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Initially the subject focuses on how drugs use, cultivation or manufacture and trafficking are regulated in Western countries. The subject will then introduce relevant international regimes and the national regulatory and institutional frameworks for illicit drugs law in each of the countries selected. The second half of the subject will comprise a series of studies of significant and/or high-profile cases from the countries selected, in which the practical application of the regimes examined earlier are investigated. A comparative approach will be applied throughout.
Principal topics may include:
- Drugs use, manufacture/cultivation and trafficking: regulatory choices;
- Delivering social policy through regulation and drugs law, including the interaction between punishment and health-based approaches to illicit drug use;
- The interaction between international human rights and drug control law and norms and domestic law and practice;
- Diverse approaches within Asia to the regulation of drugs, through detailed and nuanced examination of the relevant administrative, criminal and procedure laws, taking into account different legal systems, social, political and cultural traditions, structures and practices;
- The role played by different legal institutions in the regulation of drugs offences regionally, including courts, police, prosecutors, defence lawyers, NGOS etc;
- The contribution made to the regulation of drugs and drugs-related offences by international regulatory frameworks;
- The impacts of non-legal networks and institutions on the development, implementation and review of drugs laws in the region;
- Divergent attitudes and practices to the death penalty;
- Drugs-law-related reforms arising from the comparisons; and
- The possibilities for convergence or harmonisation of drugs law in Asia.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will have:
an advanced understanding of, and be able critically to analyse and explain:
- key regulatory approaches to socio-legal challenges in the 21st century.
- the diverse approaches within Asia to the regulation of drugs, through detailed and nuanced explication of the relevant administrative law and regulation, criminal and procedure laws, taking into account different legal systems, social, political and cultural traditions, structures and practices.
- the role played by different legal institutions in the regulation of drugs offences regionally.
- the contribution, if any, made to the regulation of drugs and drugs-related offences by international regulatory frameworks.
- the impacts of non-legal networks and institutions on the development, implementation and review of drugs laws in the region.
- divergent attitudes to the death penalty.
and will have developed a capacity to critically:
- compare and analyse the comparator jurisdictions' approach to the regulation of drugs offences, and to consider reform possibilities arising from those comparisons.
- evaluate the scope for and benefits of convergence or harmonisation of drugs prosecutions.
Students who successfully complete this subject will have developed and demonstrated advanced skills in the following areas relevant to the comparative analysis of criminal and administrative law and criminal procedure law, impacting drugs regulation in Asia:
- Capacity to identify, locate and critically reflect upon and evaluate relevant legal research materials (primary and secondary literature);
- Capacity to identify, locate and critically reflect upon and evaluate relevant non-legal research materials (primary and secondary literature);
- Capacity to formulate, manage and execute a regulatory research project from inception to completion;
- Capacity to persuasively communicate material relevant to the regulation of drug-related criminal law and policy (information and argument), harnessing appropriate sources and evidence; and
- Capacity to justify and interpret methodological approaches or theoretical propositions appropriate to comparative regulatory research and to communicate these with clarity.
Last updated: 10 November 2023