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Human Rights

In many countries of the Commonwealth, counter-terrorism measures are reshaping civilian policing in violation of fundamental human rights and posing a serious challenge to meaningful democratic police reform...

Terrorism, Policing and Human Rights

In many countries of the Commonwealth, counter-terrorism measures are reshaping civilian policing in violation of fundamental human rights and posing a serious challenge to meaningful democratic police reform. This is happening in a number of ways - significantly through the enactment of laws that include vague definitions of terrorism which allow for the laws to be broadly applied and extend police powers to arbitrarily stop and search, use unreasonable and excessive force, arrest without warrant, preventively detain, detain suspects for long-periods without charge and limit fundamental due process rights. Counter-terrorism policing in many countries is undermining already struggling police oversight and accountability instruments designed to safeguard against police abuse. This is happening with anti-terrorism responses that: give police increased immunity from prosecution, see police forces joining with unregulated security bodies (such as military and intelligence forces), the integration of national and foreign security actors, and the scope for unreported secret police operations under new laws.

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