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 11: The transposition of the ombudsman model to the human rights model domain: its role as a policy entrepreneur

Carlos Alza Barco


In Spain, Portugal and the Latin American Countries, the Ombudsman has shifted from a classical controller of maladministration to the protection of human rights with a broader mandate and new strategies, tools and rhetoric. It has turned into a problem-solver (through the complaints of the people), a system-fixer (applying remedies or demanding them) and has assumed a fundamental role in becoming the main policy entrepreneur, placing unobserved or invisible issues into the public policy and government agenda. It shifted from the spotlight of a particular case to a public policy-oriented analysis, incorporating topics of government and decision-making agenda. The intervention strategy changed remarkably, becoming a major political-technical actor that benefits the people.

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