Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Ombudsmen, Tribunals, Inquiries: Re-Fashioning Accountability Beyond the Courts

25 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2012 Last revised: 1 Sep 2012

Mark Elliott

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 22, 2012

Abstract

Courts play a prominent and significant role in holding public bodies to account in the UK, most obviously through the exercise of powers of judicial review. However, the accountability 'system' extends far beyond the courts, encompassing (among other institutions) tribunals, ombudsmen and inquiries into matters of public concern. This chapter argues that accountability is a protean concept, and that the accountability system must therefore exhibit appropriate diversity if accountability in all its relevant senses is to be secured. This raises questions about the balance and relationship between legal and political mechanisms for supplying accountability. It is argued that an increasing tendency to view the legal-judicial model as a paradigm places other accountability institutions at risk of inappropriate judicialisation. That trend, it is contended, must not continue unchecked if the accountability system is to remain suitably diverse.

Keywords: political accountability, legal accountability, political constitutionalism, legal constitutionalism, judicial review, judicial independence, separation of powers administrative law, ombudsmen, tribunals, public inquiries, select committees

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K20, K23, K29, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Elliott, Mark, Ombudsmen, Tribunals, Inquiries: Re-Fashioning Accountability Beyond the Courts (August 22, 2012). University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 21/2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2133879 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2133879

Mark C. Elliott (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

Paper statistics

Downloads
671
Rank
31,244
Abstract Views
1,956