2011 Conference Abstracts

Conference Abstracts

Policing and European Studies

UACES funded Collaborative Research Network

Mini –conference Friday 25th February 2011

@ the University of Abertay Dundee



Research Session 1:

Chair TBC

1. Simon Sneddon:

Cocaine trafficking via West Africa. An assessment of EU policing and policies

2. Martin Elvins:

Europe’s Caribbean frontier: policing the cocaine supply chain

3. Ken Scott:

Border Policing: A new dimension to the British Police



Simon Sneddon; “Cocaine trafficking via West Africa. An assessment of EU policing and policies.”


LLB (Hons), MA, FHEA

Course Leader, LLM

UN Teaching Fellow

University of Northampton

Boughton Green Road



Tel: 01604 735500

Direct: 01604 892456




This paper will assess the impact of the work of national, regional and international agencies on the trafficking of cocaine into the EU from South America (particularly Colombia) via West Africa (particularly Guinea Bissau). It focuses on the work of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in the UK, Europol, and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC).


The paper reveals that, despite the rhetoric, there is not a truly coherent and coordinated approach to tackling this illegal and harmful trade. It argues that the return to Guinea Bissau of Admiral Na Tchuto in June 2010 underlines both the inherent fragility of any recent successes, and the challenges faced in trying to tackle the “need for coherence and improved coordination [in] the EU agencies [including Europol].[1]

It will suggest that, despite cocaine production in Colombia falling to an “11-year low” in 2009[2], a more robust strategy is needed to tackle the flow of cocaine transiting West Africa, and prevent the flooding of the European cocaine market.



Martin Elvins, Europe’s Caribbean frontier: policing the cocaine supply chain


University of Dundee




This paper examines European efforts intended to assist Caribbean countries with the problems arising from cocaine transhipment via the region to Europe. The paper draws upon fieldwork examining counter-drugs assistance provided to certain Caribbean countries by two European Union (EU) member states: the United Kingdom (UK) and the Netherlands. It will explore the extent and implications of what is in effect a westward stretching of  the EU border in the form of extra-territorial counter-drugs activities (such as overseas postings of drugs liaison officers). The paper highlights efforts to prevent drugs leaving Caribbean countries through policing and border control actions in the region, notably in relation to the drug courier problem. Dutch control of flights to Europe from Curaçao, and similar UK control of flights from Jamaica will be outlined in this regard. The paper will assess the efficacy of such measures as a first line of defence in light of the rising trend in cocaine use in Europe apparent in recent years. In their attempts to ‘police and secure’ the EU border from afar are EU countries masking a wider failure of ‘home-based’ enforcement strategies to change the dynamics of the cocaine supply chain?


Background note


Paper based on the author’s findings from an ESRC-funded research project completed in 2009:‘UK and Dutch counter-drugs policies in the Caribbean: a comparative analysis.’


Kenneth B Scott; Border Policing: A New Dimension to the British Police?


University of the West of Scotland


Unlike policing in the rest of Europe and many other parts of the world, the police in Britain has paid relatively little attention to the policing of the nation’s borders and there has never been a separate frontier police organisation.  The creation of the UK Borders Agency has changed this and the proposal of the present UK Government to establish a Border Police Force appears to be a further step in that direction.  Against the background of the traditional functions, organisational structures and accountability mechanisms of policing in the UK, this paper seeks to review these developments.  The extent to which the Borders Agency can claim to be a policing body is examined; its powers, structures and methods of operating are discussed; and the extent to which its operations are publically accountable will be analysed.  In view of the work of the UK Borders Agency and its current relationship to police, the scope for the creation of a dedicated force to police the UK’s borders will be considered in terms of adding a new dimension to British policing.





Research Session 2:

Chair TBC

1. Luisa Marin:

Policing human trafficking: a challenge for the development of the external dimension of the AFSJ

2. Maria O’Neill:

The EU legal framework for Trafficking in Human Beings; where to from here – the UK perspective.






Luisa Marin; Policing human trafficking: a challenge for the development of the external dimension of the AFSJ


Dr. Luisa Marin

Centre for European Studies / LEGS

University of Twente

The Netherlands

 +31. 53. 489. 3193




The paper I am presenting at the University of Abertay (Dundee, UK) deals with policing human trafficking at the external borders of the European Union. Recently, the issue has witnessed developments within the framework of devising new tools to fight against undocumented migration.


The paper will start by presenting the general trends of development of the external dimension of the area of freedom, security and justice, through an analysis of relevant policy documents. Secondly it will discuss more specifically the evolution of policing human trafficking at the external borders of the EU, trying to place the recent developments into a causal context. Special attention will be paid at the institutional settings, and how it did develop in the establishment of Frontex.


A next section will be devoted to operations carried out by the European Union and member states through Frontex. I will critically look at issues arising in this context, namely whether accountability is ensured for such operations between EU-MS and whether the effects of such operations infringe human rights.


The results of my analysis will be discussed in the perspective of the Lisbon Treaty and the Stockholm Programme, in order to find out whether the future legal and policy framework will provide new instruments to fix current issues.



Maria O’Neill; The EU legal framework for Trafficking in Human Beings; where to from here – the UK perspective.


Dr. Maria O’Neill

University of Abertay Dundee.



The EU’s current provisions on the trafficking on human beings (THB) are provided for, inter alia, in Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA.[3] The Council of Europe have more recent provisions in this area,[4] which are not yet widely in force. The EU has some major proposals for reform of its legal framework in the Stockholm Programme, to include the appointment of an EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator. In addition, the focus of EU Justice and Home Affairs is shifting to the external relations of the EU under the Stockholm Programme. It is now timely for a critical examination of the EU legal framework in the area of THB from a law enforcement perspective.


TBH is a highly contentious and complicated area for regulation, with issues such as the support of the victims of trafficking, the particular needs of under-aged trafficked individuals, and the issues of due process when a witness may not be considered to be reliable during court proceedings, complicating operations and prosecutions. In addition the issue of illegal immigration adds a further layer of complication, with the UK maintaining its opt out from the EU’s illegal immigration provisions. This paper will, focus on the illegal trafficking of adults against their will, and the consequences of this crime, in particular, for the UK law enforcement authorities. 





Research Session 3:

Chair TBC

  1. Mo Egan:

Non-conviction based sanctions: ECJ v ECHR, who decides?

2. Stephen Rozée:

The European Union as a Comprehensive Police Actor

3. (Cancelled) Alexandra Schwell:

Policing the body politic.

Imaginations of purity, migration and the nation state.



Mo Egan; Non-conviction based sanctions: ECJ v ECHR, who decides?


Dundee Business School,

University of Abertay,

Bell Street

Dundee DD1 1HG

Email: M.Egan@abertay.ac.uk

Tel: 01382 308405


As the Lisbon Treaty enters into force the commitment to the creation of area of Freedom, Security and Justice is demonstrated through the expansion in the role of the European Court of Justice.  This expansion is heralded by the Stockholm Programme to provide an opportunity to ‘ensure consistency of interpretation’ but the position of the ECJ in relation to the European Court of Human Rights is yet to be clarified. In particular the Stockholm programme emphasises the importance of indentifying and confiscating criminal assets however, there are disparate practices across the EU as to how the proceeds of crime are recovered. Potential for human rights issues are particularly heightened in those systems which adopt non-conviction based sanctions.  The Stockholm programme claims that the case-law of the ECJ and ECHR will be able to develop ‘in step’ but conflict appears to be imminent in this case.  Taking the specific case of non-conviction based recovery of the proceeds of crime this paper will attempt to map the relationship and responsibilities of the ECJ and ECHR post-Lisbon.



Stephen Rozée; The European Union as a Comprehensive Police Actor.


PhD candidate, University of Salford.


The European Union has responded to changing security threats by seeking to increase cooperation between Member States’ law enforcement agencies, granting further powers to Europol and other intelligence-sharing institutions, and by undertaking police missions beyond EU borders. The literature relating to EU policing is generally focused on the “internal” and “external” dimensions, or on specific aspects of police activity. This tendency to concentrate on narrow or isolated areas of policing has led to a significant gap regarding broader analysis of the EU as a comprehensive police actor. Important questions about the mature of EU policing as a whole, as well as the role of police in the EU’s ambitions as a comprehensive security provider, remain unexplored in the literature. This article aims to define what is meant by “comprehensive policing” and to identify criteria by which the comprehensiveness of EU–level policing may be measures. In addition to this, an integrated actorness/ police comprehensiveness framework will be presented as a tool for assessing the EU as a comprehensive police actor.



Alexandra Schwell; Policing the body politic; Imaginations of purity, migration and the nation state.


Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät,

Institut für Europäische Ethnologie,

Hanuschgasse 3,

A-1010 Wien.

Tel: +43-1-4277-440 06

Fax: +43-1-4277-9418





Anti-immigration discourse frequently is framed by parts of the political and media actors as a “contagion” of the body politic. This idea of the state, society and polity as the body politic embodies the myth of the sovereign and homogenous nation state as opposed to a potentially dangerous “outside”.


Mental boundaries and institutionalized borders both play a pivotal role for the imagined (security) community in the construction of Self and Other and are thus particularly prone to the securitization of external threats from anywhere “behind the border”. Questions of identity and security culminate in the judicial arrangement and the cultural staging of borders and border controls. The concept of the body politic thus implies that immigration has become practically analogous with enemy infiltration.


But what happens in the in-groups perception of Self and Other when the imagined bulwark suddenly is about to crumble? With the abolishment of border controls in the course of the enlargement of the Schengen zone the symbolic function of the border as protection against intruders and other external threats is put to the test.


Drawing on the field research in Austria the paper scrutinizes how the perceived loss of control in the course of the dismantlement of border checks reproduces the concept of the endangered and insecure in-group while reinforcing the myth of the nation state and the “pure” body politic.





[1] Council of the EU, 2009, “The Stockholm Programme – An open and secure Europe serving and protecting the citizens,” Para 1.2.4 Increased Coherence.

[2] Bristow, M., 2010, Colombian Cocaine Production fell to an 11-year low last year, Bloomberg, 12 May 2010.

[3] Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA of 19 July 2002 on combating trafficking in human beings, OJ L 203 of 01.08.2002.

[4] Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (singed 2007) CETS No.: 201.