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The ombudsman: Maladministration and alternative dispute resolution

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  • The authors seek to highlight the office of the ombudsman, which represents a potentially powerful form of alternative dispute resolution. They first examine the \"classic\" ombudsman. This ombudsman is basically a neutral party who decides which side is justified in a dispute. They examine how Canadian ombudsman legislation ensures that many of the ombudsman's most important aspects are protected, such as impartiality and immunity from prosecution. They next examine the boundaries of the ombudsman's jurisdiction which, for the classic ombudsman, encompass only the administrative actions of government. The procedures common to most classic ombudsman offices are also outlined Next, some challenges to the classic ombudsman are canvassed, such as the privatization of government services. They favour a continuing role for the ombudsman in regulating privately-delivered \"public\" services. Next, the article looks at different forms of the ombudsman, as adapted around the world. They provide an organizational scheme for these adaptations. Each model is analyzed, and its strengths and weaknesses assessed The article concludes by stating the similarities found in all ombudsman models and which make the office an important form of ADR. | Les auteurs mettent en vedette la fonction d'ombudsman, qui reprisente une solution de rechangeparticuli rementprometteuse au riglement des conflits. Ils examinent d'abord l'ombudsman aclassique)), partie essentiellement neutre chargie de decider qui a raison. Ils examinent comment la ligislation canadienne assure la protection des aspects les plus importants de cette fonction - ceux d'impartialiti et d'immunitd, notamment. Is examinent ensuite le champ de competence de l'ombudsman qui se limite, dans le cas de l'ombudsman classique, aux actions administratives du gouvernement. Les procidures communes 6 la plupart des ombudsmans classiques sont 6galement ddcrites. Puis, certaines initiatives qui interpellent la fonction d'ombudsman classique sont inventoriies - la privatisation des services publics, notamment. Les auteurs souhaitent que I'ombudsman continue 6 surveiller les services ??publics)) dispensgs par le secteur privg. Les auteurs examinent ensuite diffdrents types d'ombudsman ailleurs dans le monde, d'aprs un cadre organisationnel ilaboris par leurs soins. Chaque modile est analysi et ivalu6 en fonction de ses points forts et ses faiblesses. En conclusion, l'article prdsente les 0l6ments communs 6i tous les ombudsmans, qui offrent une forme importante de rdglement de diffdrents sans recours aux tribunaux.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 1995 Mary A. Marshall et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Marshall, M.A., & Reif, L.C. (1995). The ombudsman: Maladministration and alternative dispute resolution. Alberta Law Review, 34(1), 215-239. Retrieved from
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