The Ombudsman and ‘Wrong’ Decisions
Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper Series, Keith Paper No. 16/2018.
34 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2013 Last revised: 5 Apr 2018
Date Written: 1971
This article focuses on one element of the Ombudsman’s work: his review of the merits of administrative decisions. The author considers this power under five headings. First, under ‘Matters of Administration and Policy’, the author asks what limit, if any, is imposed by the reference to a matter of administration, and whether it follows that questions of policy lie outside the Ombudsman’s concern. Secondly, and overlapping with the first, is a consideration of the Ombudsman’s power to review rules which guide the exercise of a discretion. Thirdly, the author discusses the process of reviewing factual findings, the application of the rule to the facts, and the exercise of discretion. The fourth section considers professional matters, particularly whether it is possible to construct a general proposition that the Ombudsman should not, rather than could not, intervene in the substance of professional matters. Finally, the author examines the power of the Ombudsman to intervene where an alternative remedy is provided for.
Keywords: Ombudsman, powers of review, Ombudsman powers, merits of decisions, scope of powers.
JEL Classification: K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation