The Síndic de Greuges de la Comunitat Valenciana (Ombudsman of the Region of Valencia) is one of the few among the institutions of the State Ombudsman or Autonomous Ombudsmen that has some tradition in our legal history. This tradition goes back to the times of the "Jutges de Greuges", who were designated by the Arms of the Valencian Parliament. These judges had to resolve questions raised by private individuals in complaints, provided that the alleged wrong had no other means of redress. Other requirements were that the allegations in the complaint procedure required a remedy that was to the common good and not merely private interests; that the harm had been caused by a public figure in the discharge of his or her duties; that the complaint had not been made with the intention of causing dishonour to the accused, or falsely; and that the object of the complaint was to remedy the harm caused, in benefit of the public interest.
Although it is true, however, that the Judges of Greuges were not a legal figure institutionalised in common law, it is no less true that they arose because of the effective reality of the petitions and claims that were brought before the Cortes for judgement.
In its contemporary version, both the Síndic de Greuges (Ombudsman of the Valencian Region) and the Defensor del Pueblo Estatal (National Ombudsman) have their main source of inspiration at the Scandinavian Ombudsman. This figure was first introduced in Europe at the 1809 Swedish Constitution. Nowadays, within a social and democratic state, as ours, the Ombudsman's mission is no longer to beg for justice to the sovereign, but to require to the executive power the effective enforcement of the law. Therefore, the Ombudsman is just one more gear of the legal machinery at the citizens' service for the custody of the fundamental rights and freedoms.
Nowadays, the State Ombudsman and the Autonomous Ombudsman are a legal reality in both our Constitution and our Statute of Autonomy, demonstrating the clear backing by our political leaders for the respect and daily reaffirmation of the fundamental rights and public liberties of all citizens who reside in State territory or that of the Region of Valencia.