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Current developments in police governance and accountability in Ireland

[journal article]

Conway, Vicky; Walsh, Dermot P. J.

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Abstract "2005 saw the passing of landmark legislation for policing in Ireland—the Garda Síochána Act—which made substantial changes to the structures and operation of governance and accountability. It came on the heels of the greatest scandal ever faced by the Irish police. This paper sets out to assess critically the impact of that legislation. We begin by considering the nature of police reform and the various conditions necessary for successful change. We then contextualise the reforms in Ireland, considering the existing structures of governance and accountability and highlighting the numerous concerns which existed in relation to them. The focus then turns to the Morris Tribunal, which documented gross misconduct and corruption in one Garda division. We examine how this served as a major catalyst for reform in Ireland. The paper then turns to consider the reforms themselves providing an overview of the legislation and critiquing in depth a number of features: the clear centralisation of government control over the police, the limited independence of the new independent police complaints body and the failure to fully embed the reforms in a human rights agenda. We conclude by arguing that insufficient steps have been taken to address police governance and accountability in Ireland and that the best opportunity for such reform may have been missed." [author's abstract]
Classification Political System, Constitution, Government
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 241-257
Journal Crime, Law and Social Change, 55 (2011) 2-3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)