Frequently asked questions

Complaints: Do I have to write in Swedish?
No, you may write your complaint in any language.
Complaints: Is there any time limit?
A complaint should not in principle concern circumstances that date more than two years prior to the complaint.
Complaints: Who can complain?
Anyone can complain to the Parliamentary Ombudsmen (JO), you do not need to be a Swedish citizen or even live in Sweden. You do not have to reach a certain age before you can complain. Your complaint does not have to be about something that affects you personally.
Complaints: Who can I complain about?
Government agencies (including courts of law and administrative courts), local government agencies, officials employed by the state or by local government, others who are entrusted to exercise public authority (exercising public authority involves the use of official powers to decide about a benefit, a right, an obligation, disciplinary punishment or some other comparable situation).
Complaints: Who can I not complain about?
Here are some examples: the government or an individual minister, members of the Riksdag, members of local councils or county councils, Parliamentary Ombudsmen, the Chancellor of Justice, state-owned companies and foundations or local government owned companies and foundations (unless the complaint concerns the treatment of a request for a document in the public domain from the company or foundation), newspapers, radio and television companies, banks, insurance companies, lawyers and doctors in private practice.
What do the Parliamentary Ombudsmen do?
The task of the Ombudsmen is to make sure that government and local government agencies and the courts follow Swedish law. They do so by working with complaints that ordinary people send to them. The Ombudsmen also visit different courts and public agencies to check how they work. The Ombudsmen can also decide themselves to take up an issue that seems worth investigating. One of them may have come across something in a newspaper article or television programme that they feel is worth looking into.
Who are the Parliamentary Ombudsmen – JO?
JO is the abbreviation for Justitieombudsman (Ombudsman of Justice). The Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament) elects the Ombudsmen of Justice. Officially these Ombudsmen are therefore called the Parliamentary Ombudsmen. Also the institution itself is called The Parliamentary Ombudsmen or JO. Sweden's constitution has included regulations about the ombudsman since 1809. The Swedish government is not allowed to interfere with the work of the ombudsmen.
Updated 5/7/2014