Administrative Redress: Public Bodies and the Citizen

Current project status

  • Initiation: Could include discussing scope and terms of reference with lead Government Department
  • Pre-consultation: Could include approaching interest groups and specialists, producing scoping and issues papers, finalising terms of project
  • Consultation: Likely to include consultation events and paper, making provisional proposals for comment
  • Policy development: Will include analysis of consultation responses. Could include further issues papers and consultation on draft Bill
  • Reported: Usually recommendations for law reform but can be advice to government, scoping report or other recommendations

This project is complete. Following our recommendation, the Government conducted a pilot with two departments. Based on the outcome of the pilots and wider changes to the Government’s approach to reporting through the Simplifying and Streamlining Annual Report and Accounts project, the Government decided not to mandate that departments publish this information in their annual report and accounts.

The purpose of this project was to review the law in relation to redress from public bodies for substandard administrative action. Our key objective in the project was to achieve the correct balance between fairness to aggrieved citizens and appropriate protections to public bodies and the public funds they use.

The project

On 26 May 2010, we published our report Administrative Redress: Public Bodies and the Citizen. This sets out an overview of the responses to our consultation paper and brings to a close the state liability aspects of the Administrative Redress project.

As a result of the consultation responses, we have decided to continue with our work on the public sector ombudsmen.


On 3 July 2008, we published our consultation paper. The paper asked a series of open questions about different aspects of our suggested reforms.

As part of the project we conducted research into the possible operation of the public law scheme outlined in the consultation paper. This drew on applications for judicial review listed before the Administrative Court in 2007. A table of our results is available.

Scoping studies

In October 2004 we published a discussion paper as an initial consideration of the issues. This was followed by a seminar in November 2004, attended by judges, academics, practising lawyers, ombudsmen and Government officials.

Following approval of the project by the Lord Chancellor, in October 2006 we published a scoping paper to define the substantive law reform project.


Documents and downloads

Project details

Area of law

Public law