman in St Petersburg and put pressure on authorities to inaugurate a new and independent Ombudsman. Although we would expect relations between the Ombudsman and NGOs to deteriorate when civil society is under pressure, this essay finds that political repression and the persona of the current Ombudsman, Alexander Shishlov, have brought civil society and the Ombudsman closer together.
- 517 Valtio-oppi, hallintotiede
- 513 Oikeustiede