Journal Article

A Culture of Human Rights: Transforming Policing in Northern Ireland

Michele Lamb

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 2, issue 3, pages 386-393
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
A Culture of Human Rights: Transforming Policing in Northern Ireland

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The reform of policing in Northern Ireland has been underpinned by a commitment to the mainstreaming of human rights and compliance with international human rights standards that has been welcomed by human rights advocates. This article considers three ways in which human rights ideas are challenging the conduct and traditions of policing in Northern Ireland in order to promote a new police force based on a human rights culture: first, through seeking to transform the enduring symbols of the former Royal Ulster Constabulary and their reproduction in policing practices and the cultural environment; secondly, through their role in providing new ‘cultural capacities’ based on human rights ideas of respect, equality, toleration, dignity, fairness, transparency, and democratic accountability from which police officers can draw in carrying out their functions; and thirdly in confronting and seeking to diffuse the professional and cultural boundaries between police, human rights advocates and lay people.

Journal Article.  4370 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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