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Administrative Redress: Public Bodies and the Citizen

In its report, Administrative Redress: Public Bodies and the Citizen, published today, the Law Commission sets out conclusions from its review of administrative redress in public and private law.

The aim of the Commission’s review was to consider when and how individuals should be able to obtain redress against public bodies that have acted in a substandard way. The report discusses individuals’ access to remedies through the courts, as well as through avenues outside the court system, such as the public sector ombudsmen.

In examining court-based remedies, the Commission concludes that there are good arguments for reform but, given the level of opposition to its earlier proposals and the absence of available data on the costs of compensation paid by public bodies, work will not be taken forward on reviewing this area of the law. The report does, however, recommend that government should establish a process for collecting and publishing information on the cost of public compensation.

The Commission is taking forward its review of the public sector ombudsmen, following a favourable response to its proposals. The scope of the review will be extended and include suggestions for:  

  • improving citizens’ access to the public sector ombudsmen, and
  • increasing the powers of ombudsmen to refer points of law to the courts.
  • The Commission will consult on its proposals for reform of public sector ombudsmen later in 2010 and expects to make final recommendations to government the following year.
  • The Commission’s project to review administrative redress originated from its Ninth Programme of Law Reform. The Commission will be consulting on the content for its Eleventh Programme in the summer of 2010.

For more information, visit the Law Commission website www.lawcom.gov.uk

Notes for Editors

The Law Commission is a non-political independent body, set up by Parliament in 1965 to keep all the law of England and Wales under review, and to recommend reform where it is needed.

For more details on this project, visit: www.lawcom.gov.uk/remedies.htm  

For all press queries please contact:

Phil Hodgson, Head of Communications 020 3334 0230

Dan Leighton 020 3334 0231

Terry Cronin 020 3334 0255

Email: communications@lawcommission.gsi.gov.uk  



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