Title

Morality and Police Conduct: a Way Forward for Ethical Policing

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Forum on Public Policy

Faculty

Business and Law

School

Law and Justice

RAS ID

10275

Comments

This article was originally published as: Crowley, M. G., & Larsen, A. (2010). Morality and Police Conduct: a way forward for ethical policing. Forum on Public Policy, 2010 (5), 1-17.

Abstract

At times the police make headline news for the wrong reasons having violated a rule or procedure, overstepped their powers in investigating a crime or broken the law. Sometimes, however, police behaviour, which is dubious, improper or unethical, is accepted by the judiciary. This paper explores the disjuncture between universal moral principles found in the Western Australian Police Code of Conduct and improper police conduct that discretionary decision making allows. This paper contends that although some universal moral principles are violated with apparent impunity, moral principles serve to provide an external morality guide to police. As a way forward, Habermas‘ theory of discourse ethics may assist in bridging the divide between moral principles and police practices.