A 'Most Serious Crime?' – The Death Penalty for Drug Offences and International Human Rights Law
Amicus Journal, No. 21, pp. 21-28, 2010
9 Pages Posted: 12 May 2011
Date Written: April 1, 2010
This article provides an in-depth analysis of the international law ramifications of applying the death penalty for drug offences. It reviews the the ‘most serious crimes’ threshold for the lawful application of capital punishment as established in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It then explores the question of whether drug offences meet this threshold by examining the issue through the lenses of international human rights law, the domestic legislation in retentionist states, international narcotics control law, international refugee law and international criminal law. The article concludes that drug offences do not constitute ‘most serious crimes’, and that executions of people for drug offences violates international human rights law.
Keywords: death penalty, drugs, human rights, international law, narcotics
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation