Understanding Discretion in Modern Policing
Criminal Law Journal, 35 6: 319-332, 2011
15 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2015
Date Written: 2011
Discretion is a ubiquitous and legitimate aspect of modern policing, though its scope and limits are poorly understood. In this article, the authors seek to refine our understanding of discretion in modern policing by examining the historical evolution of the concept, and the modern challenges facing individual officers and police organisations in reconciling, on the one hand, the duty to enforce the law fairly and impartially, and on the other hand, the need to temper strict law enforcement for sound policy and operational reasons. The article reviews recent case law in Canada exploring these tensions within policing and the proper limits of police discretion.
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation