ADIR - L'altro diritto

Reforming police accountability in Italy (REPOLITY)


Policing is one of the main public services provided by the State. The police have the task of guaranteeing peace and internal order, concepts that in a democratic polity generally coincide with the idea of guaranteeing the fundamental rights of individuals. To fulfil this function, the police are entrusted with extensive powers that could be easily abused. How society controls the exercise of police powers is generally considered a crucial indicator of the democratic nature of a polity.

REPOLITY starts from the assumption that mechanisms for controlling police misconduct in Italy, what is commonly referred to as police accountability, still need to be brought into line with the standards of other Western liberal democracies in order for the Italian law enforcement agencies to meet the challenges of the coming years.

More than forty years after the reform of the Italian police, REPOLITY aims to make a significant contribution to the public discussion on the reform of accountability procedures for law enforcement agencies in Italy, bringing together the perspectives of academic experts, police practitioners and other relevant stakeholders (e.g. human rights advocacy groups, human rights protection bodies, police practitioners and security professionals, police unions, policymakers).

REPOLITY will also fill a gap in the existing scholarly literature by proposing a multidisciplinary study on the actual functioning of existing accountability mechanisms, combining the perspectives of law and social sciences. In particular, the project aims to (a) improve the knowledge on the functioning of existing police accountability mechanisms in Italy; (b) develop a training module for the prevention of police misconduct; (c) advance a detailed proposal for reforming police accountability mechanisms in Italy.

Polizia, democrazia, diritti. Quali modelli di accountability?
Conferenza inaugurale del progetto, Bari, 1-2 febbraio 2024