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 4: The private sector ombudsman

Christopher Hodges


Hodges describes the remarkably fast spread of ombudsmen dealing with consumer-trader disputes, which has taken place in Europe. He identifies them as operating at the intersection of three worlds: consumer dispute resolution; market regulation and consumerism; and information technology. He describes recent EU regulation of consumer market ADR entities, especially requirements of transparency and governance, and also their highly efficient procedures in responding to any and all consumer complaints received. He notes issues of funding, criticisms of the model, and the status of research, before suggesting how this model will evolve in future, and the lessons that it bears for the more established public ombudsman model.

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