(Washington, DC) Executive Director Philip K. Eure of the Office of Police Complaints (OPC) recently addressed a delegation from the People’s Republic of China during a session that took place in Washington, DC, on November 13, 2009.
The 10-member delegation included prosecutors, judges and academics who were participating in a US study tour jointly organized by the American Bar Association (ABA) Rule of Law Initiative and New York University (NYU) US-Asia Law Institute.
Prior to visiting Washington, the group also met with law enforcement officials in New York City and planned to travel later to Los Angeles for discussions with local criminal justice officials. A major focus of the study tour was to learn how the “exclusionary rule” is used to deter police misconduct by preventing evidence illegally obtained by the police from being introduced against criminal defendants in American courts.
In explaining the processes used by OPC to investigate and adjudicate citizen complaints against the police, Eure presented an overview of how independent police review works in the United States, as an additional means to deter police misconduct. Eure also discussed how OPC mediates some complaints filed by citizens against police officers. The visitors from China asked many questions.
“We were very pleased to share our views on police accountability with Chinese officials and academics who work on criminal justice issues,” said Eure. “Based on the positive reactions to our presentation, we expect we will continue to work with the American Bar Association, through its rule of law initiative, to make the case for police oversight to visiting delegations from around the world.”
In November 2008, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI) and China University of Politics and Law (CUPL), with support from the NYU US-Asia Law Institute, developed a two-year program aimed at encouraging criminal justice reform in China. The program has established two pilot sites, one in Beijing and the other in Yancheng City, with the goal of designing and implementing an exclusionary rule procedure to curb police abuse largely related to coerced confessions.
Over the years, representatives of OPC have met with official delegations from many countries, including Mexico, Nigeria, Serbia, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Ireland, Italy, Brazil and Norway.
To learn more about the ABA’s rule of law program, visit www.abanet.org/rol. For more information on NYU’s US-Asia Law Institute, visit www.usasialaw.org.