The American Law Institute is making the Sections of Principles of the Law, Policing that are approved by both ALI Council and membership available for free download. These Sections were presented in drafts at the 2017 and 2019 Annual Meetings.

In 2017, the Use of Force Principles were approved. The Reporters quickly revised the draft based on member comments at the Meeting and released a revised draft in July 2017.

Download Principles of the Law, Policing – Revised Tentative Draft No. 1 (2017).

Sections Included


§ 5.01. Scope and Applicability of Principles
§ 5.02. Objectives of the Use of Force
§ 5.03. Minimum Force Necessary
§ 5.04. De-escalation and Force Avoidance
§ 5.05. Proportional Use of Force
§ 5.06. Instructions and Warnings

In 2019, the membership voted to approve Tentative Draft No. 2, which contains portions of four Chapters addressing General Principles, Police Encounters, Eyewitness Identifications, and Police Questioning.

Download Principles of the Law Policing – Tentative Draft No. 2 (2019).

Sections Included


§ 1.01. Scope and Applicability of Principles
§ 1.02. Goals of Policing
§ 1.03. Reducing Harm
§ 1.04. Transparency and Accountability
§ 1.05. Written Rules, Policies, and Procedures
§ 1.06. Promoting Police Legitimacy
§ 1.07. Community Policing


§ 4.01. Officer-Initiated Encounters with Individuals
§ 4.02. Justification for Encounters
§ 4.03. Ensuring the Legitimacy of Police Encounters
§ 4.04. Permissible Intrusions During Stops
§ 4.05. Minimizing Intrusiveness of Stops and Arrests
§ 4.06. Consent Searches
§ 4.07. Searches Incident to a Lawful Custodial Arrest


§ 10.01. General Principles for Eyewitness Identification Procedures
§ 10.02. Eyewitness Identification Procedures
§ 10.03. Threshold for Conducting Eyewitness Identifications
§ 10.04. Showup Procedures
§ 10.05. Blind or Blinded Procedures
§ 10.06. Obtaining and Documenting Eyewitness Confidence Statements
§ 10.07. Reinforcement or Feedback
§ 10.08. Recording Eyewitness Identification Procedures


§ 11.01. Objectives of Police Questioning
§ 11.02. Recording of Police Questioning
§ 11.03. Informing Persons of Their Rights Prior to Questioning
§ 11.04. Conducting Police Questioning
§ 11.05. Questioning of Members of Vulnerable Populations

Guide to ALI Project Drafts

For those not familiar with ALI’s process, this is a brief introduction. A more complete description can be found on our How ALI Works page.

ALI projects typically contain Black Letter, Comments, Illustrations and Reporters’ Notes. Comments explain the black letter. Reporters’ Notes discuss the legal and other sources relied upon by the Reporter(s) in formulating the Black Letter and Comments, and enable the reader better to evaluate these formulations; they also provide avenues for additional research. Reporters’ Notes are not voted on by Council or members and should not be cited as the official word of the Institute of the Institute.

Black Letter and Comments are voted on for approval by ALI’s Council and membership. Council drafts are presented to the Council, and once the Sections presented are approved, they are then prepared in Tentative Drafts for membership approval at an Annual Meeting. Once any Section is approved by both ALI’s Council and membership, it is considered the position of the Institute and may be cited as such.

For more information on the Policing project or any of ALI’s projects, please contact 

Jennifer Morinigo

The American Law Institute


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