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The NSW Bar’s Submission to the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug “Ice” and signed off by President Tim Game SC states , “It is the position of the Association that consideration should be given to decriminalisation of personal acquisition, possession and use of illicit drugs, with increased focus on treatment and harm reduction measures. There should also be encouragement of diversionary measures for minor matters that remain criminalised.”
Tim Game SC of Forbes Chambers Sydney was admitted as a barrister (NSW) in 1985 and as a barrister and solicitor (SA) in 1979 and appointed senior counsel in 1996 and specializes in Criminal law, Criminal appeals & Commissions of inquiry and inquests. Learn more about his work at http://www.forbeschambers.com.au/tim-game-sc.html
The statement also adds
The Association does not suggest that production, trafficking and supply of illicit drugs should be decriminalised. However, for relatively minor offences involving production, trafficking or supply of illicit drugs where the offender was drug-dependent, there should be an increase in the availability of diversionary measures and an increased focus on rehabilitation in sentencing. In relation to sentenced offenders, such measures should be available within the custodial setting, on community based sentencing orders and parole orders. Of course, if personal acquisition, possession and use of all currently illicit drugs continues to be subject to criminal penalties, there should also be an increase in the availability of diversionary measures for such offences.
More about the NSW Bar Association: https://www.nswbar.asn.au/the-bar-association/the-bar-council
The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’
The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’ will investigate the nature, prevalence and impact of the drug in NSW.
The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’ was established by Letters Patent dated 28 November 2018, appointing Professor Dan Howard SC as Commissioner. The Terms of Reference require the Commissioner to inquire into and report to the Governor by 28 October 2019 on (as amended by further Letters Patent dated 28 February 2019):
- The nature, prevalence and impact of crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’) and other illicit amphetamine type stimulants (‘ATS’)
- the adequacy of existing measures to target ice and illicit ATS in NSW
- options to strengthen NSW’s response to ice and illicit ATS, including law enforcement, education, treatment and rehabilitation responses.
In conducting the inquiry the Commissioner will:
- Establish and consult with an expert advisory panel, including:
- at least one member with expertise in health, drug addiction, treatment and rehabilitation
- at least one member with expertise in drug education and harm minimisation
- at least one member with expertise in law enforcement
- at least one member who represents an Aboriginal organisation or community group
- such other members as the Commissioner considers would be of assistance.
- Consider any drug-related recommendations from any NSW inquest held during the course of the inquiry.
- Consider relevant NSW and Commonwealth reports, the findings of past inquiries and other relevant existing material.
- Consider relevant international literature (including reports, research, and other materials), experience and practice.
- Prepare and publish as soon as practicable an issues paper and to call for public submissions on the issues paper to be made in good time so as to allow the Commissioner to complete the final report.
- Consult and/or meet various stakeholders and others.
- Conduct formal hearings in public and, if appropriate, in private, to examine witnesses and other interested persons to take place in Sydney and elsewhere, including some of the particular regions where the drug ‘ice’ is identified as being a significant issue.
- Prepare and deliver a final report that considers the information, submissions and evidence, and which makes appropriate findings and recommendations under the terms of reference.
This webpage provides information about the work of the Special Commission, and how you can engage with the Special Commission, including how submissions can be made, and when and where hearing will be held.
Read a media report in the Sydney Morning Herald
Push to decriminalise ice use as bar backs public health approach