The UK Public Sector Ombudsmen: a doctoral and socio-legal analysis on the possibility of transplanting an ombudsman into Saudi Arabia inspired by the UK model

Alnefaie, Budur Dhaifallah (2022) The UK Public Sector Ombudsmen: a doctoral and socio-legal analysis on the possibility of transplanting an ombudsman into Saudi Arabia inspired by the UK model. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This doctoral thesis analyses the operation of the public sector ombudsman schemes in the UK, with a particular emphasis on three ombudsmen: the PHSO, LGSCO and SPSO. The primary objective of this thesis is to examine the rationality of the idea of transplanting into Saudi Arabia an ombudsman that is mainly modelled on the UK schemes. Based on this aim, the work of the UK ombudsmen has been analysed from three perspectives: normative, legal and descriptive. The research method adopted in this thesis involves doctrinal and sociolegal methods, along with a comparative approach.

The UK ombudsmen have been adopted as a mechanism that provides citizens with an accessible route to justice and helps to improve the quality of public administration’s practices. The theoretical analysis conducted in this thesis indicates that the ombudsman has the necessary powers and the ability to achieve the goals of administrative justice. However, in practice, there is no full knowledge of the extent of ombudsmen’ outputs and contributions in achieving the goals of administrative justice. The lack of detailed evidence, as well as the changes and developments that have occurred in the ombudsman enterprise itself, and in public administration and public policy in general, make it difficult or even impossible to track the full contribution of the UK’s public sector ombudsmen to administrative justice.

In Saudi Arabia, the redress mechanisms in the public sector are only concerned with the legality of administrative decisions and actions. Therefore, there is an absence of an institution that handlesindividuals’ complaints against unfair decisions made by government organisations. Another issue in Saudi Arabia is that public administration suffers from several administrative deficiencies that can be considered as manifestations of maladministration. Therefore, the contribution of the thesis is to propose a way of addressing the problems existing in Saudi Arabia’s judicial and administrative systems. Transplanting an ombudsman to Saudi Arabia seems a rational solution to fill these gaps. Hence, this thesis constructs a proposal for a Saudi Arabian ombudsman that is mainly patterned on the UK ombudsmen, with a number of appropriate adjustments to suit the legal system in Saudi Arabia. However, to ensure the success of this institutional transplant, there should be a plan to change the social and administrative cultures in Saudi Arabia, as they are more likely to resist the introduction of the ombudsman and limit its effectiveness. Another key factor for the success of an ombudsman in Saudi Arabia is the availability of the Council of Ministers’ support.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Mullen, Professor Tom and Gill, Dr. Chris
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-82657
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2022 16:46
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 16:54
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82657

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