Policy and Research Papers
Focusing on Albania, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Montenegro, Children’s Equitable Access to Justice: Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (hereafter Children’s Equitable Access to Justice) provides insights from children, their families and justice sector professionals on why children become involved in justice systems, where children go to seek justice, the main obstacles they face in the process and whether justice procedures are child-sensitive.
For full access to the report on Children’s Equitable Access to Justice: Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, please follow the link.
This monograph by a group of authors under the title Prosecutorial Investigation – regional criminal procedure legislation and experiences in application, which is issued by the OSCE Mission to Serbia, addresses one of the most current issues relating to the process of the reform of criminal procedure laws, not only of the countries in the region (Serbia, BiH, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Montenegro), but in a much wider context.
This book is about the relationship between societies and theirsecurity forces at times of great political and societal change. It uses the experiences of Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro to examine the control, management and reform of armed forces, police and intelligence agencies in the aftermath of conflict and authoritarianism. The book assesses the theory and practice of security sector reform programmes in the context of Europe and the Western Balkans, the relationship between security sector reform and normative international policy more generally, and the broader dynamics ofpost-conflict and post-authoritarian transformation. In so doing it addresses two underlying questions. First, how and in what ways does reform in the security sector interrelate with processes of domestic political and societal transformation, particularly democratisation. Second, how andin what ways do these processes relate and respond to internationally-drivenefforts to promote a particular type of security sector reform as acomponent of wider peacebuilding and democracy promotion strategies.
Democracy is unlikely to develop or to endure unless military and other security forces are controlled by democratic institutions and necessary safeguards, checks and balances are in place. The result of a 2-year research project managed under the auspices of the European Group on Armed Forces and Society (ERGOMAS) and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), this comparative study examines how contemporary European states, both mature Western democracies and emerging democracies of post-communist Europe, manage the issue of how best to control the very institution that has been established for their protection and wields the monopoly of legitimate force. This volume contains 28 case studies from 14 countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Georgia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, Switzerland, and the Ukraine. The studies cover a variety of situation from corruption to military incompetence, disobediencetowards civilian superiors, lack of expertise among civilians, to unauthorized strikes and accidents. They focus on the relationship between political, civilian and military actors while identifying problems and dangers that can emerge in those relations to the detriment of effective and legitimate democratic control. This book will be of much interest to students of Civil-Military Relations, military sociology, IR and strategic studies.
The actions of the police both reflect and affect societal changes and the legitimacy that society vests in state authority. What principles and practices of good policing have emerged through processes of reform, trans-national exchanges and the creation of international regimes? This introductory chapter by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) summarises some of the lessons learned on police reform and examines what has been achieved in police reform in transitional societies.
The idea that policing matters to democracy has slowly but firmly taken hold among politicians, scholars, policy-makers and the police themselves. Providing security is one of the basic demands that society makes of the state. This includes the demand by citizens and communities that their lives are protected by the social control apparatuses of the state. The police occupy a crucial political role in any society by virtue of the symbolic value of their work. This has an impact on the political and social discourse. The police are part of the system of governance. They matter in processes of state creation, the reproduction of peaceful social relations, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the creation of social identities and bonds that underpin political life.
Conversely, ineffective, arbitrary or repressive social control undermines the legitimacy of existing state-society relations, complicates efforts to promote development, and severely limits the (re)building of democratic forms of governance and order. In short, the police matter beyond their merely functional work.
Reforms take time and patience. Nothing will work out quite as planned and expected. Adjustments have to be made in the course of reforms.
- There will be resistance to reforms. This has to be undermined in such a way that those resisting will be seen by others as unreasonable and illegitimate in their objections and as protecting their own interests rather than looking out for the common good of society and the state.
- Even enthusiastically received reforms will suffer a decline in energies and active support as time goes on. Reforms should be supported by occasional campaigns to stir up enthusiasm.
- The pace of reforms must fit local conditions so as not to 'overwhelm' either the police or the public.
- Police organisations seek to shape reforms towards their interests and are much more likely to adopt reforms that do not challenge the existing internal distribution of power and authority within the organisation.
- Reforms must be built into managerial practice in the long term. A system should be developed to teach new leaders as they rise through the ranks.
The goals of democratic police reform (or creation of a democratic policing system) are:
- sustained legitimacy;
- skilled professionalism; and
- effective accountability.