Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 20th 2015 Contents Chief Justice Ivor Archie is
advocating a Caribbean Drug
Treatment Court Associa-
tion, as a forward-looking and
potentially sound rehabilitative
institutional measure to deal with
widespread drug addiction that
has been affecting regional states
for decades now.
Over the period, national gov-
ernments have sought to deal
almost exclusively with the addic-
tion of young men and women
through sentencing and prison.
And while the figures to estab-
lish the success or failure of the
approach are not readily available,
the frequency with which these
stories are now emerging suggests
that addiction has increased and
spread across the region.
All forms of criminality have
sprung from drug addiction.
Thousands have been jailed with
It s not so much the sentences,
as the seeming absence of
chances for the rehabilitation of
At a graduation ceremony
Wednesday for former addicts
who have come successfully
through a pilot rehabilitation pro-
gramme of the local Drug Treat-
ment Court in San Fernando,
Chief Justice Archie expressed
concern about the large numbers
of young people before the court
for the relatively minor offence of
"I therefore urge all magistrates
to use this project as a critical
resource to help those vulnerable
persons who appear before you,"
stated CJ Archie.
What the DTC projects seek to
do is create the conditions that
would prevent minor offenders
from forming an addiction.
So rather than jail, where they
likely have the addiction deep-
ened, the Drug Treatment Court
would look to rehabilitation as a
"While no one condones the
use of substances which are
harmful to one s health, it is also
no longer a matter of debate
whether we must explore options
which do not criminalise those
persons who are suffering from
the disease of addiction," said the
T&T Chief Justice.
Chief Justice Archie said that
he is aware, from a recent con-
ference in Europe on narcotics
that he attended, that many
countries with developed treat-
ment regimes are looking at
alternatives to incarceration.
And while the CJ did not say
it, he must surely appreciate the
need for a clear separation of
efforts that seek to prevent and
combat drug addiction, and the
need to find and severely punish
drugs dealers who violate the law.
Legislatures and courts also
have to tread carefully.
The deterrent to drugs---be it
use or sale---must remain suffi-
ciently strong, whatever the well-
meaning attempts to deal with
the problem in a comprehensive
way. The Chief Justice favours a
coordinated approach by
Caribbean countries, some of
which are moving towards the
decriminalisation of small quanti-
ties of marijuana, mainly for
At the same time, other coun-
tries have shown no interest and
inclination towards such an
"I plan to approach the Cari-
com Secretariat with a view
towards garnering support for a
Caribbean Drug Treatment Court
Association," he said.
He noted that the local DTC
has already drafted an operational
plan for the establishment of
such a Caribbean Court.
A number of Caricom countries
are in the position of both being
frustratingly easy targets for drug
trans shipment---because it is near
impossible to effectively police
the vast inter-island waterways---
and being at the forefront of
efforts to decriminalise marijuana.
If Mr Archie s vision is realised,
they too would need to strike a
balance between strong laws for
the protection of the society from
drugs, effective deterrent, and
rehabilitative help for those who
What the DTC projects seek to do is create the conditions that would prevent
minor offenders from forming an addiction. So rather than jail, where they likely
have the addiction deepened, the Drug Treatment Court would look to rehabilitation
as a solution.
ISTANBUL---WikiLeaks is in the
process of publishing more than
500,000 Saudi diplomatic documents to
the Internet, the transparency Web site
said yesterday, a move that echoes its
famous release of US State Department
cables in 2010.
WikiLeaks said in a statement that it
has already posted roughly 60,000 files.
Most of them appear to be in Arabic.
There was no immediate way to verify
the authenticity of the documents,
although WikiLeaks has a long track
record of hosting large-scale leaks of
government material. Many of the
documents carried green letterhead
marked "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" or
"Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
At least one appeared to be from the
Saudi Embassy in Washington.
If genuine, the documents would offer
a rare glimpse into the inner workings of
the notoriously opaque kingdom. They
might also shed light on Riyadh's
longstanding regional rivalry with Iran,
its support for Syrian rebels and Egypt's
military-backed government, and its
opposition to an emerging international
agreement on Tehran's nuclear
Among the most eye-catching items
was a document addressed to the
interior and justice ministers notifying
them that a son of Osama bin Laden
had obtained a certificate from the
American Embassy in Riyadh "showing
death of his father."
The document, dated only by the day
and month of the Islamic calendar, said
the son hoped to get it certified by the
ministry in order to present it to a court
in the Saudi city of Jeddah for
Several other documents appeared to
capture Saudi diplomats discussing the
progress of Iranian nuclear talks or
touched on the political situation in
places such as Syria.
It is not clear how WikiLeaks got the
SOUND-OFF: WikiLeaks spills beans on Saudis
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Prison versus rehab for drug offenders
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