The proposals laid out in the Panel’s consultation paper are relevant to our interest and we appreciate the Panel, in developing its plans, has utilised the Commission’s evidence reviews.
Overall we commend the thoughtful analysis and proposals laid out in the consultation paper. Taken in conjunction with the SGC revised Magistrates Court Sentencing Guidelines of May 2008, they represent a more proportionate response to the problems posed by breaches of the controlled drug legislation. In particular, we welcome the analysis contrasting the seriousness of drug offences with other forms of offending behaviour and the recognition that there is little evidence of the deterrent effect of many custodial sentences.
The Commission believes it important that considerations of proportionality should not only apply between drug offences and other offences but also to international comparisons.