Independent complaints body for the police

Police misconduct is legally part of public action. In cases of racial profiling, BUG has already legally supported several lawsuits against the Federal Police of Germany, which you can learn more about here.

The police are the central institution for prevention of dangers for the general public as well as for individuals and are therefore a focus in the public eye. They also work in situations of conflict in which they have to settle disputes between citizens or have to enforce law.

From time to time there is thus criticism of police’s actions. For instance, police compulsory measures are often perceived as rough, unfounded or unreasonable acts of violence and identity checks conducted by police officers are often seen as discriminatory behaviour when people of colour or people with an ascribed migratory background are subjected to them (racial profiling). In addition to these cases of police misconduct, which are often seen as everyday occurrences, there are also similar incidents within the police, as for example the police investigation into the racially motivated series of murders committed by the ‘National Socialist Underground’ (Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund). Moreover, the heated debates on national security put people of Muslim faith at the surpassing risk to be associated with terrorist activities, to be recorded in databases, and accordingly, to become targets of – often covert – police measures.

In the context of the aforementioned situations of conflict, BUG has been organizing several meetings with human rights organizations since 2013. Some of the organizations involved had already published analyses and demands for an independent complaints body for the police (see below).

On this basis, BUG has developed a comprehensive proposal for a concept for an independent complaints body for the police that you can find here.

Further publications and analyses

In the following we present to you select demands for an independent and effective complaints body for the police that have been published by civil society organizations in recent years (only available in German):

Amnesty International e.V. (2010): Täter unbekannt - Mangelnde Aufklärung von mutmaßlichen Misshandlungen durch die Polizei in Deutschland

Amnesty International/ Humanistische Union e.V./ Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte e.V./ Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie e.V./ Republikanischer Anwältinnen- und Anwälteverein e.V.: Kriterien für eine unabhängige Kontrollinstanz zur Untersuchung von Polizeigewalt, in: Mitteilungen der Humanistischen Union No. 217 (Magazine 2/2012), S. 12

Eric Töpfer (2014): Unabhängige Polizei-Beschwerdestellen. Eckpunkte für ihre Ausgestaltung, Policy Paper des Deutschen Instituts für Menschenrechte 2014.

Hartmut Aden, Polizeibeauftragte und Beschwerdestellen in Deutschland, in: vorgänge No. 204 (4/2013), S. 10–17

Kampagne für Opfer rassistischer Polizeigewalt/ Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte e.V./ arbeitskreis kritischer juristinnen und juristen an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: Rassistische Fahndungsraster. Racial Profiling stoppen!, in: das freischüßler No. 19 (2012/13), S. 48–49

Norbert Pütter, Kontrolle der Polizei, in: Bürgerrechte & Polizei/CILIP No. 99 (2/2011), S. 3-14; Ders., »Quis custodit custodes?« Kriterien externer Polizeikontrolle, in: RAV Informationsbrief No. 106 (2/2011), S. 24–29

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2011