Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials

The Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials was adopted by United Nations General Assembly resolution in 1979.  The Code contains eight (8) Articles.  Article 1 states that law enforcement officials shall perform the duties imposed on them by serving the community and protecting persons from illegal acts.  According to Article 2, while performing their duty, law enforcement officials should respect and protect human dignity and uphold human rights.  Article 3 permits law enforcement officials to use force only when necessary for the performance of duty.  Article 4 mandates matters of confidential nature to be kept confidential.

According to Article 5, law enforcement officials should not inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.  Law enforcement officials cannot invoke superior orders or exceptional circumstances such as a state of war or a threat of war, a threat to national security, internal political instability or any other public emergency as a justification of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

According to Article 6, law enforcement officials should protect the health of persons in custody and provide medical attention if needed. Article 7 prescribes that law enforcement officials should not commit any form of corruption.  Law enforcement officials should respect the code of conduct and report to the higher officials if any violations of the code occur.

Full text of Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials


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