Edited by Stephen Tully
Chapter 95: UN: Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, 1979
Commentary: The Code of Conduct (extracted below) was approved through UNGA Resolution 34/169 (1979). The commentary to Article 1 defines ‘law enforcement official’ as including all officers of the law, whether appointed or elected, who exercise police powers, especially powers of arrest or detention. It also includes military officers, whether uniformed or not, where police powers are ordinarily exercised by military authorities. The commentary to Article 3 notes that the use of force should be exceptional, only as is reasonably necessary for preventing crime or effecting arrest and proportionate to the objective to be achieved. Although the commentary to Article 5 refers to UNGA Resolution 3452 (1975) on the Declaration against Torture, reference should also be made to the relevant Convention (see below) and jurisprudence arising thereunder. The commentary to Article 6 defines ‘medical attention’ as referring to services rendered by any medical personnel, including certified medical practitioners and paramedics. Although the definition of corruption is subject to national law, the commentary to Article 7 notes that it ‘should be understood to encompass the commission or omission of an act in the performance of or in connection with one’s duties, in response to gifts, promises or incentives demanded or accepted, or the wrongful receipt of these once the act has been committed or omitted’. An ‘act of corruption’ encompasses attempted corruption. The commentary to Article 8 contemplates law enforcement officials bringing violations to public attention through the mass media where justified as a last resort and consistent with national law....
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