Skip to main content

Adapting the Police Authority Concept to a Centralised National Police Service: Appearance over Substance in the Republic of Ireland?

Walsh, Dermot (2018) Adapting the Police Authority Concept to a Centralised National Police Service: Appearance over Substance in the Republic of Ireland? Modern Law Review, 81 (4). pp. 622-645. ISSN 0026-7961. E-ISSN 1468-2230. (doi:10.1111/1468-2230.12354) (KAR id:66022)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download (279kB) Preview
[img]
Preview
Official URL
https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12354

Abstract

The Republic of Ireland has been convulsed by a series of police corruption scandals over the past fifteen years and they show no sign of abating. In 2015, in an attempt to stem the drain in public confidence in the Garda and the administration of justice generally, the government established a Policing Authority which it presented as “the most important single change in the governance of the Garda Síochána in its history”. This article critically examines whether the new Irish Policing Authority can be interpreted as a successful adaptation of the traditional police authority concept to a parliamentary democracy policed by a single, national body. In particular, it considers whether it is equipped to shield the Garda and policing from the influence of partisan political and institutional interests, while at the same time deliver transparent democratic scrutiny of the Garda and policing on behalf of all sections of the community. It concludes that, contrary to the superficial impression generated by the government at the time, the Authority does not represent a fundamentally new departure in the democratic scrutiny of the policing in Ireland. While it opens up a useful channel for input from outside the central executive and parliament, it will do little to change the established democratic power relations in policing, or to deliver greater transparency in respect of policing policies, practices and accountability. Nor can it be interpreted as a successful adaptation of the police authority concept to a parliamentary democracy policed by a single national body under central government control.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1468-2230.12354
Uncontrolled keywords: Policing, Police democratic accountability, Police Authority, Irish law
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Sian Robertson
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2018 10:46 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2020 04:14 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/66022 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Walsh, Dermot: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6652-4585
  • Depositors only (login required):

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year