The simultaneous existence of judicial and non-judicial, internal and external, as well as preventative and reactive mechanisms is a common reality in today’s police oversight. Conducting a sociolegal analysis of judicial reviews of the Ontario police complaints system, I explain why the staggering degree of public dissatisfaction and perception of police impunity persist despite constant efforts to improve accountability. I challenge Kagan and Bourdieu's perspectives by demonstrating how jurisdictional boundary drawing occurs among actors as an attempt to reach equilibrium, rather than to compete with one another. In doing so, these institutions that were meant to provide checks and balances end up coordinating amongst themselves – with the help of the judiciary – to reorganize and hierarchize themselves in the field of police oversight. The fragmentation ultimately becomes more about the division of labour among the oversight agencies and actors than the extension of accountability.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand.Call For Papers and Panels