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Report No. 100

Chapter 3

Litigation Ombudsman-Proposal for

3.1. The background.-

We now turn to certain other aspects of litigation concerning the Government. It is a noticeable feature of the pattern of litigation in the last few years that parties think it proper to approach the higher courts

(i) not only for redress regarding governmental acts which constitute an infringement of legal rights; (ii) but also for redress regarding governmental acts which, while they may or may not amount to infringement of a legal right, constitute instances of "maladministration". Official acts belonging to the latter category lie on the outer confines of "illegality". Some of these acts may not be legal wrongs, and may be found to be bordering rather on "impropriety", outside the region of "illegal acts".

But all such acts, whether they represent wrongs for which legal redress can, be •claimed or whether they represent administrative improprieties for which the courts should not be approached for redress, often find their way to the courts. Official apathy, oppression, unimaginativeness, lethargy or misunderstanding-these and similar factors are responsible for the parties seeking redress in courts. Sometimes, one suspects, the parties venture out and seek relief in courts, even though they may be fully aware that the issue is not a justiciable one. In doing so, their object is more to give vent to their sense of injustice, than to obtain legal relief as such.

Litigation by and against the Government - Some Recommendations for Reform Back

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