Security Sector Reform, Models of Policing and Methods of Comparison

James Gallen
Volume 3 Issue 2 Article 3
Security sector reform (S.S.R.) is a crucial part of a country’s transition from
conflict to peace or dictatorship to democracy and seen as an essential
pre-condition for the re-establishment of the rule of law and an effective legal
sector. This article compares the legitimacy and efficacy of two competing
models of policing as part of security sector reform: community policing and
military policing. The community policing model is considered through the
experiences of New Zealand, Japan and its application to Timor-Leste as part of
that country’s S.S.R. programs. The military policing model is also considered
in the Timorese context. The article identifies the common conditions and
structural goals that are necessarily pursued in any S.S.R. project in a
transition. The common conditions are described as the circumstances of
transition and set the potential benefits and limitations for both community
policing and military policing models. The appropriateness of these models
within given transitions will then be evaluated by reference to the common
structural goals identified, the restoration of civic trust and the development
of the rule of law.


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