The role of the law in policing: the well- trodden path, the road less travelled and the road ahead

author Layla Skinns
journal Cahiers Politiestudies (ISSN: 1784-5300)
volume Jaargang 2012
issue 25. Tides and currents in police theories
section Artikelen
date of publication Dec. 12, 2012
language English
pagina 225

This paper critically explores ‘where we are now’ in theories about the role of the law in policing in the Anglo-American world. It examines the well-trodden path of theories about the law, police discretion and the politics of policing. Two other well-trodden paths are theories concerning the law and police powers, and the law and police legitimacy. In contrast to other areas of police studies and perhaps because of the significance of the law to policing, it is argued that theories about the role of the law in policing are in a healthy state. Though to remain so in the future, they need adjusting in the light of the pluralisation, internationalisation and transnationalisation of policing, which represent the ‘road less travelled. Whilst on the ‘road ahead’, it will be important to examine the relevance and validity of concepts and theories about the role of the law in policing to countries beyond the Anglo-American world.