Call for Papers: Technology, Policing, and Earning the Public Trust

The Technology, Law & Security (TLS) Program, in partnership with the Criminal Justice Practice & Policy Institute (CJPPI) at the American University Washington College of Law (WCL) and the Journal of National Security Law and Policy (JNSLP) at Georgetown University, is pleased to announce the following call for papers.

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The tragic killing of George Floyd and the subsequent wave of mass protests have once again brought to the fore deep-seated concerns about policing, unnecessary and disproportionate uses of force, and unequal justice.  Consistent with our focus on the intersection of technology, law and security, we seek papers addressing the role that technology might play in police and criminal justice restructuring. While technology will not, in and of itself, resolve the myriad, complex underlying problems, it can, and likely will be called on to play a role.  Can, and if so how can technology help enhance accountability, ensure equal protection of the law, and support the building of law enforcement and prosecutorial practices that earn public trust.  Already, bodycams and cell phone videos have born witness to repeated acts of police violence and provided an unprecedented window into police interactions with the public.  How, can, and should technology be employed to empower citizens, expose injustices, support fair investigations and accountability, and restructure policing (including alternatives to traditional police forces) and the broader criminal justice system in constructive ways?

These papers will form the inaugural collection of the TLS paper series.  All authors will also be invited to participate in a fall symposium, where they will have an opportunity to present their work; to publish in a special edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of National Security Law and Policy on policing and technology; and to submit for consideration a related 900-1200-word oped/summary for publication in the joint TLS/Slate Policing and Technology Project, to be launched in the coming months.

Those interested should submit 1-page abstracts of proposed papers to no later than July 30th, 2020.  Authors of selected papers will be notified in mid-August.  Papers should be 5,000 to 10,000 words in length.  Detailed instructions will be provided upon abstract approval.  Please email any questions to

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