Journal Article

Post-conflict Police Reform: Is Northern Ireland a Model?

David H. Bayley

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 2, issue 2, pages 233-240
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online June 2008 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Post-conflict Police Reform: Is Northern Ireland a Model?

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The police in Northern Ireland have undergone extensive—many would say fundamental—reform as recommended by the Patten Commission (Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland (1999) following the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. This essay examines the relevance of the reform experience in Northern Ireland to other countries emerging from conflict where policing is critical to peace and stability. First, it specifies four challenges that Northern Ireland faced that are common to other post-conflict societies. It then reviews the elements in Northern Ireland's reform and the evidence for their achievement. Finally, it suggests four factors that made reform possible in Northern Ireland, factors that may not occur in similar situations elsewhere. It argues in conclusion that Northern Ireland shows that meaningful police reform can occur despite years of bitter conflict, but that certain conditions may be necessary for it.

Journal Article.  4161 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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