n SA Mercantile Law Journal = SA Tydskrif vir Handelsreg - Has ombudsmania reached South Africa? The burgeoning role of ombudsmen in commercial dispute resolution

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-0099
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2185



The word 'ombudsman' is derived from the Old Norse word 'umbodhsmadhr', meaning deputy, agent or plenipotentiary. Originally, '[a]mongst the early Germanic tribes, the ombudsman ... had the role of recovering compensation from the family of a wrongdoer on behalf of the family affected by a wrongdoing'. The term later broadened to denote a representative agent or proxy generally.

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