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Nicholas Cowdery

A rational approach to the control of drugs requires measures that prioritise harm reduction. We do not presently deal with them in that way. As a minimum, policies must be developed that cease the practice of criminalising the personal possession and use of presently illicit drugs – the criminal law is a totally inappropriate mechanism for addressing the essentially health and social problems that they create.

Nicholas Cowdery AM QC has been a barrister for 44 years (practising chiefly in criminal law) and was Director of Public Prosecutions for NSW¬†from 1994 to 2011. He is now an Adjunct Professor and Visiting Professorial Fellow, teaching at several universities in NSW. He is also a consultant to international prosecution agencies, researcher and commentator. He was President of the International Association of Prosecutors from 1999 to 2005 and was founding Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association from 1995 to 2000. He is a member of the Australian Drug Law Reform Initiative (ADLaRI) at UNSW. He is the author of “Getting Justice Wrong: Myths, Media and Crime” (Allen & Unwin, 2001).

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