Project Meeting: Berlin

Group photo of team members who met in Berlin, stood around and seated in front of a screen showing the project logo
L-R: Jérémie Gauthier, Christian Mouhanna, Amy Humphrey, Alexander Bosch, Anja Johansen, Morgane Herault, Marie-Theres Piening, Manon Pamar, Tobias Singelnstein, Hartmut Aden, Marc Alain, Sonja John. Photo by Sven Lüders.

Project Meeting: Berlin

February 28 – March 4, 2022

The international and interdisciplinary research project POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY – TOWARDS INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS (2021-2022) was launched in early 2021. The project investigates the work of independent police accountability bodies that have been established in many countries over the past decades. However, these bodies are highly divergent with respect to their powers and practices. The project compares the powers, functioning and the output of the independent police accountability bodies and the levels of empowerment granted to complainants.

The Police Accountability project is a cooperation of the Berlin School of Economics and Law, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, University of Dundee, The University of Strathclyde, Centre de Recherches Sociologiques sur le Droit et les Institutions Pénales, Université de Strasbourg, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Kyoto Sangyo University, and Meiji University.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project work took place mostly online in the first year. Eventually, from February 28 – March 4, 2022, team members were able to meet in-person at the Berlin Institute for Safety and Security Research (FÖPS Berlin) of the Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR). Prof. Dr. Hartmut Aden, in his role as over-overall project coordinator, welcomed the colleagues and had reserved the historic „Berlin Room“ on the HWR-Lichtenberg campus for this event. Researchers from Canada, France, Germany and the UK participated live while some others joined the meeting online.

Intense discussions on key terms, political-social dimensions of police accountability and methodological approaches brought the work forward. Team members presented first research results and coordinated further steps for comparison.

The native Berliner team member gave a tour along the Berlin Wall memorial at Bernauer Straße with reference to police accountability and state violence and suggested some culinary hotspots Berlin’s restaurant scene has to offer. Intensive as well as informal discussions helped to prepare future team work.

The next in-person team meetings of the „Police Accountability“ project are planned to take place at the University of Dundee, UK, in September 2022, and at the Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan, in February/March 2023, in addition to panels at international conferences.

Written by: Sonja John

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