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Racism and police investigations: individual redress, public interests and collective change after the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

Field, Stewart Andrew and Roberts, Pauline Isobel 2002. Racism and police investigations: individual redress, public interests and collective change after the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. Legal Studies 22 (4) , pp. 493-526. 10.1111/j.1748-121X.2002.tb00666.x

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Abstract

This paper considers the impact of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. It focuses on the kind of situation presented by the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation where racist stereotypes and assumptions infect both police inquiries into serious violent crime and the treatment of victims or their families. It first demonstrates the limited scope of individual redress available prior to the Act in such situations (examining police complaints mechanisms, private prosecutions, misfeasance in public office, judicial review and negligence). It links limitations in the scope of individual redress to a traditional priority accorded to public interests. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 gives individuals a general right to sue the police for racial discrimination in investigations. It is argued that a similar right probably now exists – at least in the context of life-threatening violence – under the Human Rights Act 1998. These developments seem to signal a shift in the balance between individual rights and the limiting claims of public interests. But the singularity of the 2000 Act is that, in introducing the mechanisms and logic of anti-discrimination law into the criminal process, it creates the potential for a more interactive relationship between individual complaint and the public interest in the collective promotion of change.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
ISSN: 1748-121X
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:48
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/2961

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