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Human Rights and Policing in Ireland

This book assesses Garda powers, practices and processes for compliance with international best practice in human rights standards. It offers a unique critique of the law, policy and practice on policing in Ireland from a human rights perspective. It consists of three substantive parts: Part I is a major contribution to the literature on human rights and policing generally. It offers a detailed and comprehensive account of human rights standards applicable to key aspects of policing such as: * arrest; * detention; * interrogation; * right of access to legal advice and medical treatment; * taking bodily samples; * stop and question/search; * entry, search and seizure; * surveillance; * the use of informers; * improper use of intelligence; * public order; * the use of force; * the treatment of victims; * the treatment of ethnic minorities; * complaints; * internal discipline; * accountability to the law; * governance and democratic accountability; * gender and diversity in the composition of the police organisation; * the rights of police officers with respect to trade union membership, political activity and disciplinary procedures; and * education and training. The human rights standards on each of these aspects are extracted in the first instance from international sources such as: * the European Convention on Human Rights; * the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; * the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials; * the Council of Europe's Code of Police Ethics; * the reports of the Council of Europe's Committee on the Prevention of Torture * the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and examples of best practice from other jurisdictions. This is supplemented by an account of relevant Irish human rights standards as extracted from the Constitution, the common law and legislation. On each of these key aspects of policing, attention is drawn to how and where Irish law falls short of international best practice and what is needed to remedy the deficiencies. The Part closes with a detailed and comprehensive account of how and the extent to which human rights based policing policies were formulated, disseminated and monitored within the Garda up to the current reforms triggered by the Garda Siochana Act 2005, the reports of the Morris and Barr Tribunals of Inquiry and the Ionann Human Rights Audit. Part II offers a structured and comprehensive account of the human rights concerns that have affected policing in Ireland over the past decade or so. It brings together in one place an overview of the human rights failings that have been revealed by sources such as: * the Morris Tribunal of Inquiry into events in Donegal; * the Barr Tribunal into the fatal shooting of John Carthy at Abbeylara; * the Garda Siochana Complaints Board and Ombudsman Commission; * the European Committee on the Prevention of Torture; * judgments from Irish courts; * the Ionann Human Rights Audit on the Garda; and * investigative journalism. A concerted attempt is made to present the findings from these sources under the same headings which are used to present the human rights standards on key aspects of policing in part one. Part III offers a critique of the Garda policies and processes that have been and are being taken to address the human rights deficiencies outlined in Part II. This includes an expert analysis of the internal formulation and dissemination of human rights policies and the monitoring of compliance with those policies and human rights standards within the force. Once again a concerted attempt is made to present the analysis under the same headings that are used in the first and second parts. In Part IV the book concludes with a body of broad recommendations on the further actions that are needed to ingrain human rights standards at the heart of all aspects of policing in Ireland.
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Table of Contents

Part 1: Human Rights Standards for Policing Introduction Arrest Detention Interrogation Fingerprinting, Photographing and Palm-Printing The Right to Silence Access to Legal Advice Police Powers to Stop, Question and Search Intimate Body Searches and Bodily Samples Entry, Search and Seizure, Surveillance and Informers Improper use of Garda Information and Intelligence Public Order Use of Force Victims A Representative Garda Siochana The Human Rights of Gardai Garda Accountability Policy Formulation, Implementation and Monitoring Education and Training Part 2: Human Rights Issues in Garda Methods and Practices Introduction Sources Arrest Detention Interrogation Photographing, Fingerprinting and Bodily Samples Entry, Search and Seizure Informers, Surveillance and Interception of Telecommunications Stop, Question and Search Public Order The Use of Lethal Force Perverting the Course of Justice Use of Information and Media Victims Racism Garda Rights Discipline and Accountability Policy Formulation, Implementation and Monitoring Education and Training Part 3: Current Reforms Reform Processes Human Rights Policy Formulation, Implementation and Monitoring Education, Training and Promotion Exercise of Garda Powers and Related Matters Serving the Communities Garda rights Accountability Part 4: Conclusion

About the Author

Professor Dermot Walsh, Law School, University of Limerick is the author of Juvenile Justice and Criminal Procedure

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