Drugs and the Law - The Runciman Report

Drugs and the Law


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Appendix 2

Terms of Reference

1 Objectives

1.1 To carry out an independent inquiry into the effectiveness of the relevant laws in order to assess options for legislative change and to provide the best informed possible revisions.

1.2 To encourage informed discussion among those who have a particular interest in the legislation, policy and practice addressing the misuse of drugs including legislators, policy-makers, the police, the medical and legal professions, statutory and voluntary service providers, teachers and academics.

1.3 More generally, to raise the level of public understanding and debate about the effectiveness of the relevant legislation, and the efficiency of its enforcement in achieving the aim of curbing the misuse of controlled drugs.

2  Terms of Reference
2.1 The Inquiry is asked to:
a. describe the purpose and intention behind the existing relevant legislation and place them in their historical context including the U.K. obligations under the United Nations drug conventions and to the European Union.

b. review and assess the current goals of drug misuse control.

c. assess the adequacy of the existing relevant legislation in meeting current needs.

d. compile a list of possible revisions to the existing relevant legislation pointing out agreement, conflicts and possible compromises if current legislation is found to be inadequate for some or all of the needs identified.

e. select the most cogent proposals for revision of the existing relevant legislation and examine the implications of their implementation.

2.2 The Inquiry is expected to decide its own mode of working, which may in particular include:
a. inviting written and/or oral testimony from individuals and organisations with particular experience of the issues under discussion;

b. determining the topics for the briefing and research papers to inform its deliberations;

c. commissioning those briefing and research papers necessary for its discussions;

d. convening seminars of experts in the field for discussion of the issues;

e. publishing briefing papers, research papers and reports as may be thought appropriate; and

f. devising a coordinated plan for the dissemination of the findings of the Inquiry.

3  Operation of the Inquiry
3.1 The Inquiry has been established by the Police Foundation as an independent body and as such is not expected to represent the views of the Trustees or staff of the Foundation.

3.2 The Police Foundation will provide the Inquiry with the resources essential to carrying out its work.

3.3 The Police Foundation will serve as Secretariat of the Committee and take responsibility for:

a. administrative coordination
b. financial support
c. commissioning the background papers or external studies required by the Committee.
d. implementing the coordinated plan for disseminating the findings of the Inquiry.
3.4 The Inquiry is expected to work in partnership with the Police Foundation in the overall administration of its work.

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