Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Dispute with the Administration: Enter Rights Defender

Verified 03 November 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If you have a dispute with the administration or a public service (State or local authority service), you can refer the matter to the Ombudsman. The dispute must be about a malfunction of the public service or the failure to comply with a favorable judgment. The services of the Defender of Rights try first of all to find a friendly solution to your dispute. They consider your request and investigate it before proposing a solution.

The Defender of Rights (or his/her delegate) may be seized by an individual (irrespective of his/her nationality, age, domicile), an association or a group or a company.

Public service litigation

The Defender of Rights (or his/her delegate) intervenes, upon request, in a dispute between you and the following structures:

  • State administration (prefecture, tax center, ministry, etc.)
  • Organization managing a public service (primary health insurance fund, family allowance fund, etc.)
  • Territorial community (town hall, inter-communal union, regional council, etc.)
  • Hospital

Nature of the dispute

The problem can be one of the following 2:

  • Poor functioning of the public service (slow, error in decision, lack of response, etc.)
  • Failure to execute a judgment favorable to you

Excluded disputes

The Advocate may not intervene in the following disputes:

  • Conflicts over reporting relationships between the administration and its agents
  • Proceedings before a court
  • Challenging a judgment
  • Conflict with a foreign government (but can refer the claim to the relevant foreign interlocutor)
  • Private conflict (family, neighbors, merchants, etc)

Before you refer the matter to the Ombudsman, you must make all necessary representations to the public administration or body concerned. For example, introduce a administrative appeal against the contested decision.

On site

You can make an appointment with a representative of the Defender of Rights.

By mail
Who shall I contact


the action taken by the Defender of Rights shall not interrupt the time-limits for bringing an action legal action..

The services of the Ombudsman are free of charge.

The Advocate first checks that your application falls within his jurisdiction. If not, it will direct you to the people or organizations that can help you.

If the Defender of Rights considers that your request falls within his jurisdiction, he shall conduct an investigation (gathering information enabling him to know the situation in question).

If your request concerns a procedural error, a misunderstanding, a failure of an administration, the Defender of Rights will try to settle amicably conflict.

If the amicable settlement is not possible, the Ombudsman shall make a recommendation to the administration concerned. For example, he may ask him to resolve a person's problem within a certain period of time. The Administration shall keep the Advocate informed of the action taken on his recommendation.

If a professional has committed a fault or discrimination, the Defender of Rights may request disciplinary action or sanction. For example, in the event of a breach of ethics by a security professional.

The Advocate may also make general recommendations (important issues) and propose to the authorities to amend the law.

The Defender of Rights may not challenge a court decision, but may make representations to all courts. It shall act independently and shall not represent any of the parties.