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Encyclopedia of Law & Society: American and Global Perspectives

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Encyclopedia of Law & Society: American and Global Perspectives

David S. Clark

Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637 | Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.

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Ombudsperson

Christine Rothmayr

The term ombudsperson (usually seen as ombudsman ) is applied to a variety of complaint-handling and dispute-resolution mechanisms, dealing with a range of issues from human and civil rights matters to conflicts in the workplace. The classical form is the parliamentary ombudsperson. The parliamentary ombudsperson is elected by parliament to investigate complaints against public authorities on behalf of the citizens or on their own initiative. If the complaint is justified, the ombudsperson recommends the proper measures for redressing the wrong. The ombudsperson's recommendations can go beyond the specifics of a particular case and address the general working procedures and practices in place. The institution of the parliamentary ombudsperson enhances the accountability and transparency of a state's administration. The institution provides for vertical and horizontal accountability of the public administration: vertical control through complaints filed by citizens, and horizontal control through reporting to parliament. In some countries, members of parliament, in ...

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