Date: 30 September 2022
This is the first detailed examination of compulsory detention for ‘drug treatment’ through the lens of a rapidly evolving international legal framework. It is estimated that as many as half a million people worldwide are detained for the purpose of ‘drug treatment’, many held for months or years at a time without being charged criminally or being able to challenge the legality of their detention. This is therefore a key issue sitting at the intersection of human rights, drug policy and medical ethics. The article explores arbitrary detention and involuntary committal on medical grounds within international human rights law, as well as the historical-legal evolution of drug ‘treatment’ as the term is understood within international drug control law. It assesses whether drug use or drug dependency constitute a reasonable limitation of the right to liberty, and concludes that this type of detention represents a violation of international law.
‘Treatment in Liberty’ Human Rights and Compulsory Detention for Drug Use by Rick Lines, Julie Hannah and Giada Girelli.
Rick Lines, Associate Professor of Criminology and Human Rights, School of Social Science, Swansea University, UK
Julie Hannah, Director, International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy, Lecturer, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, UK
Giada Girelli, Human Rights Analyst, Harm Reduction International, LondonHuman Rights Law Review, Volume 22, Issue 1, March 2022, ngab022, https://doi.org/10.1093/hrlr/ngab022Published: 13 September 2021
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