The Ombudsman Act 1980: redressing administrative grievances in Bangladesh

Sheikh Mohammad Towhidul Karim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: It is recognized worldwide that an ombudsman system makes the public administration more transparent and accountable to the public. This paper aims to examine the provisions of the Ombudsman Act 1980, as well as the position, role and necessity of the Office of the Ombudsman in Bangladesh. It also evaluates how the ombudsman institution can act as a gateway for citizens of Bangladesh to resolve complaints against the maladministration of public administration in the country.

Design/methodology/approach: The study is basically qualitative in nature where both primary and secondary sources have been used. As well, a combination of analytical methods and current legislative methods, together with future legislative techniques, was used in the study.

Findings: This study finds that the ombudsman is a vital institution for Bangladesh to eliminate maladministration, nepotism and abuse of human rights, as well as abuse of the power of the public administration. Going forward, Bangladesh needs to amend the existing Ombudsman Act 1980 and then take proper steps to firmly establish the Ombudsman Office to ensure and increase public confidence, operational effectiveness and good governance and human rights throughout the country.

Research limitations/implications: The main implication of this study is that it will play an important role for the development of the rule of law and human rights in Bangladesh. This study will make its readers and particularly the citizens of Bangladesh aware of the importance of the “Office of the Ombudsman” in Bangladesh and the existing loopholes in the current Ombudsman Act 1980. This research also provides a new avenue for scholars to contribute their knowledge and wisdom toward nation-building by further researching the Office of the Ombudsman in Bangladesh. In this way, scholars in this field can share their experiences of the role of the ombudsman to a wider audience.

Practical implications: The study will facilitate policymakers and the government to enact an effective new law or to amend the existing law relating to the ombudsman.

Originality/value: The paper sets out the proposed amendment to the Ombudsman Act 1980. Hence, it will be of interest to policymakers, government, organizations of civil society and those developing countries that have not taken steps toward forming an ombudsman institution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-184
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Management
Issue number1
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Bangladesh
  • Ombudsman
  • government resistance
  • UK


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