Criminal Justice Faculty Publications and Presentations

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The points discussed in the session are related to United Nations peacekeeping in the twenty-first century and the international police education for the rule of law. It is noted that 100 countries contribute police officers to the United Nations, and that 49 of those countries contribute 25 or fewer officers. There is a gender imbalance, with only 7.75 % of forces being made up of women. In the past, UN policing priorities were: monitoring to verify police performance and impartiality, observing to ascertain police strengths and weaknesses and reporting to document police infractions. The UN Peacekeeping Mission Statement aims to build institutional police capacity in post-conflict environments and the capability objective is to training the right person to do the right thing at the right time. Although the goal is clear, obstacles to achieving it remain. In particular, there are critical capability gaps with regard to training specialized personnel and the provision of specialized equipment in current police peacekeeping operations. This makes it impossible for peacekeeping forces to always deliver effectively on mandated tasks.

Some years ago police officers were given training before being deployed to Darfur, Sudan. This gave very good results and has since been used in many other United Nations Member States as well. However, this is only the beginning and it is hoped that much more will be done to build capability. During the session, the relationship between unprepared police officers and increased public risk and crime are discussed, together with practical and philosophical barriers to education and ways of overcoming those barriers, and the potential for distance education. Also, a model curricula for international police education and training on the rule of law are suggested. Reference is made to the objectives of democratic policing; the importance of a strong commitment to the rule of law, to policing ethics and to human rights standards; the essential nature of police accountability to the law and to the society they serve; and the need for cooperation with communities, recognizing that effective policing requires partnership with those being served. Because the police are the most visible manifestation of government authority, their main duties are to:

- Maintain public tranquility and law and order

- Protect and respect individual fundamental rights and freedoms

- Prevent and combat crime

- Provide assistance and service to the public

- Enhance the legitimate individuals of the State if they demonstrate in their daily work that they are

- Respond to public needs and expectations

- Use the authority of the State in the people’s interest

Finally, it is mentioned that an international program for educating police on the rule of law is currently under development.


The presentation was delivered during the Twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice which took place from April 12-19, 2010 in Salvador, Brazil.

©2010 the authors. All rights reserved.