Human rights and the policing of transnational organized crime



Publication Details

Harfield, C. G. (2012). Human rights and the policing of transnational organized crime. In F. Allum and S. Gilmour (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Transnational Organized Crime (pp. 366-378). London: Routledge.


'Human rights' and 'transnational organized crime' (TOC) independently enjoy significant academic literary attention.! In the context of policing, the rights paradigm, articulated in conjunction with or operating independently of the criminal justice notion of due process, serves as a framework for governance: a brake on possible state agent excess in the investigation and prosecution ofTOC. It is in this context that human rights and official interventions against crime are often considered together but is this the totality of the relationship between human rights and the policing ofTOC? Policing in its widest sense goes beyond the function of criminal investigation undertaken by police forces.

In relation to TOC, the notion of policing includes mechanisms of regulation and control such as immigration, customs, and anti-money-Iaundering measures. Recent academic literature reconsiders TOC from the perspective of crime prevention theory, itself an aspect of 'policing' (see for example Cornish and Clarke 2002; Hancock and Laycock 2010). This chapter seeks new insights by exploring the potential for different perspectives on the protection of human rights to inform the policing of transnational crime. In what ways might or should human rights strategy influence policing strategies in relation to TOC?

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