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EuropeanConventionHandbookForPolice

The use of force in

The use of force in policing Page 29 etc., must be available. Any use of such equipment must be subject to appropriate regulation and officers deployed to use such equipment must be suitably trained. Consequently, a command structure, with suitably trained and experienced officers in key roles, should be in place. 59 If a policing operation is anticipated to last a long time, adequate resources should be available to ensure resilience. 60 In addition, recording of the use of any type of force is necessary in order to guarantee transparency. Police officers must be given clear instructions and training on how and when they may use their weapons. Unregulated and arbitrary action by State agents is incompatible with effective respect for human rights 61 . This means that, as well as being authorised under national law, policing operations must be sufficiently regulated by it, within the framework of a system of adequate and effective safeguards against arbitrariness and abuse of force. 62 The rules governing the use of force apply in all situations, even ‘at the end of a long day of public-order operations during which the law-enforcement agencies had been confronted with rapidly unfolding and dangerous situations and had been required to make crucial operational decisions.’ 63 Internal political stability or other public emergency cannot justify a departure from these standards. 64 Police officers must be assessed as to their suitability to carry weapons. A failure to do so by the State may result in it being held responsible for killings by an officer, even if they were not carried out while on duty. 65 ■ In Gorovenky and Bugara v Ukraine, the Court reiterated that ‘States are expected to set high professional standards within their law-enforcement systems and ensure that the persons serving in these systems meet the requisite criteria ... In particular, when equipping police forces with firearms, not only must the necessary technical training be given but the selection of agents allowed to carry such firearms must also be subject to particular scrutiny.’ 66 59 Andronicou and Constantinou v Cyprus, judgment of 9 October 1997. 60 Giuliani and Gaggio v Italy, judgment of 25 August 2009 at paragraph 238. 61 Giuliani and Gaggio v Italy, judgment (Grand Chamber) of 24 March 2011 at paragraph 249. 62 Makaratzis v Greece, judgment of 20 December 2004 at paragraph 58 and also Wasilewska and Kalucka v Poland, judgment of 23 February 2010 at paragraph 45. 63 Giuliani and Gaggio v Italy, judgment (Grand Chamber) of 24 March 2011 at paragraph 238. 64 UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms Principle 8. 65 Gorovenky and Bugara v Ukraine, judgment of 12 January 2012. 66 Gorovenky and Bugara v Ukraine, judgment of 12 January 2012 at paragraph 38.

The European Convention on Human Rights and Policing Page 30 The following questions may be of use to officers who have used lethal (or potentially lethal) force, in assisting them to record the rationale for doing so: ffWas the use of force in accordance with the law? ffWas the amount of force used proportionate in the circumstances? ffWere other options considered? If so, what were they? ffWhy were those options discounted? ffWas the method of applying force in accordance with police procedures and training? In the specific context of police operations where firearms may be used, the Strasbourg Court has highlighted the importance of the following: ffrecord-keeping: the keeping of full records by police is extremely important, as it facilitates accountability; ffchain of command: there should be a clear chain of command, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities; 67 ffofficers should have training and experience relevant to their roles; 68 ffa range of tactical options should be available (e.g. less-lethal weapons; protective equipment); 69 ffappropriate technical equipment should be available (e.g. lighting for siege situations); ffspecialist advisers (e.g. firearms specialists, negotiators) should be available to provide advice and to facilitate consistency of decision-making; 70 ffwarnings should be given unless clearly useless or inappropriate; 71 and ffadministrative framework: the internal policy framework within the police should be clear so that officers know their roles and responsibilities. 72 67 Andronicou and Constantinou v Cyprus, judgment of 9 October 1997, Makaratzis v Greece, judgment of 20 December 2004, Huohvanainen v Finland, judgment of 13 March 2007. 68 Bubbins v the United Kingdom, judgment of 17 March 2005. 69 Simsek v Turkey, judgment of 26 July 2005 and Gulec v Turkey, judgment of 27 July 1998. 70 Andronicou and Constantinou v Cyprus, judgment of 9 October 1997 and Bubbins v the United Kingdom, judgment of 17 March 2005. 71 Ramsahai v the Netherlands, judgment of 15 May 2007 and Huohvanainen v Finland, judgment of 13 March 2007. 72 Bubbins v the United Kingdom, judgment of 17 March 2005 and Makaratzis v Greece, judgment of 20 December 2004.