Comparative Perspectives on Criminal Justice in China
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Comparative Perspectives on Criminal Justice in China

Edited by Mike McConville and Eva Pils

Comparative Perspectives on Criminal Justice in China is an anthology of chapters on the contemporary criminal justice system in mainland China, bringing together the work of recognised scholars from China and around the world.
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Chapter 14: Rights in the new regime for treatment of drug dependency

Sarah Biddulph


The PRC Drug Prohibition Law, (the ‘Law’), which came into effect on 1 June 2008, codified China’s drugs policy and the administrative structure for combating the cultivation, manufacture, trafficking and use of illicit drugs. Understood from the perspective of the programme of governance according to law, this law represents a necessary and long overdue step. It also provides an opportunity to examine the values and priorities that are being enacted in legal regulation of state coercive powers, as in recent years, the momentum for legal protection of rights in dealing with behaviour characterised as socially unacceptable appears to have stalled. At the same time, policies such as the Scientific Concept of Development and the Harmonious Society, with their call to implement a more people-oriented mode of government, contain within them the possibility for the adoption of a more humane, or at least a less punitive approach to dealing with the perceived threats to social order and stability posed by drug use and dependency. The Drug Prohibition Law itself proclaims that it is adopting a humane approach to addressing problems of drug use and dependency.

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