This module is a resource for lecturers   


Guidelines to develop a stand-alone course


This Module provides an outline for a three-hour class, but there is potential to develop the topic further into a stand-alone course. The scope of such a course will be determined by the specific needs of each context, but a possible structure is presented here as a suggestion.



Brief description

Week 1


  • Introduction of Module themes and assessment methodology. Explore student familiarity with police accountability, integrity and oversight. Go through the definition of essential concepts.
  • Deliver exercise 1

Week 2

The role of police in democracies and the need for police accountability, integrity, oversight

  • Show the Ted Talk on Approaches to policing: Warrior vs. guardian mindsets in policing. Lecture on the role of police in democracies, and how it evolved over time.
  • Discussion on the key powers of the police, and implications for human rights, with illustrative examples.
  • Lecture and discussion on the need for accountability.
  • Deliver exercise 2.

Week 3

Internal and executive control of the police

  • Lecture on internal control mechanisms, with a particular focus on internal complaint handling procedures.
  • Discussion on police integrity, provide examples of codes of ethics.
  • Deliver exercise 4.
  • Lecture on executive control, with discussion on country practices and examples.

Week 4

Police oversight: the role of the Judiciary and the Parliament

  • Lecture and discussion on judicial and parliamentary oversight.
  • Student presentations on the state of judicial / parliamentary oversight in the country and/or international good practice examples.
  • Discussion on challenges with judicial and parliamentary oversight.

Week 5

Police oversight: Independent Police Complaint Bodies

  • Lecture on independent oversight of the police, with a particular focus on independent police complaint bodies.
  • Student presentations on comparative IPCB models and mandates.
  • Discussion on establishing an IPCB in the country - potential challenges.
  • Alternatively, presentation(s) by the ombudsman institution / NHRI / anti-corruption commission in the country. 

Week 6

Police oversight: the role of the Media and Civil Society

Week 7

Gender, diversity and police accountability

  • Lecture and discussion on gender and police accountability.
  • Deliver Exercises 5 and 6.
  • In depth analysis of a case concerning SGBV committed by a police officer.
  • Lecture and discussion on diversity in policing and implications for accountability.
  • Exercise 7 on Profiling.

Week 8

Police Detention: Integrity, Oversight and Accountability

  • Lecture and discussion on police detention and accountability. In depth analysis of the most recent SPT report on the country concerning detention conditions.
  • Exercise 5 on analysing case law on detention.

Week 9

The role of whistle-blowers in police accountability

Week 10

Course wrap up; open discussion with a police representative

  • Invite a representative from the National Police Service (alternatively, if class size and police regulations permit, arrange a visit to the local police station and organize a meeting with a representative of the police service).
  • Discussion with the police representative on integrity, accountability and oversight. 


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