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Civilian Oversight of Policing

Governance, Democracy and Human Rights

Editor(s): Andrew Goldsmith, Colleen Lewis
Media of Civilian Oversight of Policing
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Published: 10-11-2000
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 320
ISBN: 9781841130309
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £90.00
Online price : £81.00
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Loren Epson

About Civilian Oversight of Policing

How the police are policed is no longer just a domestic issue. The involvement of police,and other security forces, in systematic abuses of human rights in many developing countries, as well as in so called developed countries, has placed the control of police on a number of international agendas. More and more countries are experimenting with different forms of police accountability and many are turning to civilian oversight bodies in an attempt to improve the process.

This book examines recent experiences with, and prospects for, civilian oversight. It looks at how this relatively new method of police accountability has been interpreted and implemented in a wide range of jurisdictions around the world. While looking at recent experiences in countries which have used the civilian oversight process for some years (the United States of America, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Australia), it also looks at recent attempts to establish civilian oversight bodies in South Africa, Israel, Central and South America and Palestine. Some chapters explain how, in several of these countries, oversight of police conduct is a fundamental governance issues, and relates to concerns about democratisation and rebuilding civil society. Other chapters deal with the complex issue of how to evaluate public complaints mechanisms and the political conditions that enable or frustrate the introduction and maintenance of effective civilian oversight.

Table Of Contents

Introduction (Andrew Goldsmith and Colleen Lewis)

Section One – Entrenching Civilian Oversight

1. The Politics of Civilian Oversight: Serious Commitment or Lip Service? (Colleen Lewis)

2. Race, Democracy and Law: Civilian Review of Police in Washington D.C. (Cheryl Beattie and Ronald Weitzer)

3. Back to the Future: The Death of Civilian Review of Public Complaints Against the Police in Ontario, Canada (Tammy Landau)

Section Two – Evaluating Civilian Oversight

4. Institutional Structure vs Political Will: Albuquerque as a Case Study in the Effectiveness of Citizen Oversight of the Police (Eileen Luna and Samuel Walker)

5. Evaluating the Performance of External Oversight Bodies (David Brereton)

6. Evaluating the New Civilian Complaints Board in Israel (Sergio Herzog)

7. Evaluating Police Complaints Legislation: A Suggested Framework (Philip Stenning)

Section Three – Extending Civilian Oversight

8. Police Accountability Reform in Colombia: The Civilian Oversight Experiment (Andrew Goldsmith)

9. The South African Independent Complaints Directorate (Bronwen Manby)

10. Confronting a Culture of Impunity: The Promise and Pitfalls of Civilian Review of Police in Latin America (Rachel Neild)

11. Accountability and Police Complaints in Northern Ireland: Leaving the Past Behind? (Mary O'Rawe and Linda Moore)

12. Called to Account: Civilian Oversight in the Palestinian Context (Beverly Milton-Edwards)


“This book will help to stimulate debate and is a valuable and enjoyable read.” –  Nick Taylor, Public Law

“Each of the contributors has produced clear and interesting discussions on their respective themes. More importantly, these are also very stimulating and thought-provoking chapters. This book constitutes a very useful addition to the existing wealth of information available on policingthose specifically studying the issue of police accountability will find this book invaluable.a well-focused and comprehensive study. The internal and external quality of this book is extremely good.” –  Leonard Jason-Lloyd, The Law Teacher

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