Complaints Procedure

If the conditions for further proceedings have been fulfilled, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality shall send the received complaint to the defendant  within 15 days from the submission of the complaint.

The Commissioner determines the facts by reviewing all the evidence that is relevant for the procedure and decision-making and by taking a statement from the complainant, the person against whom the complaint was filed, as well as other persons (e.g. witnesses).

The Commissioner will not act further on the complaint, if the person against whom the complaint was filed has removed the consequences of the action that was the reason for filing the complaint, and the complainant agrees that the consequences have been removed. Such consent shall be given by the complainant not later than 15 days from the day of receipt of the Commissioner’s letter. The Commissioner has the legal deadline of 90 days to give her decision upon a complaint. In order to establish the facts, the Commissioner may take statements from other persons (e.g. witnesses).

The Commissioner may suggest the reconciliation procedure, if the legal conditions to do so are met.

The Commissioner, during the procedure until the opinion is issued, may propose the implementation of the negotiation procedure in order to reach an agreement, in accordance with the law governing the mediation procedure in resolving disputes. This procedure is free of charge for the complainant before the Commissioner.

The Commissioner gives her opinion about whether the act of discrimination did occur or not. If the Commissioner concludes that the act of discrimination did occur, her opinion will include a recommendation on the manners to rectify the violation of rights.

If the discriminator fails to act in line with the recommendation received (and the discriminator is obliged to inform the Commissioner about the measures undertaken in line with the recommendation), the Commissioner shall issue a warning, and give him or her a new deadline. However, if the discriminator does not act upon the warning, the Commissioner may notify the public that the discriminator has failed to meet the recommendation and the warning, and that he or she failed to rectify the violation of rights.

The Commissioner is not authorized to punish the discriminators if they fail to meet the recommendations, but she can convince them to do so by the authority of the institution she represents, by the strength of her arguments, and by the use of public pressure.


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