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Human Rights and Police Ethics

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Chapter Summary

Human rights are pre-eminently a moral concept. Indeed one type of moral theory centres on rights. However, the reasons for referring to the ethics of policing are that both human rights and ethics deal with behavioural aspects of policing; ethical theory and its practical application generally reinforce human rights and humanitarian law standards; international human rights instruments require attention to be given to issues of police ethics; and some instruments are proclaimed as ethical codes or codes of conduct. Two of these are considered in this chapter. Most importantly, however, the subject is addressed in the chapter for two further reasons. Firstly, to acknowledge that situations do arise where police have to make ethical choices, and secondly, to insist that these can almost never be convincingly proposed as reasons for law breaking and human rights abuse.

Keywords: corruption; ethical codes; human rights; international human rights law; law enforcement official; police ethics; police leaders

10.1163/ej.9789004154377.i-514.29
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