Sentencing policy and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Shiels, Robert Sinclair (1987) Sentencing policy and the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Until recently sentencing was not considered to be a separate subject within the discipline of law. It was thought to be a matter essentially for judges. Sentencing was not taught as such. Rather, on ascending to the bench lawyers took with them their experience of the law in practice and their knowledge of their powers as limited by statute. Thereafter there was little in the way of guidance. In the last quarter century sentencing has developed in a number of ways. Parliament has passed an increasing number of laws creating and limiting new powers. Academic commentators have analysed judgements and they have sought to establish a scheme of things to do with sentencing. Judges themselves have tended increasingly to explain their decisions and to develop an order of priorities. This work is a study of the sentencing policy laid down in judicial decisions in cases of contraventions of The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. By studying the sentencing decisions in reported cases of drugs offences, a legal model of the drugs trade is established. Such a model in broad terms follows the nature and terms of the offences contained in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. But it is clear that there are certain aspects that cut across the conventional order of offences. In particular, the sentencing of drug addicts has posed difficult questions for the courts to consider. It is uncertain as to whether lawyers have grasped fully the implications of drug abuse on the scale practised by most addicts. This particular study has been completed in the context of the present literature relating to sentencing offenders. The law is predominantly that of England and Wales because that is the jurisdiction with the greatest number of reported cases. Consideration is given to both Northern Ireland and Scotland. The Law is stated as at 31st December 1986.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Supervisor's Name: Dyer, Mr Iain
Date of Award: 1987
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:1987-6951
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 15:59
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2015 10:30

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