Police Influence in Policy Development

Mark Heeler, York University

Previous studies of influence on Canadian organized crime legislation have focused on American influence and internal politics. This paper suggests that excessive police influence may have shaped the resulting law. Despite vociferous opposition from civil liberties groups and members of the legal community, new Canadian organized crime law (Bill C-95) was enacted in 1997 fulfilling what many argued was a "wish list for police". This law has subsequently described as invasive, overly broad and draconian. To examine police influence, this paper will provide a contextual profile of the law reform period and an introduction to the history of police in law reform. Using a policy community methodology, the government sponsored organized crime forums and parliamentary debates are studied. The paper concludes with a critique of police influence in organized crime legislation.

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Updated 05/20/2006