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Human Rights, Democracy and Policing

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Chapter Summary

The United Nations General Assembly resolution 34/169, consisting of 14 short paragraphs, is brief and concise but it makes a number of fundamental statements about law enforcement, law enforcement officials and law enforcement agencies. The General Assembly resolution established fundamental standards on the nature of law enforcement agencies, and their relationships with the political systems within which they function and the communities they serve. It set standards for democratic policing. Other standards expressed in international human rights instruments also make requirements on police that are essential for democratic policing. Responsiveness and accountability are necessary to secure popular control over political decision-making, as are widespread participation by the population in political processes and respect for the rule of law. Enlightened policing can enhance the accountability and the effectiveness of government at the primary level, and at the subordinate level at which police function.

Keywords: democratic policing; enlightened policing; international human rights; police organisations; political systems; United Nations General Assembly resolution 34/169



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