The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Well, I think the key point there is contained in the earlier reference to setting some upper financial limit on the award that the ombudsman can make.

The ombudsman procedure, as I have described it, is a more informal procedure, and one where the parties don't need to be represented and are usually not represented.

If the ombudsman has power to award unlimited amounts, the pressure for the ombudsman to become very like a brother of the High Court becomes fairly inexorable. So one has to make a judgment, and set a compensation limit which is high enough to cover most ordinary people, but low enough to ensure there's not inexorable pressure that the ombudsman loses all of the advantages of being an ombudsman. So certainly on the basis of the Association 's submission, this is not a suggestion that the ombudsman would take up everything which now would go to court. Rather, it would take up many of the things which people might perhaps like to take to court, but are unable to take to court, and some of the things which do go to court.

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