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
    Gillen.

    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
    life.

    “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
    authorisation.”

    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
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200405/jtselect/jtrights/47/4702.htm

     

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