Creating a fairer Britain
Title of guidance:
Year published: 2003
Length: 17 pages
Format: PDF (281Kb)
Other formats: alternative formats such as Braille, large print, disc, audio cassette and in minority languages available on request - phone: 028 9040 8500 / email: email@example.com
Producer/ Publisher: NIPB
Type of organisation: Inspectorate
Policing | Criminal justice, courts and prisons | Immigration and asylum | Inspection and regulation | Commissioning or procurement | External Service Guidance | Human Rights Act | European Convention on Human Rights | Northern Ireland Act 1998 | Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 | GB wide (Northern Ireland)
Audience: Service management | Human resources | Front-line service personnel | Elected councillors, board members, trustees | Policy managers and directors | Legal directors
Topics: Human rights | equality | proportionality | balancing competing rights | dignity | human rights impact assessment | security | torture / inhuman or degrading treatment
This document provides a framework for the role of monitoring compliance by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) with the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998. It recognises two stages: the development of meaningful standards against which the performance of the police can be monitored, and the monitoring process itself. The monitoring process is carried out in respect of (i) the PSNI Code of Ethics and (ii) a more detailed set of criteria (practical, everyday indices which are listed in Appendix 1). These indices are directly referenced to relevant international and domestic standards, and, in many instances, to individual cases (both domestic and international).
Initial monitoring is to be carried out in respect of the following: the PSNI Programme of Action; the adequacy and effectiveness of human rights training; compliance of policies and operations with the HRA; adherence by officers to the Code of Ethics; complaints, discipline and civil action raising human rights issues; public order; the use of force; covert policing; victims' rights; the treatment of suspects; and human rights awareness among officers.
One of the recommendations of the Patten Report (Report of the Independent Commission on Policing, 1999) required the Chief Constable and Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) to publish a programme of action 'to focus policing in Northern Ireland on a human rights-based approach'.
Under the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000, the NIPB has a statutory duty to monitor compliance by the PSNI with the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998. This monitoring framework was devised by Keir Starmer QC and Jane Gordon, as advisers to the NIPB.
The document emphasises that the promotion of human rights awareness of PSNI officers at all levels is vital not only to facilitate the development of a tangible human rights culture within the PSNI but also to demonstrate its commitment to the human rights agenda in its dealings with others external to the organisation.
The document emphasises that police officers have an over-arching obligation in relation to non-discrimination and should not discriminate on any grounds including race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
The NIPB states that it recognises that there is an overlap between the statutory duty of the PSNI to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity (under s. 27 Northern Ireland Act) and the non-discrimination provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The document refers to the PSNI's equality scheme, which has been approved by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
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