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Report of the Regional workshop on democratic policing, held on 16-17 September 2009 in Minsk, Belarus


This report, produced by the SPMU, contains summaries of presentations and discussions, as well as background information, executive summary, conclusions and recommendations.


This workshop brought together more than 60 policy makers, police experts, prosecutors and NGOs from 15 countries, mainly from Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus and focused on sensitive aspects of police work when executing police powers in the contexts of freedom of assembly and detention. 

The purpose was to disseminate the main provisions of democratic policing, included in the Guidebook on Democratic Policing, through discussions, with the objective of raising awareness of the good law enforcement practices and gaps identified among practitioners of the criminal justice system, and to identify recommendations for the implementation of theses good practices into police policies and practices. 

In the plenary sessions international guest speakers presented some examples of good policing practiced by the Police of Sweden (during arrest, detention and custody), Poland (in public order management) and Belgium (concerning oversight mechanisms for the Police).

In the working sessions the experts from the 15 participating States presented their own regulatory systems, mechanisms and practices. The presentations were followed by lively and productive questions and answers, remarks and interventions made by participants. This made the workshop a highly interactive event.

Among the useful good practices that were identified, to guarantee the principles of legality, proportionality and necessity in the use of police force were, for instance, the introduction of human rights advisors and Mobile Monitoring Groups; and the inclusion of mediation and dialogue techniques during training. Participants also highlighted the need for strengthening mechanisms of cooperation among the Police, local authorities and organisers of public gatherings.