Human Rights in Police
Investigations
Presentation Outline

Legitimate purposes of police investigation
Best practices in police investigation
International sta...
Legitimate Aims of Police
Investigation
Legitimate Aims of Police Investigation






Detection of Crime
Gathering Evidence
Recovery and preservation of evid...
Legitimate Aims of Police Investigation
• Discovery of cause, manner, location and
time of a crime
• Identification of per...
Best Practices in Police
Investigation
Best Practices
Lawful purposeful action
Presumption of Innocence
Respect for confidentiality
Right to silence
Forensic rec...
Keeping an Open Mind
“Tunnel vision is insidious.
It can affect an officer
or, indeed, anyone
involved in the
administrati...
International Standards of
Human Rights Protection
During Police Investigations
Introduction
In the process of police investigations, interviewing
of witnesses, victims and suspects, personal
searches, ...
International Standards

These standards include:
Everyone has the right to security of Persons (Article 3
UDHR and Articl...
Standards Continued
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary
interference with his
privacy, family, home or
correspondence. ...
Standards Continued
No pressure, physical or mental, shall be exerted on
suspects, witnesses or victims in attempting to o...
Standards Continued
Victims and witnesses are to be treated
with compassion and consideration.
(Principle 4 Victim Declara...
Standards Continued
No one shall be compelled to confess or to testify against
himself/herself. (At. 11 (1) UDHR, Art. 14 ...
Standards Continued
Investigations shall be competent, thorough, prompt and
impartial. (Principles on Summery Executions, ...
Standards Continued

Crime scenes shall be carefully processed and evidence
carefully collected and preserved (Principles ...
Defining Torture and CIDs
The Right to Silence
The right to remain silent is inherent in the
presumption of innocence. The decision to remain
silent...
Convention Against Torture

The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
(...
What is Torture?
Article 1 of CAT defines torture as: “Any act by which
severe pain or suffering, whether physical or ment...
What are CIDs?

Article 16(1) of CAT identifies a category of serious
human rights abuse ancillary that of torture: “Each
...
Absolutely Prohibited

Physical violence
Threat of violence
Deliberate humiliation
Mental torture
Threats to family
Sleep ...
Case Study 1: The Guildford Four
On 5 October 1974, IRA bombs
exploded in two pubs in
Guildford, Surrey, killing five peop...
Case Study: The Guildford Four
It later emerged that the police
had falsified their notes from the
interviews and the Appe...
Case Study: The Guildford Four
In 1993 a film was made of
the Guildford Four Case. In
The Name of the Father was
nominated...
Case Study 2: Central Park Jogger
In the 1989 New York City Central Park Jogger case four
false confessions were taken wit...
Energizer
Take a Human Rights Stand
Take a human rights stand
Refusing to cooperate with
police is suspicious behavior innocent people have nothing
to hide.
Take a human rights stand
As a police
investigator, should you get
to the crime through the
criminal or get to the
crimina...
Take a human rights stand
To get information from
hardcore
criminals, sometimes one
needs to apply a degree of
pressure or...
Take a human rights stand
Confession is the most
reliable form of evidence
there is – it is ‘the king of
evidence.’
Take a human rights stand
A police officer who strikes
a suspect should be
dismissed from the service
Practical Implications of Ignoring
International Standards
Consequences of Violations
• Law enforcer becomes law breaker
• Human dignity is transgressed
• Erosion of crucial public ...
Consequences of Violations
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Cognizance by courts and the superiors
Personal enmities with criminals
Creates ...
Consequences of Violations
• Permanent defamation of victims’ family
in society
• Permanent physical and psychological
inj...
Consequences of Violations
• Police personnel become victims of
violence
• Financial and administrative implications
for p...
How Human Rights Violations
Can Be Addressed by Police
Services
How to Minimize HR Violations ?
•
•
•
•

Preparation and use of investigation SOP
Training in modern investigative techniq...
How to Minimize HR Violations ?
• Separate Disciplinary Rules for the Police
Officers
• Frequent visit to lock ups and con...
How to Minimize HR Violations ?
• Legal procedures which limit reliance on
confessions
• Compulsory Property Insurance
• C...
How to Minimize HR Violations ?
• Accessibility of supervisory officers
• Public outreach campaigns
• Establishment of civ...
Round Up Quiz

Students will divide into two teams and devise five
questions on the content of the presentation to test th...
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Human rights in police investigations

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  • Judge Peter deCarteret CoryPuisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada quoted in Michel St-Yves, Police interrogation in Canada: From the quest for confession to the search for truth, in Tom Williamson et al, International Development in Investigative Interviewing (2009) at 98.Following his retirement from the Supreme Court of Canada, Judge Cory was appointed to conduct an independent inquiry into six particular deaths during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, including the murder of the defense lawyer Pat Finucane. The Cory Collusion Inquiry was established to investigate allegations of collusion between security forces and paramilitaries in those cases.
  • Photo: The Horse and Groom Public House in Guildford after the bombing.
  • The Guildford Four: Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Paddy Armstrong and Carole Richardson. Paul Hill (bottom right) who had grown up in the staunchly republican Falls Road in Belfast on the fringes of the IRA was on the run from PIRA and had fled to the UK to avoid threatened punishment. He was detained on 28 November 1974 and named the other three members of his social circle after he was allegedly beaten and his pregnant girlfriend threatened by police. Armstrong was also originally from the Falls Road and had moved to the UK to escape the violence. Richardson was his English girlfriend – both were habitual drug users and petty criminals living in a London squat. Armstrong and Conlon had all been to the same school in Belfast and were childhood friends.
  • Photo: A poster from the film.
  • Human rights in police investigations

    1. 1. Human Rights in Police Investigations
    2. 2. Presentation Outline Legitimate purposes of police investigation Best practices in police investigation International standards of human rights protection Defining torture and CITs with accompanying case studies Practical implications of ignoring international standards How human rights violations can be addressed by police forces
    3. 3. Legitimate Aims of Police Investigation
    4. 4. Legitimate Aims of Police Investigation      Detection of Crime Gathering Evidence Recovery and preservation of evidence Identification of witnesses Interviewing witnesses 4
    5. 5. Legitimate Aims of Police Investigation • Discovery of cause, manner, location and time of a crime • Identification of perpetrator of crime • Apprehension of perpetrator • Presentation of evidence before a court for trial 5
    6. 6. Best Practices in Police Investigation
    7. 7. Best Practices Lawful purposeful action Presumption of Innocence Respect for confidentiality Right to silence Forensic recovery Chain of custody Building a comprehensive case Right to a fair trial Disclosure of exculpatory evidence
    8. 8. Keeping an Open Mind “Tunnel vision is insidious. It can affect an officer or, indeed, anyone involved in the administration of justice with sometimes tragic results… Anyone, police officer, counsel or judge can become infected by this virus.”
    9. 9. International Standards of Human Rights Protection During Police Investigations
    10. 10. Introduction In the process of police investigations, interviewing of witnesses, victims and suspects, personal searches, searches of vehicles and premises and in the interception of correspondences and communications, there are standards laid down in different international legal instruments that we are obliged to observe. These instruments include the UDHR, the ICCPR, the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and in other instruments as we shall see along.
    11. 11. International Standards These standards include: Everyone has the right to security of Persons (Article 3 UDHR and Article 9(1) of ICCPR) Every one has a right to a fair trial (Art. Art 10 of the UDHR and Art. 14 of the ICCPR) Everyone is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a fair trial. (Art. 11 (1) of the UDHR and Art. 14 (2) of the ICCPR)
    12. 12. Standards Continued No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence. (Art. 12 UDHR and Art. 17 (a) of ICCPR) No one shall be subjected to unlawful attacks on his honor or reputation. (Art. 12 UDHR and Art. 17 (1) of ICCPR)
    13. 13. Standards Continued No pressure, physical or mental, shall be exerted on suspects, witnesses or victims in attempting to obtain information. (Declaration on enforced Disappearance, Art. 13 (3), Principles on Summery Executions, Principle 15) Torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment is absolutely prohibited. (Art. 5, UDHR, Art. 7, ICCPR, Art. 2, CAT, Code of Conduct, Art 5).
    14. 14. Standards Continued Victims and witnesses are to be treated with compassion and consideration. (Principle 4 Victim Declaration, Principle 15, Summery Executions) Confidentiality and care in the handling of sensitive information are to be exercised at all times (Art. 4, Code of Conduct)
    15. 15. Standards Continued No one shall be compelled to confess or to testify against himself/herself. (At. 11 (1) UDHR, Art. 14 (3)(g) ICCPR). Investigatory activities shall be conducted only lawfully and with due cause. (Art. 4 Code of Conduct) Neither arbitrary nor unduly intrusive investigatory activities shall be permitted. (Art. 12 UDHR, Art. 17(1) ICCPR)
    16. 16. Standards Continued Investigations shall be competent, thorough, prompt and impartial. (Principles on Summery Executions, Art. 9). Investigations shall serve to identify victims; to recover evidence; to discover witnesses; to discover cause, manner, location and time of crime; to identify and apprehend perpetrators. (Principles on Summery Executions, Art. 9).
    17. 17. Standards Continued Crime scenes shall be carefully processed and evidence carefully collected and preserved (Principles on Summery Executions, Art. 9, 12 and 13)
    18. 18. Defining Torture and CIDs
    19. 19. The Right to Silence The right to remain silent is inherent in the presumption of innocence. The decision to remain silent is not an indication of guilt. The right to silence is also enshrined in international convention. Article 14, Paragraph 3(g) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that everyone is entitled “not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt.”
    20. 20. Convention Against Torture The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) entered into force on 26 June 1987 and is considered to amount to a peremptory norm of international law. The convention creates an international crime of torture and establishes universal jurisdiction for this offense that allows any state that wishes to assert such jurisdiction to bring torturers to justice.
    21. 21. What is Torture? Article 1 of CAT defines torture as: “Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”
    22. 22. What are CIDs? Article 16(1) of CAT identifies a category of serious human rights abuse ancillary that of torture: “Each State Party shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article I, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”
    23. 23. Absolutely Prohibited Physical violence Threat of violence Deliberate humiliation Mental torture Threats to family Sleep deprivation Withholding sustenance Hooding Stress positions Rendition to torture
    24. 24. Case Study 1: The Guildford Four On 5 October 1974, IRA bombs exploded in two pubs in Guildford, Surrey, killing five people and injuring many others. After six weeks of investigation the police arrested four suspects who soon confessed to the bombing under intense coercive pressure. In 1977 four members of an IRA unit caught in London claimed responsibility for the attack but their claim was ignored.
    25. 25. Case Study: The Guildford Four It later emerged that the police had falsified their notes from the interviews and the Appeals Court concluded that if they had lied about this, then all the police evidence was unreliable. The Four were released on 19 October 1989, after each serving 15 years in prison, and their convictions were overturned.
    26. 26. Case Study: The Guildford Four In 1993 a film was made of the Guildford Four Case. In The Name of the Father was nominated for 7 Oscars and was shown all round the world – for many people internationally it was their first introduction to the Northern Ireland conflict and it was greatly damaging to the UK’s reputation around the world.
    27. 27. Case Study 2: Central Park Jogger In the 1989 New York City Central Park Jogger case four false confessions were taken within a single investigation. Four teenage friends confessed during lengthy interrogations to the brutal assault and rape of a young woman in Central Park. The boys all later retracted their statements saying they had only confessed because they were told they would be allowed to go home afterward. Five boys were convicted on the basis of these confessions and sent to prison. They were finally exonerated in 2002 when the real perpetrator, an incarcerated serial rapist, provided a confession that was confirmed by DNA evidence.
    28. 28. Energizer Take a Human Rights Stand
    29. 29. Take a human rights stand Refusing to cooperate with police is suspicious behavior innocent people have nothing to hide.
    30. 30. Take a human rights stand As a police investigator, should you get to the crime through the criminal or get to the criminal through the crime?
    31. 31. Take a human rights stand To get information from hardcore criminals, sometimes one needs to apply a degree of pressure or even torture.
    32. 32. Take a human rights stand Confession is the most reliable form of evidence there is – it is ‘the king of evidence.’
    33. 33. Take a human rights stand A police officer who strikes a suspect should be dismissed from the service
    34. 34. Practical Implications of Ignoring International Standards
    35. 35. Consequences of Violations • Law enforcer becomes law breaker • Human dignity is transgressed • Erosion of crucial public confidence and support • Isolation of police from the community • Exacerbation of civil unrest • Guilty parties go free – the innocent get punished 35
    36. 36. Consequences of Violations • • • • • • • Cognizance by courts and the superiors Personal enmities with criminals Creates more violent and hardened criminals Suspects abscond Custodial deaths Hampering of effective prosecutions in court Victims of crime are left without justice 36
    37. 37. Consequences of Violations • Permanent defamation of victims’ family in society • Permanent physical and psychological injury to victim • Removal of the “law” from “law enforcement” • Police becomes reactive rather than proactive 37
    38. 38. Consequences of Violations • Police personnel become victims of violence • Financial and administrative implications for police personnel • Enhanced violence in the society • International and media criticism and political pressure on Government and police 38
    39. 39. How Human Rights Violations Can Be Addressed by Police Services
    40. 40. How to Minimize HR Violations ? • • • • Preparation and use of investigation SOP Training in modern investigative techniques Training in use of forensic techniques Efficient Performance Parameters/Evaluation System • Improved Supervisory Mechanism • Vigorous Inspections and Internal Audit 40
    41. 41. How to Minimize HR Violations ? • Separate Disciplinary Rules for the Police Officers • Frequent visit to lock ups and conversation with detainees • Immediate legal/administrative action on complaints • Victim-support mechanisms • Financial Incentives for Good Officers 41
    42. 42. How to Minimize HR Violations ? • Legal procedures which limit reliance on confessions • Compulsory Property Insurance • Community policing strategies enabling police to be closer to the community • Cooperation from international policing technical programmes on current techniques and technologies for police investigations 42
    43. 43. How to Minimize HR Violations ? • Accessibility of supervisory officers • Public outreach campaigns • Establishment of civilian oversight bodies like police complaints authorities, public safety commissions, police-public committees, police ombudsperson 43
    44. 44. Round Up Quiz Students will divide into two teams and devise five questions on the content of the presentation to test the other team. The team that answers the most questions correctly wins.

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