Living law in public order: trust, risk, dominion and universality

Willem de Lint, Adam Pocrnic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Public order policing may be seen as the use of police authority and capacity to restore the balance between different interests in a crowd gathering. Police organizations that perform public order policing functions mostly work on the basis of a living law practice, in which they build knowledge and expertise in an adaptive environment. Across jurisdictions, common practices, tactics, and legal instruments have been developed, but significant differences and inconsistencies remain. As a practice, the authors argue, public order policing is often divided between legal authorities and mandates, and also between open and closed, preventative and deterrent, trust-building and risk-averse approaches. The living law of public order reflects a compromise between evolving inter/transnational standards and best practices on the one hand, and interests and demands of active, localized demand constituencies on the other. Providing a synopsis of knowledge of public order policing and building on a series of case studies, the authors conclude inter alia that transnational legal norms do not produce a universal model of public order policing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComparative Policing from a Legal Perspective
EditorsMonica den Boer
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781785369117
ISBN (Print)9781785369100
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2018

Publication series

NameResearch Handbooks in Comparative Law series
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing


  • cross-cultural studies
  • Law enforcement


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