The Rule Of Law And Police Force Ethics

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The Rule of Law and Police Force Ethics
In simple terms, the idiom “rule of law” refers to a requirement for citizens to comply with the law (Trebilcock & Daniels, 2009). In a legal sense this means everyone must follow the law, and law officials must enforce these laws within the powers they have been legally authorised with (Trebilcock & Daniels, 2009). The Rule of Law is a concept that has been described from both functional and ideological perspectives (Trebilcock & Daniels, 2009). In Australia it functions as an important and inherent part of the constitution and separation of powers (legislature, judiciary, and executive) (Hunter-Schultz, 2005). Brien (1999, p. 9) argued, “The Rule of Law is one of the necessary elements of any decent, civilised society. More specifically, it is an ideal and aiming to practice it is a necessary element in any liberal, democratic community”. This essay will discuss what this statement means and how it relates to the ethical policies and practices of the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF).
Brien’s (1999) statement associates the concept of the Rule of Law with democracy and liberty, thus evoking its egalitarian and anti-authoritarian properties. The Rule of Law is widely considered a key element to democracy, and has also been touted as a critical element in promoting human rights and “good law” in society (Licht, Goldschmidt & Schwartz, 2007). Brien (1999) refers to the Rule of Law as “ideal”, suggesting that the need for
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