The Office of the Ombudsman of Academic Rights’ legal nature
The Office of the Ombudsman for Academic Rights is the organ established by the Academic Council to safeguard the rights contained in the University’s Legislation in favor of students and academic personnel in the UNAM.
The Office of the Ombudsman for Academic Rights serves as an ombudsman because it intervenes to reach solutions to problems raised by students and academic personnel, when these situations are found within its jurisdiction.
The Office of the Ombudsman for Academic Rights doesn’t judge nor issue sentences, but, as any ombudsman would, it emits recommendations directed to authorities when a right established in favor of academic personnel has been violated.
The recommendations made by the Office of the Ombudsman for Academic Rights are not compulsory, however, when an authority accepts them, they acquire obligatory nature, and failure to fulfill generates academic responsibility. Also, when the authority does not admit or accept a recommendation, it must exhaustively point out the reasons for which it is rejected alongside pointing out the legal basis of such act.
The term ombudsman is a Swedish word that means: representative, agent or authority. It is also the name that is given to the institution that in the Iberoamerican context we know with the generic name of “defensoría”. This institution has suffered transformations and adaptations according to the historical context and the valid ideas and influences at the time which are incorporated into a certain legal order.
Its historical roots go back to the 18th and 19th centuries in Sweden, through the creation of the Högste Ombudsmannen in 1713, this was created by way of a decision made by King Charles II of Sweden as a representative of his interests. Later, in 1719, this official would acquire the name Jistitekanslern (JK), the name it keeps until now in such nation. He has the essential function of acting as a control organ for the administration, acting from a legal point of view; representing the king, who originally designated him, and later he would be designated by a body called the Four States.
In the Iberoamerican field, the ombudsman’s evolution translated into the creation of the Defensor del Pueblo, institution implemented in Spain in 1978, after changing to an open regime.
The Spanish ombudsman model inspired the creation of the Office of the Ombudsman for Academic Rights in the UNAM. The Academic Council approved the Statute of such defense organ, during the session held on May 29th, 1985. Its Rules of Procedure would be approved on July 30th, 1986.
The creation of this Office, marked the academic ombdusman’s birth in the Latin-American sphere which is an immediate precedent of human rights commissions at national level and in each Federal Entity in our country.
Defensores de los Derechos Universitarios