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JCHR examines case for establishing human rights ombudsperson

27 June 2022

The Joint Committee on Human Rights holds the opening session of a new inquiry examining the case for a human rights ombudsperson to be established for the UK when it takes evidence from witnesses including the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Ombudspersons handle complaints made by against public authorities. They often have power to investigate, recommend corrective action and issue a report where they find there has been maladministration. They can provide redress for an individual case, identify systemic issues and provide feedback to improve services. The UK currently has ombudspersons covering a range of responsibilities including the NHS, housing, social care and financial services.

In this opening session, the Committee will examine how a human rights ombudsperson could fit within the existing ombuds structure and how it could improve the protection of rights in the UK. It will look at what powers they could have and also the potential advantages and disadvantages of establishing such a position.


Wednesday 29 June, 3pm.

Panel one

  • Rob Behrens, Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman
  • Evan Lerwill, Assistant Ombudsman, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
  • Melanie Field, Chief Strategy and Policy Officer, Equality and Human Rights Commission

Panel two

  • Professor Robert Thomas, Professor of Public Law, University of Manchester
  • Dr Richard Kirkham, Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright