Side event: Human rights and drug control: Hierarchy of norms and flexibility for member states

Human Rights and drug control: Hierarchy of norms and flexibility.

Richard Lines. International legal obligations as dynamic, non-value driven?, both value-driven approach and non-value driven (medical and scientific approach) fit in drug control system, Death penalty for drug offences, death penalty is not mandate it violates HR treaties, not having the death penalty does not contravene treaty, having it contravenes HR treaties, Indonesian Constitutional court should have abolished death penalty, Compulsory drug detention, drafting in 61 convention there was debate about whether there should be compulsory detention, USA pushed for it, Drug Control and Human Rights and International Law book.

Masha Fedorova. 2 studies with Peter van den Kempen in the Netherlands but also other states, to what extent can states regulate recreational cannabis use or any act and to what extent is it regulated by international law, conventions there is no room to regulate cannabis for recreational use, broader perspective in international law a positive answer can be given, 1. Can states be obliged to regulate cannabis cultivation on the basis of their positive HR obligations, if such regulation a better of their human rights than prohibitive policy, 2. To what extent can states give priority to HR obligations in the case of conflicts with drug policy convention. States can be obliged and they should give priority to HR obligations. 2 conditions for regulation: 1. protect interests that are relevant fir HR obligations, health life protection against harm, privacy. 2. Genuine substantiation that regulation will more effectively fulfil relevant human rights obligations. Research and empirical data is necessary, no clear cut empirical evidence. Lack of evidence. Framework of positive human rights, states must take all possible steps to ensure the highest attainment of physical and mental health. Effectiveness of measures depends on peculiarities and constellations in each states, extend to societal support. State has certain margin of appreciation to decide which steps are more appropriate to take. Positive human rights obligations should be given priority over obligations of the drug conventions, substantiated by combination of following arguments, HR protection follows directly from UN Charter should be given primacy article 103, secondly, international human rights standards are regarded as possessing special status, object and purpose, prioritised position of human rights does not invalidate drug control obligations, drug control system must be interpreted in accordance with human rights in mind, practical goal of drug control conventions can be feasibly interpreted in alignment with human rights. States must dissuade drug use and  implement closed regulation systems. For state to implement policy of regulation system 5 primary conditions must be met. 1. Protection of interests relevant from perspective of positive human rights obligations, 2. Genuinely substantiate that regulation policy more effectively protects human rights, 3. Implementation of regulation policy with societal support and through national decision making process, 4. National closed system of regulation, 5. Adequate policy of discouragement, limitation and increased public awareness of risks of recreational cannabis use. If a state satisfy 5 conditions  it can regulate cannabis.

Robert Husbands. Vision for the future in terms of human rights issues, general comment about relationship between human rights treaties and drug control treaties, in general what Rick said is very accurate, 80% human rights valuations in context of drug policy are result of states going beyond their obligations in the drug control treaties, sufficient flexibility in treaties to take interpretation which is consistent with human rights, 1988 Convention article 3 has safeguard clauses for enforcement of criminal sanctions, paragraph 1 and 3, subject to its constitutional principles, this creates an enormous flexibility, human rights is part of constitutional framework of most countries, covenant on civil and political rights, covenant economic social rights, torture convention, discrimination conventions, most cases can be resolved, human rights has to be taken into account in most good faith interpretations, looking forward ideas to consider moving forward. 1. No person should be convicted for possession and use of drugs. 3 options. Decriminalisation, Derealisation, Encourage states to have moratorium, argue all three fall into flexibility of Conventions. Legalisation falls out of good faith interoperation of Conventions. 2. In depth look at thresholds. Trace amount in syringe push the offense into personal trafficking, disastrous consequences, should be revised, recommendations made on the subject, once pushed into traffic completely different ball game in how judiciary treats. 3. Graduated penalties for drug trafficking. Major issue, head of Cambodian office, government said all traffickers should have life sentence. 4. Phenomenon of drug trafficking into drug prisons. Relatives traffic and get caught, sentenced into prison. Merits study, argument about decriminalisation. Issue tied to harm reduction being available in prisons. 5. Harm reduction is fantastic to have been endorsed, now is time for action. 6. Further advocacy around opioid related deaths. Increase availability of naloxone. Technical subject, so many lives affected. 7? Next idea is to increase focus on the particular vulnerabilities of women. 3 areas, sex workers, minor traffickers, who use drugs when pregnant, specific vulnerabilities merit further study. 8. Improve information for drug users, 1988 Convention indicates that it should be a criminal offence to incite the use of narcotic drugs, when prepare report, in one country NGOs activists providing needles and syringes, were subject to prosecution even as infringing this clause. 9. Criminal justice, different punishment for drug and non-drug offences. 10. Continued campaign to abolish the use of death penalty for drug offences, HRC has said it is incompatible with international law. 11. Children, focus is generalised, literature excellent work done, Children and adolescents who use drugs from variety of backgrounds, survival mechanism, some from highly dysfunctional families, middle class children and privileged children who use drugs in adolescence, interesting to measure here along this continuum to analyse obstacles to treatment, are sets of support the same or differentiated. 12. Use of drugs by indigenous peoples, in spite of language in 1961 treaty, sufficient flexibility in treaties to allow this, rights of indigenous peoples is protected in human rights treaties, have limited knowledge of a baseline of information about attitude of authorities towards indigenous use, know about peyote use in the USA, get New York and Geneva involved.

Frederick Hansen, Holy See. Will the presentations be made available?

Laurène Collard. Event will be put online in the website of the Legal Regulations Fora (www.legal-regulation.org)

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