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Gardai must embed human rights culture says Policing Authority
Policing Authority’s Josephine Feehily and Deputy Commissioner John Twomey Pic: Leah Farrell/Rolling News

12 Feb 2019 / policing Print

Gardai must embed human rights – Policing Authority

Persistent public scrutiny is essential to build community confidence in An Garda Síochána (AGS) but also provides a platform for the Garda Commissioner to respond to public concerns, the Policing Authority says in its new strategy document for the period up to year-end 2021.

The oversight body says that senior garda appointments are an important cultural lever for reform, along with the code of ethics established by the Authority.

The body will continue to push for the ethics code to be fully embedded into all aspects of police work, it says.

Obligations

Chair Josephine Feehily writes that the Authority will pay particular attention to overseeing how AGS perform in the context of their human rights obligations.

One of the performance indicators for this goal is an established culture of accountability and openness in the force and timely and effective disciplinary systems and appointments and promotion mechanisms based on merit.

Ethical standards

It wants a garda culture that embodies the highest ethical standards, embraces diversity and vindicates the human rights of each individual.

Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Act 2014 provides that public bodies must have regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity and treatment and to protect, promote and fulfil human rights.

The Policing Authority stresses the right to fair procedures, the right to privacy, equal access and equal treatment.

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