Comparative Policing from a Legal Perspective
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Comparative Policing from a Legal Perspective

Edited by Monica den Boer

Public police forces are a regular phenomenon in most jurisdictions around the world, yet their highly divergent legal context draws surprisingly little attention. Bringing together a wide range of police experts from all around the world, this book provides an overview of traditional and emerging fields of public policing, New material and findings are presented with an international-comparative perspective, it is a must-read for students of policing, security and law and professionals in related fields.
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Chapter 4: Living law in public order: trust, risk, dominion and universality

Willem de Lint and Adam Pocrnic


Public order policing may be seen as the use of police authority and capacity to restore the balance between different interests in a crowd gathering. Police organizations that perform public order policing functions mostly work on the basis of a living law practice, in which they build knowledge and expertise in an adaptive environment. Across jurisdictions, common practices, tactics, and legal instruments have been developed, but significant differences and inconsistencies remain. As a practice, the authors argue, public order policing is often divided between legal authorities and mandates, and also between open and closed, preventative and deterrent, trust-building and risk-averse approaches. The living law of public order reflects a compromise between evolving inter/transnational standards and best practices on the one hand, and interests and demands of active, localized demand constituencies on the other. Providing a synopsis of knowledge of public order policing and building on a series of case studies, the authors conclude inter alia that transnational legal norms do not produce a universal model of public order policing.

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