Stop in the Name of the Law: The Legal Regulation of Police Stops in Europe

Genevieve Lennon, Markus Himanen, Estelle Marks, Christian Mouhanna

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


Police stops are pervasive across Europe, but their legal regulation is heterogeneous, with differences in legal structure, accountability and deployment. This paper examines the regulatory frameworks governing police stops in England and Wales, Finland and France to enable cross-jurisdictional comparisons. This framework is divided into three characteristics: the legal structure, discretion and legal safeguards, and the justification for the power. The analysis reveals commonalities and major differences in the legal powers and safeguards, including some very lax regulation. Some elements appear more central in ensuring effective oversight. There is, however, no simple connection between the regulatory framework and the negative impacts. High-level discretion of police leadership and security authorities and political justifications emphasising deterring crime and security threats diminish the effectiveness of other regulatory components.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGoverning Police Stops Across Europe
EditorsE. Aston, S. De Kimpe, J. Fazekas, G. Lennon, M. Rowe
Number of pages34
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date18 Nov 2023
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-41362-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-41363-6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2023
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NamePalgrave's Critical Policing Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2730-535X
ISSN (Electronic)2730-5368

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology

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