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Title: Mandatory detention and treatment of drug users in Malaysia : the implications for the principles of human rights
Author: Mohame, Sarina bt
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 7626
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2010
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The research framework is founded upon a critical analysis of the extent to which the legal process involved in the mandatory treatment and rehabilitation of drug users in Malaysia is consistent with the principles of human rights according to the national and international human rights instruments; the Malaysian Constitution and the UDHR respectively. The mandatory treatment is based upon the principles of punishment rather than rehabilitation. The arrest and detention of these drug users, which are salient features of the legal process raises the issue of serious violations of the human rights principles. To fulfill the true objective of the government's Drug Intervention Programme (DIP) through treatment and rehabilitation at Puspen centres, by reducing drug dependency and preventing relapse, treatment must be consistent with the principles of human rights for it to be effective. Data and information were gathered from empirical research through the application of various qualitative methods: these include a case study, direct observation, semistructured and unstructured interviews with key stakeholders, focus group with former drug users and an analysis of case files. Findings revealed that the legal process of funneling 'suspected drug dependants' into treatment involved a series of breaches of the fundamental human rights principles that could not be justified. The scope of police powers with regard to the arrest and detention of 'suspected drug dependants' has been widely abused and such exercise of power has been without proper statutory safeguards to protect the rights of these individuals from such arbitrary arrest. Unnecessary prolonged period of detention have led to grave infringement of individual liberty whilst conditions of confinement and failure to provide medical assistance and medication-assisted treatment particularly during withdrawal symptoms have amounted to inhuman, cruel and degrading treatment. Lack of due process including denying the right to legal representation has caused severe legal implications upon the drug users. As a consequence, the flaw in the legal system has deprived them of their constitutional rights and in contravention of the international human rights principles. Recommendations are proposed for an immediate reform to the drug policies and procedures with paramount consideration towards a more humane and effective treatment.
Supervisor: Uglow, Steve Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: H Social Sciences