Police measures in the context of Europe standards

Banchuk O. Police measures in the context of Europe standards

The article analyzes the provisions of the Law of Ukraine "On the National Police" governing the application of police measures for compliance with European standards.
The author defines the list of documents that contain the most important international standards of policing. The key legal acts which contains international standards of policing are: UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials (1979), UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (1990), Resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe № 690 (1979) «Declaration on the police» (1979), and Recommendation Rec(2001)10 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the European Code of Police Ethics (2001). Other important sources include the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers, and conclusions and other documents of the Commissioner for Human Rights.
Thus, the European Code of Police Ethics explains in detail the standards of police activity in a democratic society. The most important ones among them are:
- protection and respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms (par. 1, 43);
- legality as the basis of the police activity (par. 2 - 5, 38, 39);
- respect for other justice system institutions - courts, prosecution, legal profession (par. 6-11);
- community-oriented activity of the police (par. 18, 25, 44);
- transparency (par. 19, 45, 62);
- impartiality and non-discrimination (par. 40);
- use force only when strictly necessary (par. 37);
- ensuring the principles of police ethics and integrity (par. 20, 44, 63);
- fair treatment of detainees (articles 49-58).
This article describes a number of positive innovations of the Law "On the National Police", in particular the implementation of police care.
According to the law, a police measure is a preventive or coercive action or set of actions, which limits certain rights and freedoms and is used by police according to the law to enable the exercise of police powers (Article 29, par. 1). There are some conditions for the enforceability of a police measure - legality, necessity, proportionality, and effectiveness.
According to Article 30 of the Law, all police measures are divided into the following types:
- reactive measures to offenses established by the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offences and the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine;
- preventive measures;
- coercive measures;
- other measures established by other laws.
A progressive step envisioned by the Law is the introduction police care as one of the preventive police measure. It can be applied with respect to the following:
- minors under the age of 16 who were left without care;
- persons who are suspected of having escaped from a psychiatric institution or specialized hospital, where they were kept according a judgement;
- persons who have mental disorders and pose a real danger to others or themselves;
- persons who lost the ability to walk in a public place as a result of intoxication or pose a real danger to others or themselves.
In addition, the article identifies the provisions of the Law that do not comply with European standards of policing and require further legislative amendments.
Keywords: police, police measures, European standards, preventive police measures, coercive measures, Council of Europe, police care, surface checking.

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