UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A modern star chamber : an analysis of ordered statements in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police MacMillan, Craig S


This Ph.D. thesis provides an analysis of "ordered statements" in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ("R.C.M.P."). Statements can be compelled from R.C.M.P. members who are under "internal" investigation for misconduct. Ordered statements from police officers raise a number of difficult and complex questions that have not been thoroughly examined in Canada. Accountability in policing consists of a complex web of criminal, internal, administrative, public, and civil mechanisms to review misconduct. In order to properly consider ordered statements four threads of analysis are utilized. First, by way of background, context and comparison, this thesis describes and evaluates internal management, culture and discipline in policing, in particular the R.C.M.P. Second, this thesis examines and evaluates the role of various external mechanisms that regulate police conduct. Third, various models of civilian oversight are compared and contrasted to position the R.C.M.P. regime internationally. Fourth, the working environment of police officers and R.C.M.P. members is explored, demonstrating that it is significantly different from other occupations, calling into question the applicability of traditional management practices. The thesis concludes that the legal and constitutional position of ordered statements is uncertain, adding to morale and organizational problems in the R.C.M.P. Based on interviews with 107 members, and an examination of other sources, this thesis reveals how ordered statements in the R.C.M.P. work in actual practice, and how this mechanism impacts upon individual members and the organization itself. The results reveal marked disparity between official and member accounts. The material and findings not only challenge basic theoretical premises that inform the employment context of R.C.M.P. members, they seriously question the function of and need for ordered statements. They also establish that the specific employment and organizational context must be more adequately considered by academics and policy-makers when examining the issue of ordered statements. These findings fill gaps in the literature and hopefully contribute to theory on police accountability. The thesis ends with a number of recommendations to improve the current R.C.M.P. regime.

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