Minister urges judges to implement minimum-sentencing law on drug offences

By Lunar Loops · May 26, 2006 · ·
  1. Lunar Loops
    This will make more grim reading for our Irish members, not so much for the minimum sentencing, but for some of Fuhrer McTools comments later in the piece.....SWIS can honestly say that he's not felt this strongly about a politician since the days of Thatcher when SWIS was resident in the UK. This was taken from the National Documentation Centre on Drug Use website ( :

    Minister urges judges to implement minimum-sentencing law on drug offences
    (Source:'McDowell urges judges to reflect on drug terms': Irish Times p. 8, 25 May 2006)

    Speaking in the Dáil last night, Minister for Justice Michael McDowell appealed to the judiciary ‘on behalf of the members of this House …to reflect upon the law which this House made’ in relation to minimum jail sentences for drug offences.

    The Minister continued: ‘We appeal to the judiciary to reflect on this: it is laid down in the law of our land that only in exceptional and specific circumstances should the possession of drugs in large amounts not be visited by a 10-year sentence.’ He said that it was not acceptable that people found with drugs worth well over €1 million should be given short sentences of three to six years. He pointed out that 79 per cent of sentences under the relevant section were less than the 10-year minimum.

    Arguing that the belief that recreational use of drugs was a private matter was a big part of the problem, Mr McDowell said: ‘Anybody who in public argues that it is somehow acceptable to consume prohibited drugs, and to be in possession of them in small quantities, is suffering not simply from moral confusion but a complete absence of a critical facility of any kind.’

    He said that any argument for legalisation of drugs ‘ignores the reality that we are obliged by European law to criminalize the possession of hard drugs – So it is a non-starter from the very beginning.’

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  1. Lunar Loops
    IHRC criticises proposed amendments to drugs and crime laws

    There's fiscal inflation and then there's Garda spin inflation:

    This from :

    IHRC criticises proposed amendments to drugs and crime laws
    (Source:'Commission hits out at crime and drugs proposals': Irish Examiner , 26 May 2006)

    The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has criticised aspects of proposed legislation on organised crime and drug dealing.

    The IRHC document, 'Observations on Additional Proposals for Amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill 2004' was produced in March 2006.

    Cases involving drugs valued at more than €13,000 attract a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. The document calls for an increase in this value limit 'in the light of inflation and the current reality of the cost of drugs'. The report recommends that an objective expert witness should be called to give his or her opinion on the valuation of drugs before the Court.

    Other issues raised by the IHRC in its detailed analysis of the amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill 2004 include electronic tagging, anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) and the proposed Drug Offenders' Register.

    The full document is attached for those who may be interested
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