Information about the Observatory

GDPO LogoNational and international drug policies and programmes that privilege  harsh law enforcement and punishment in an effort to eliminate the cultivation, production, trade and use of controlled substances – what has become known as the ‘war on drugs’ – are coming under increased scrutiny. The Global Drug Policy Observatory aims to promote evidence and human rights based drug policy through the comprehensive and rigorous reporting, monitoring and analysis of policy developments at national and international levels. Acting as a platform from which to reach out to and engage with broad and diverse audiences, the initiative aims to help improve the sophistication and horizons of the current policy debate among the media and elite opinion formers as well as within law enforcement and policy making communities. The Observatory engages in a range of research activities that explore not only the dynamics and implications of existing and emerging policy issues, but also the processes behind policy shifts at various levels of governance.

GDPO Quarterly News: January 2017 – April 2017

January saw Dave make a second visit to Gaborone, Botswana, to develop a project on access to controlled medicines and palliative care initiated during his first trip to the country almost exactly a year earlier.  During this scoping trip, he liaised with faculty from the University of Botswana who will be partners on the ‘Barriers to Access’ project.  Dave also met with the Assistant Minister for Health and Wellness to help ensure that the work package produces policy relevant research.  After a brief stop-over in the UK, Dave then headed to New York...

 To read more, and to see previous quarterly news reports, click here

Our Projects

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Featured Publications

Featured Publications

Drug Control and Human Rights in International Law

Richard Lines, with a forward by William A. Schabas

Human rights violations occurring as a consequence of drug control and enforcement are a growing concern, and raise questions of treaty interpretation and of the appropriate balancing of concomitant obligations within the drug control and human rights treaty regimes. Tracing the evolution of international drug control law since 1909, this book explores the tensions between the regime's self-described humanitarian aspirations and its suppression of a common human behaviour as a form of 'evil'. Drawing on domestic, regional and international examples and case law, it posits the development of a dynamic, human rights-based interpretative approach to resolve tensions and conflicts between the regimes in a manner that safeguards human rights. Highlighting an important and emerging area of human rights inquiry from an international legal perspective, this book is a key resource for those working and studying in this field.

Cambridge University Press. 

Release date: April 30th, 2017

View and pre-order here

GDPO Situation Analysis

The GDPO Situation Analysis provides the diversity of stakeholders within the drug policy arena with concise, cutting edge assessment of key topics, enabling informed engagement with pertinent developments and debates. Presented in a focused and standardised format, the SA flags risks, opportunities and future trends in crucial issue areas, delivering to readers actionable information and evidence based insight.

Click here to read all our Situation Analysis