International Law Approach to Police Brutality through the lens of European Convention on Human Rights

Anirudh Agarwal
O P Jindal Global University, India.

Volume III, Issue VI, 2020

In this Paper, initially I would be discussing the meaning and the history of police brutality which date back to the mid-nineteenth century. The point shall be further developed by highlighting the key causes for police brutality which would take into consideration the psychological reasons, use of excessive force, racial profiling and many more. The powers that are envisaged with the police officers are so unique and enormous that it could disproportionately be exercised against the citizens depriving them of their freedom and hence, resulting in grave violation of human rights of all individuals. Therefore, it is the duty of the law enforcement officials to not only carefully exercise and comply with the international human rights standards as it is binding on all states and their agents but also to “respect and protect human dignity and maintain and uphold the human rights of all persons”.

Thereafter, I would predominantly be focusing on the scope of the European Convention on Human Rights on police brutality which would further be substantiated by the case laws hence, underlining the nexus between the two. Lastly, I would conclude by highlighting the rights of the police officers and the challenges faced in achieving an ideal balance between police powers and individual liberty as police officers are meant to be the peacekeepers of the society.