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Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

8. Drug use, drug problems, drug control: A political economy perspective  

Toby Seddon and Alex Stevens

This chapter presents an overview of the phenomenon of illicit drugs and their control. We show that drugs are not just a matter of crime, morality, or health but rather are also a global commodity the use and control of which continue to run along lines shaped by inequalities of geography, wealth and power. Viewing the drug problem through the lens of political economy, and in global and historical perspective, provides a clearer view of the issue. It allows us to see how some facets of the problem are exaggerated (e.g. crime and health harms) whilst others are under-stated (e.g. pleasure, harms to producer countries in the Global South). It also sheds new light on why some policy approaches and interventions continue to fail and why others may be more promising. Lastly, the prospects for radical alternatives to prohibition through drug law reform are considered.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law

16. Misuse of Drugs Act offences (additional chapter)  

Michael J. Allen and Ian Edwards

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 includes the main offences in English law involving prohibited drugs. This chapter discusses the offences of unlawful possession, possession with intent to supply a controlled drug, supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, production of a controlled drug, and offences related to occupiers and those concerned in management of premises.

Chapter

Cover Principles of Banking Law

9. The Duty of Confidentiality  

Ross Cranston, Emilios Avgouleas, Kristin van Zweiten, Theodor van Sante, and Christoper Hare

This chapter discusses the legal duty of confidentiality (or secrecy) that banks owe their customers. The real problems in the application of the doctrine in practice are two-fold. First, confidentiality has a habit of getting in the way of commercially acceptable practices. There is the potential for breaches of confidentiality where a bank performs different functions. For instance, banks may like to distribute information throughout the corporate group so that a range of financial, insurance, and other services can be marketed to customers. Secondly, confidentiality can act as a cloak for wrongdoing, often on a massive scale. Political leaders who have exploited their people, drug barons, and criminals have used the banking system to spirit away their ill-gotten gains. Bank confidentiality has then acted as an obstacle to bringing the culprits to justice and recovering the booty. Confidentiality also provides one of the explanations of how international terrorists have transferred financing round the world without detection.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Kennedy [2008] 1 AC 269, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Kennedy [2008] 1 AC 269, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Kennedy [2008] 1 AC 269, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Kennedy [2008] 1 AC 269, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

8. Drugs, alcohol, and crime  

Emma Wincup and Peter Traynor

This chapter examines the relationship between crime and drug and alcohol use. The first part focuses on drug use and addresses three key issues: (a) the nature and extent of drug use; (b) the relationship between drug use and crime; and (c) strategies for reducing drug-related crime. The second part explores the same issues in relation to alcohol use.

Chapter

Cover Criminal Law Directions

12. Drugs offences  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams, and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. This chapter discusses the main drugs offences found under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. It begins with a discussion of the offence of possession of a controlled drug, and examines the meaning of the terms ‘possession’ and ‘controlled drug’, before exploring defences to specific drug offences. It considers the offences of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply that drug to another, production of controlled drugs, supply of controlled drugs, and the offence of an occupier or someone concerned in the management of premises knowingly permitting the premises to be used for certain drug-related activities. Finally, it explores proposals to criminalise the use of ‘legal highs’.

Chapter

Cover Medical Law and Ethics

8. Contraception, Abortion, and Pregnancy  

This chapter examines the legal and ethical aspects of contraception, abortion, and pregnancy. Topics discussed include the use and function of contraception; the availability of contraception; teenage pregnancy rates; tort liability and contraception; ethical issues concerning contraception; the law on abortion; the legal status of the fetus; abortion ethics; and controversial abortions. A major current issue is the extent to which, if at all, the criminal law should be involved in the law of abortion. The chapter also considers arguments on legal interventions for pregnant women; for example, imprisoning a drug-using mother to ensure that her unborn child does not suffer from the consequences of her drug use.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Rebelo [2021] EWCA Crim 306, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Rebelo [2021] EWCA Crim 306, Court of Appeal. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

R v Rebelo [2021] EWCA Crim 306, Court of Appeal  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in R v Rebelo [2021] EWCA Crim 306, Court of Appeal. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

31. Drugs: consumption, addiction, and treatment  

Toby Seddon

The issue of illicit drugs is one of the most difficult and intractable problems we face today. It spans across the globe and is connected with a range of serious issues, including public health, crime, security, inequalities, and development. This chapter explores three key dimensions of the drug problem, in order to provide a critical account, informed by history and theory. First, the human attraction to intoxicating substances is examined and patterns of consumption are described. Second, understandings of why some people develop problems from habitual consumption are examined, exploring in particular the concept of addiction. Third, it explores the different ways in which societies have attempted to help people experiencing drug-related problems through different methods and modes of drug treatment.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

14. Global criminology 2  

Transnational criminology

Sacha Darke

This chapter highlights instances of crime and justice that cross national borders. The chapter is therefore concerned with how global economic, social, and political connections facilitate the organisation of crime and the coordination of justice. The chapter begins by outlining the scope of transnational criminology, looking at the theoretical concepts it employs and its defining characteristics. It then explores some of its major areas of research interest: state terror, drug trafficking, people smuggling, the trade in and dumping of toxic waste, and cybercrime. Finally, the chapter addresses two of the most prominent academic debates within and associated with transnational criminology: the extent to which transnational crime is hierarchical and organised, and the means by which the international community might best police it.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

36. Principles, pragmatism, and prohibition: explaining continuity and change in british drug policy  

Alex Stevens

This chapter analyses the development of British policy on illicit drugs from the late nineteenth century until 2016. It shows how this is characterized by contestation between social groups who have an interest in the control and regulation of some drugs and their users. It argues that there is a ‘medico-penal constellation’ of powerful organizations that produce British drug policy in accordance with their own ideas and interest. There have been clashes between the different principles held by people within these organizations but these have often been dealt with through the creation of pragmatic compromises. Recent examples include policies towards ‘recovery’ in drug treatment and new psychoactive substances whilst heroin-related deaths are used to explain why, so far, these pragmatic compromises have not ended the prohibition upon which British drug policy is based.