Edited by Marc Hertogh and Richard Kirkham
Chapter 10: Ombudspersons in developing countries: the case of Indonesia
This chapter provides an overview of how in about 15 years the Indonesian Ombudsman has developed from an unknown commission into a respected national state body with representative offices in all provinces. Established in 2000, the Indonesian Ombudsman is one of the most successful institutions introduced after the transition from Suharto’s authoritarian rule to a democracy. Although it is still frequently portrayed as a ‘toothless tiger’ and has a limited scope of operation, the Ombudsman has attracted an increasing number of complainants and provided many of them with relief. To this end the institution uses a broad array of techniques, which it can adapt to the complaint at hand. On the basis of the case of Indonesia this chapter proposes a set of ideas about the functioning of ombudspersons in developing countries where democracy is problematic, prosperity limited, wealth unevenly divided, and the rule of law weak.
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