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“A Historical Consideration of the Police and Prosecution/Courts in Northern Ireland”

McGloin, Jean Marie
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) International Criminal Justice Review. 16(2):77-98.

The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 was a catalyst of pervasive change for Northern Ireland.
In setting the stage for a pluralistic democracy, it advocated for a change in the paradigm of
policing, from the colonial toward the Anglo-Saxon model. Comparatively little is known
about the prosecutorial/court service in Northern Ireland, however, especially regarding its
relation to the police. This article attempts to fill this void by considering whether the police,
prosecution, and court systems have been in paradigmatic balance during Northern Ireland’s
social history. It does so by applying Mawby’s metric of legitimacy, structure, and function.
By focusing on secondary data relevant to these three characteristics, this article argues that
although it was in sync under a colonial paradigm, there is the potential for imbalance as the
police force illustrates a stronger commitment toward an Anglo-Saxon paradigm. After providing
evidence for this thesis, the article discusses the implications of this imbalance. author’s abstract


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