Section 2 of Chapter 4

People Defender’s Office Icon

Article 280

The People Defender’s Office promotes, defends and oversees the rights and guarantees established under this Constitution and international treaties on human rights, in addition to defending the legitimate, collective and diffuse interest of the citizens.

The People Defender’s Office shall act under the direction and responsibility of the People Defender, who shall be designated to serve for a single seven-year term. The People Defender must be a Venezuelan national over the age of 30 years, with manifest and proven competence in the field of human rights, and must meet with such requirements as to honesty, ethics and morality as may be established by law. If the People Defender is temporarily or permanently unavailable to serve, the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with applicable provisions of law. Article 281 The following are functions of the People Defender:

  1. To see that the human rights provided for in this Constitution and in the international treaties, agreements and conventions on human rights ratified by the Republic are effectively respected and guaranteed, investigating either on his own initiative or at the request of any denunciation of which he or she becomes aware.
  2. To see to the proper functioning of public services; protect and defend the legitimate, collective and diffuse rights and interests of persons against arbitrary acts, abuse of authority and errors committed in the providing of such public services, filing when appropriate, any actions to demand that the State compensate parties subject to its administrative actions for any damages that may have been caused them in connection with the functioning of such public services. Protection from unjustified restraint
  3. To file unconstitutionality actions, summary constitutional remedies, habeas corpus, habeas data and any other actions or motions necessary in order to Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) 1999 (rev. 2009) Page 59constituteproject.org PDF generated: 27 Apr 2022, 10:50
  4. exercise the powers indicated above, where proper in accordance with law.
  5. To urge the General Prosecutor of the Republic to pursue any appropriate actions or motions against public Officials responsible for violations of or encroachment upon human rights.
  6. To ask the Republican Ethic Council to take the appropriate measures with regard to public officials responsible for violations of or encroachment upon human rights.
  7. To ask the competent authority to apply appropriate corrective and punitive measures in cases involving violations of the rights of consumers and users, in accordance with law.
  8. To submit to legislative organs at the municipal, state or national levels, bills or other initiatives for the progressive protection of human rights.
  9. To protect the rights of native peoples and take such action as may be necessary to guarantee and protect such rights effectively.
  10. To visit and inspect the dependencies and establishments of State agencies, to prevent or protect human rights.
  11. To place before the appropriate organs recommendations and observations as necessary in the interest of providing optimum protection for human rights, to which end shall develop mechanisms for remaining in constant communication with national and international public and private organs for the protection and defense of human rights.
  12. To promote and implement policies for the expansion and effective protection of human rights.
  13. Such other functions as may be established by the Constitution and by law. Article 282 The People Defender shall enjoy immunity in the exercise of his functions, and therefore shall not be subject to pursuit, arrest or prosecution for acts relating to the performance of his official functions. In any such case, exclusive competence shall be vested in the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.

Article 283

Matters relating to the organization and functioning of the People Defender’s Office at the municipal, state, national, and special levels shall be determined by law. The activities of this Office shall be governed by the principles of gratuitous service, accessibility, dispatch, freedom from formalities, and proceeding on own initiative.

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