The Malta Independent 5 March 2024, Tuesday
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Public consultation on drug reform White Paper concludes

Saturday, 10 February 2024, 11:20 Last update: about 23 days ago

The public consultation on the government's White Paper proposing several reforms aimed at more effective justice for drug victims has concluded.

In a statement, the Ministry for Justice said that submissions from stakeholders and citizens, among others, showed a positive response in the public consultation on the reform aimed at achieving a fair and effective balance between the interests of justice, enforcement and the rehabilitation of drug victims.

The reform, according to the public consultation website, aims to grant more discretion to the Courts in the application of the Drug Offenders (Treatment not Imprisonment) Act in order to favour rehabilitation, and also aims to broaden the composition of the Drug Offenders Rehabilitation Board, among other things.

During the past few weeks, various consultation meetings were held with key stakeholders, including Sedqa, Caritas, and OASI, as well as meetings with the public., the ministry said.

Justice Minister Jonathan Attard said that the "significant number of positive submissions received in the public consultation is the strongest evidence of how necessary this reform was."

While the government remains a catalyst for reforms towards a fairer society, it will also continue to actively combat drug trafficking, he said.

 "We are went to those who have daily contact with people who are truly victims of drug addiction. These experiences increase our determination not to leave behind real victims of this social scourge, who want to rehabilitate themselves and, in some cases, have already begun this process to improve their lives," Attard said.

He also noted that even those who called for the withdrawal of this reform, now understand how necessary it is, "as evidenced by the overwhelming majority in favour of the proposed reform."

The Ministry thanked all those who participated in the process and assured them that it will carefully analyse the various submissions from all participants in the public consultation, and proceed with the necessary legislative steps.




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