Australia – Law Society Jnl: Legal profession welcomes changes to NSW drug laws

The Jnl writes

President of the NSW Bar Association Gabrielle Bashir said this move is a “positive development” on Professor Dan Howard’s evidence-based recommendations that will minimise harm and ease burdens on NSW Courts.  

“Drug use and addiction are health issues that are better addressed through health support outside the criminal justice system,” said Bashir. 

“The NSW Bar welcomes the introduction of a pre-court diversion scheme for people found in possession of small amounts of illicit substances, and we will continue to advocate for the introduction of pill testing for the upcoming music festival season, to reduce the risk of these substances to our young people. 

“It is vital to ensure the new scheme is properly supported by resourcing of specialist drug assessment and treatment services, as recommended by the Ice Inquiry. This should consist of health interventions which are available throughout NSW, including First Nations communities in desperate need of culturally appropriate treatment and support services.” 

Bashir said she hopes to see training and oversight of how NSW Police exercise their discretion when issuing fines.  

This move is also consistent with the Law Society President Cassandra Banks’ priority for 2023 to advocate for increased diversion for vulnerable cohorts within the criminal justice system.  

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Legal profession welcomes changes to NSW drug laws

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