UCL Faculty of Laws


Hybrid | An Ethical Analysis of Police Officers' Reporting of Misconduct by Colleagues

08 March 2022, 4:30 pm–6:30 pm

Image of police officers

This event is organised by the Institute for Laws, Politics and Philosophy (ILPP)

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws

Please note that the time allocated for this colloquia will be devoted to discussion of the paper.

Speaker: Dr Justice Tankebe (University of Cambridge)

About the Paper

Policing has some significant trans-national ethical problems. One of these is the problem of police violation of ethical norms and the law, such as when officers provide false testimonies, collect bribes, use excessive force, or engage in racial discrimination. Another ethical problem concerns the choices made by individual police officers when they are confronted with such unethical actions by their colleagues. This is arguably the most fundamental ethical problem in policing because effective accountability, the rule of law, unfettered access to justice, confidence in democratic governance, and preventing police capture by organised crime depends on a solution to that problem. This chapter draws on survey data from Ghana to examine the applicability of Wikström’s ‘Situational Action Theory’ (SAT) to our understanding of why individual police officers choose to resolve that ethical problem the way they do. SAT proposes that moral actions are the outcome of interactions between a person’s individual moral propensity and the moral context of the setting in which he or she is currently placed. By contrast, in this analysis, misconduct reporting is shown to be the outcome of a perception-choice process in which the moral context of the setting is dominant and mediates the effects of individual propensity.

About the Speaker

Justice Tankebe is Associate Professor of Criminology and Fellow at St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge. Justice has held postdoctoral research fellowships from the British Academy, the ESRC, and Fitzwilliam College. His research interests are in areas of corruption, legitimacy, violence, policing, and vigilantism.

About the Institute

The Institute brings together political and legal theorists from Law, Political Science and Philosophy and organises regular colloquia in terms 2 and 3. If you would like to be added to the ILPP mailing list please contact us at laws-events@ucl.ac.uk.

Book your place

This seminar will be held as a hybrid event and will allow a small in-person audience (at UCL Laws, Bentham House) as well as a virtual audience. If you secure a place in-person but fall sick or are no longer able to attend do contact us at laws-event@ucl.ac.uk and we can transfer your ticket to an online one. 

Book an In-Person Ticket

For our online audience this seminar will be delivered via Zoom Meeting. Attendee cameras can be turned on however microphones will need to be turned off unless when contributing to discussions or putting forward a question for our guest speaker. You will receive your zoom joining link on registration and a link to the paper 2 weeks prior to the seminar. Contact the Laws Events team (laws-events@ucl.ac.uk) if you have not received neither the link and/or paper.

Book an Online Ticket