Research Handbook on the Ombudsman
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Research Handbook on the Ombudsman

Edited by Marc Hertogh and Richard Kirkham

The public sector ombudsman has become one of the most important administrative justice institutions in many countries around the world. This international and interdisciplinary Research Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to discuss the state-of-the-art of ombudsman research. It uses new empirical studies and competing theoretical explanations to critically examine important aspects of the ombudsman’s work. This comprehensive Handbook is of value to academics designing future ombudsman studies and practitioners and policymakers in understanding the future challenges of the ombudsman.
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Chapter 2: The history and evolution of the ombudsman model

Sabine Carl


This chapter commences with an up-to-date overview of ombudsman history and its evolution. Current models and taxonomies are referenced. The rigour of this introductory description originates from uniting the fragmented information provided by preceding sources while removing their self-imposed limitations inherent to their diverse disciplines, backgrounds and choice of examined time periods. This historical overview is enriched with an analysis of the various debates prompted by the on-going evolution of the Ombudsman model. The latter’s proliferation is examined for its quality as a product of cross-fertilization before some of the criticisms that have been raised against the ombudsman throughout the ages are examined. Drawing on the concept of independence, the chapter is rounded off with a discussion of whether the proliferation of the ombudsman led to a healthy rivalry of models or diluted the concept.

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