Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies

Ombudsmen and ADR

A Comparative Study of Informal Justice in Europe

Authors: Creutzfeldt, Naomi

  • Draws on an original sample of recent users of ombudsman in Germany and the UK to explore their interaction with the informal justice system
  • Offers a critical European application and interpretation on procedural justice and legal consciousness
  • Explores users’ perceptions of the fairness of procedures and practices, and the significance of these perceptions for trust
  • Appeals also to those learning about ADR (alternative dispute resolution), law in context, and research methods
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eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-78807-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-78806-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

How do ordinary people experience and make sense of the informal justice system?  Drawing on original data with British and German users of Ombudsmen— an important institution of informal justice, Naomi Creutzfeldt offers a nuanced comparative answer to this question. In so doing, she takes current debates on procedural justice and legal consciousness forward. This book explores consciousness around ‘alternatives’ to formal legality and asks how situated assumptions about law and fairness guide people's understandings of the informal justice system. Creutzfeldt shows that the everyday relationship that people have with the informal justice system is shaped by their experiences and expectations of the formal legal system and its agents. This book is an innovative theoretical and empirical statement about the future prospects for informal justice in Europe.

About the authors

Naomi Creutzfeldt is Senior Lecturer in the Law Department at the Univeristy of Westminster, UK. Before then, she worked at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (University of Oxford) for six years. She is currently focusing on my ESRC FRL project ‘trusting the middle-man: impact and legitimacy of ombudsmen’, which she will conclude in September 2016. Her research activities take her across Europe, engaging with ombudsmen, talking at academic conferences and planning knowledge-exchange workshops. Her interests in ombudsmen, as pathways of informal dispute resolution, have a broader scope, addressing questions of access to justice and consumer protection.  Concurrent with my work with the ombudsman community, she has just completed two explorative projects that look at consumers’ use of the Internet to achieve their goals: One project concerns citizens’ online activism (the use of the internet and social media to complain) in collaboration with Chris Gill form Queen Margaret University Edinburgh; the other concerns consumer projection in emerging economies. She is a member of the Law and Society Association (USA), the Socio-Legal Studies Association (UK) and an individual associate member of the Ombudsman Association. She is also a member of the executive committee of the SLSA, and a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. 

Reviews

“Naomi Creutzfeldt breathes new life into ADR scholarship, and in particular into our understanding of the limits, and potential, of the ombud institution. Combining ground-breaking empirical research in the UK and Germany with startling theoretical insight, she cogently demonstrates how our perceptions of what counts as fairness in an ADR context is decisively shaped by national legal culture. Local legal consciousness and socialization are thereby exposed as the determinants of trust, and national conceptions of legality as the conditions of informal justice. This formidable study stands, therefore, as an exemplar of the interdisciplinary approaches and methodological pluralism the author herself advocates if we are to identify new forms of legal consciousness, more trustworthy forms of ADR, and, despite national differences, a genuinely transnational ADR space.” (Dr Nick O’Brien, Hon. Research Fellow, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, UK)

“Dr. Creutzfeldt is the undisputed expert on ombuds practice in Europe.  Her pioneering research combines qualitative and quantitative analysis to provide tremendous insight into the ways in which individuals experience the ombuds system, as well as the broader implications of their experiences.  This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the present and the future of ADR systems.” (Professor Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff, Washington University, St Louis, USA)


“The ADR Directive created a legal guarantee for consumers to access an "informal justice system". The aim is to increase consumer confidence in the market and to contribute to the standardization of the European internal market. This book addresses a shortcoming in the legislative process: it provides empirical data on consumers' knowledge of alternative dispute resolution and their assessment. The country comparison also shows how social, cultural and legal peculiarities affect the willingness to use ADR. The author's carefully designed fieldwork, as well as the lessons learned and conclusions, make a substantial contribution to understanding the importance and necessary development of alternative legal protection — issues that are also relevant in the context of Brexit.” (Prof. Dr. Günter Hirsch, Insurance Ombudsman, former President of the Supreme Court of Germany and former Judge of the European Court of Justice)


“Consumer ADR remains under-researched and especially empirical insights are missing. This leads to the omission of important themes in the discourse. It is thus determined by unrealistic fears rather than actual experiences. Naomi Creutzfeldt sheds some light into the dark with her study. The design of her study is impressive and the amount of responses allows for valuable insights: around 3.500 consumers reported their experiences with 14 different ADR providers.The differentiated results are of great value for practitioners for two reasons. First, they offer important feedback for the improvement of procedures and second, they offer convincing arguments for consumer ADR and its acceptance. Creutzfeldt’s study provides a new quality of discussion to be had about consumer ADR and is highly recommended for both practice and academia!” (Dr Christof Berlin, Head of Aviation, Conciliation Body for Public Transport)


“In this timely, comprehensive and accessible book, Dr. Creutzfeldt explores the wants, needs and assessments of the users of Ombudsman services in Germany and UK. Yet she does much more than this. By drawing out the links - and tensions - between two major bodies of theory and research, procedural justice theory and the concept of legal socialization, she shows how the seemingly universal concern for fair process among the users of legal services is mediated and moderated by first, a strong concern with outcomes, and second the legal culture within which people are socialized and which shapes their understandings of the processes and procedures used by legal actors. This book should be of interest to scholars as well as practitioners across the whole range of public and private bodies.” (Ben Bradford, Professor of Global City Policing, UCL Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science)


“Naomi Creutzfeldt is a fine scholar whose research has relevance and resonance across the academic/practitioner divide. Her pioneering work on public attitudes to public trust in a range of ombudsman services is characterized by rigour, accessibility of style, and strong comparative analysis. It is rare for scholarly work to be enthusiastically debated in ombudsman circles, but Creutzfeldt's writing constitutes an important set of considerations for the ombudsman and administrative justice communities.” (Rob Behrens, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman)


“This book is a bold and methodologically innovative exploration of how different legal cultures inculcate different procedural expectations of ADR. It is a profound success that will challenge us for years to come to marry ADR design to local context. 'Ombudsmen and ADR' represents a big step forward in ADR scholarship. Its true power is in its novel integration of different theoretical and methodological approaches to a fresh subject matter – European ADR. Thought provoking and challenging, 'Ombudsmen and ADR' has just raised the bar in ADR scholarship.” (Dr Richard Kirkham, Senior Lecturer in Public Law School of Law University of Sheffield)


Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • Ombudsmen and Informal Justice

    Creutzfeldt, Naomi

    Pages 1-8

  • Europe’s Justice Systems

    Creutzfeldt, Naomi

    Pages 11-27

  • Models of Ombudsmen

    Creutzfeldt, Naomi

    Pages 29-52

  • Procedural Justice and Legal Consciousness: Questions of Theory and Method

    Creutzfeldt, Naomi

    Pages 53-70

  • Expectations and Perceptions of Ombudsmen in a Cross-National Comparison

    Creutzfeldt, Naomi

    Pages 73-93

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-78807-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-78806-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Ombudsmen and ADR
Book Subtitle
A Comparative Study of Informal Justice in Europe
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-78807-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-78807-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-78806-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 192
Number of Illustrations and Tables
3 b/w illustrations
Topics