Design and choice of redress mechanisms

This project explored issues relating to how public law disputes between citizens and public authorities are or ought to be categorised. The aim was to understand the process of designing redress mechanisms through an analytical map of why, by whom, when and where design takes place.

  • Design may be needed for several different reasons. It will typically occur when a new administrative scheme is being planned and policy-makers and parliamentarians consider how disputes will be handled.
  • There are a range of factors which may prompt developments including: the desire to simplify and rationalise the administrative justice system; the perceived need to fill gaps; attempts to divert grievances from one mechanism to another; as a result of managing a particular crisis; responding to pressures from Europe; and impact of financial restraints on government.
  • Design of redress mechanisms is not an activity confined to any special body but may be seen across the whole face of government.
  • A potentially promising way forward would be the development of a set of design principles.  A statement of principles might lead to the development of good behaviours in relation to redress design; it may also serve an accountability function by providing a template against which to measure the success or otherwise of a grievance mechanism.

These points are discussed in full in the final report, Designing redress: a study about grievances against public bodies, available to download from the Public Law Project website.

Project details



Varda Bondy, Public Law Project

Grant amount and duration


July 2008 - June 2012