It is the contention of this Essay that the international principles of human rights must form the foundations of any future policing service in Northern Ireland. Leaving behind the sterile communalism that has characterized past approaches to policing in favor of a rights-based approach, would benefit all in Northern Ireland. A human rights policing framework would particularly relieve those living in working class communities, both catholic and protestant, who have borne the brunt of heavy policing policies and tactics. While acknowledging that no approach to policing reform can appease all shades of Northern Ireland's political and cultural opinion, the current political climate provides considerable opportunities for bringing about positive change. Furthermore, unless policing becomes more representative, accountable, and respectful of human rights, the continuation of negative contact between the police and the policed will create tension and conflict and ultimately threaten the peace.
Policing and Change in Northern Ireland: The Centrality of Human Rights,
22 Fordham Int'l L.J. 1577
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol22/iss4/20