Law Professors: Police Oversight Board “Critical to the Rule of Law”


St. John’s, NL — A group of ten law professors at Dalhousie University is calling on Minister of Justice and Public Safety John Hogan to support the establishment of a civilian-led police oversight board for Newfoundland and Labrador. In an open letter released today, the law professors call the creation of a police oversight board “critical to the rule of law.”

Noting that the establishment of a civilian-led police oversight board in Newfoundland and Labrador would bring the province into line with other Canadian jurisdictions, the law professors argue that such a board is essential for “ensuring the transparency and accountability of police.” The letter goes on to describe a variety of functions that would fall within the responsibility of such a board in Newfoundland and Labrador, including setting high-level policies related to the recruitment and training of police officers, establishing use-of-force standards, consulting with communities to identify policing priorities, and monitoring compliance with all such policies and standards in order to ensure that police officers “conduct themselves in line with democratic norms and community expectations.”

“We fully support First Voice’s core proposals to establish a police oversight board in Newfoundland and Labrador that is civilian-led, independent of police, politically neutral, and representative of the province’s diverse communities. We call on [Minister Hogan] to do the same.”

The letter also expresses support for the 26 Proposals for Change that were put forward in a draft report released in July by the First Voice Working Group on Police Oversight.

A copy of the open letter can be found here.


Media Contact

Justin Campbell

Program Manager

First Voice Urban Indigenous Coalition