Compulsory drug testing could breach human rights legislation

Compulsory drug testing offenders on arrest and measures to
enforce intervention orders included in the Drugs Bill may breach
European human rights legislation, writes Sally

A report by The Joint Committee on Human Rights released
yesterday says the measures could breach article 8 of the
legislation which allows the right to respect for a private

“Our concern is that people who have been compulsorily
drug-tested on arrest are then effectively coerced, by threat of
criminal sanction, into agreeing to treatment, before being charged
with any criminal offence and without any prior judicial

Under clause 7 of the bill, which is going through its second
reading in the Commons, police would have the power to carry out
compulsory drug testing where it is believed drug taking may have
prompted the offence.

Clauses nine and 10 require people who test positive to attend
assessments on their drug use and to make intervention orders
alongside antisocial behaviour orders requiring attendance at
treatment programmes.

But Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights allows
a person with capacity to refuse treatment even if it is in their
best interests. 

Report from


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