Legal Regulations Summit - 2017

Two decades after the UNGASS of 1998 declared its desire to significantly reduce the presence of controlled psychoactive plants and substances around the world, the assessment of the failure is made obvious every year when the UNODC publishes its annual World Drug Report. While the inefficiency and counter-productivity of most of the current national anti-drug policies becomes clearer, the pathways for future legislation that enhance citizens’ rights and equality while protecting public health and strengthening the rule of law remains unclear.

The Legal Regulations Fora has been designed to create at the crossroads of the global drug control system, the human rights treaties, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and citizen’s aspirations, a momentum of open-ended discussions for stakeholders and interested parties to together shape a practical and ethical set of guidelines for a future in which options for countries to codify the drugs issue will be open and diverse.

Cannabis, the most used substance among the general population and youth, is often targeted as a priority in the reforms to undertake. Whether because of ease, emergency or by popular pressure, the reform of cannabis or other controlled substances’ policies, depending on the local situation, clearly appears to be a necessity. While different scopes, markets and contexts in various countries may change priorities; legal frameworks and pathways for reforms are often similar for cannabis or other substances. Although it is acknowledged that each plant or substance deserves a proper framework, the Legal Regulations Fora seeks to move away from the matter of substances, to think about ethics, feasibility, means, tools, and pathways to follow.

Starting from the top, framing the issue within the legal international law, the fora will unfold towards the ground-level to achieve a comprehensive overview and screenshot of the movements seeking the legal regulation of controlled drugs around the globe. At each of its steps, the fora will sketch a collective answer to these two questions: is it actually possible to reform, and how to do it? Is it possible and doable to engage in the regulation of prohibited drugs, both for decision-makers and populations? If it is possible, then under what conditions will it succeed in its aim?

At the crossroads of the international drug control convention, the human rights treaties and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this sharing of knowledge (in the home of diplomacy, peace and fairness) is the occasion to say at once “it is possible” and to sketch the “how” with transnational and multidisciplinary perspective.

Legal regulation protects health.

Kofi Annan

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy


The 60th regular session of the CND will be held between the 13th and the 17th March 2017. The Legal Regulations Fora will take place from Monday 13th to Wednesday 15th.


Human Rights and the Drug Control System:
hierarchy of norms and flexibility for Member States.

This academic conference will provide the core foundation of the fora and an updated analysis of international law, sketching out how the sovereignty of each Member State to the drug control conventions can evolve, in order to implement their own contextual drug legislations.

Recalling recent groundbreaking research, the conference will provide a fresh reflexion about the hierarchy of norms between human rights legal instruments and the three international drug control conventions, stating that regulating national drug policies is permitted if it were to protect human rights (including the right to health) more effectively than a total prohibition on drugs.

The discussion will then focus on specific conditions outlined as critical to stay in line with the drug control convention while complying with the countries’ positive human rights obligations: reforms must have nationwide democratic support and put emphasis on the protection of human rights, positively demonstrate the comparative advantages of that protection; systems implemented must in no way bring negative consequences to foreign countries; and reforms must actively discourage the promotion of the use of the regulated substance.


The urgency to move ahead.

Drug policy reform usually fails to find its way to a political consensus, falling too often into the jeopardized struggles and divide of national political debate. As modernizing drug policies transcends political labels, the need to take the heat out of the political struggle and come up with a consensual reform is crucial.

This Ist Authorities Forum, set within an evaluation of repressive policies, will focus on the methodologies that span the political struggle and try to reach a widely acknowledged, accepted and consensual reform among the largest number of political forces, and throughout the broadest social strata.


Building consensus on how to regulate.

With the two previous events having set a legal framework, using the SDGs as moral guidelines, and opening the possibility of a consensual reform, this 2nd Authorities Forum will explore different approaches of attempted and successful drug policy reforms (in particular those  to cannabis) to answer the question: what pathways shall a country take if it wants to reform?

Thanks to the perspectives of authorities and in particular parliamentarian work, this event aims at extracting the essential pieces from the national approaches to policymaking led by local idiosyncratic specificities, to come up with cross-cutting policy practices and an ethical base that can enhance the comprehensiveness of a reform.


Involving broad stakeholders
for a comprehensive reform.

The role of civil society is essential for widely-accepted reforms, particularly those that have expertise on the matter (from law enforcement or local authorities, health, social and cultural, workers to affected populations) and these will be outlined in the Citizens Forum.

Interactions and complementarities between bottom-up proposals and inputs into top-down processes will be stressed, while key issues and meaningful inputs brought by civil society organizations within drug policy reform processes will be presented.


Building consensus around what works.

Supervised drug consumption programs are now implemented in 10 countries, for years in some States, while nascent in others, and a few nations are on their way to implement experimental programs. In each of these countries, a comprehensive dialogue and a positive presentation of these programs have been a key element in allowing a large acceptation of the sites, allowing for increased health care and protection for the people who use drug in the most vulnerable conditions.

Initiated by civil society (users or healthcare workers), supervised drug consumption programs have been deeply questioned and debated by national authorities, before step by step getting implemented, thus finally gaining acceptance at the United Nations level by complying with international law in its finality of protecting health, reducing harm and fighting blood-borne diseases.

The exhibition will present photographs and a serie of indicators showing the positive health and social outcomes of these programs.



Mr Farid Ghehiouèche

Mr Farid Ghehiouèche

Head of advocacy, FAAAT

Paris, France.

Mr Kenzi Riboulet Zemouli

Mr Kenzi Riboulet Zemouli

Head of research, FAAAT

Barcelona, Spain.

Mr Michael Krawitz

Mr Michael Krawitz

Executive Director, VCMA

Virginia, USA.


Ms Line Beauchesne, PhD

Ms Line Beauchesne, PhD

Ottawa University

Ottawa, Canada

Mr Antoniu Llort Suárez, PhD

Mr Antoniu Llort Suárez, PhD

Universitarian Hospital Sant Joan de Reus

Reus, Spain

Ms Nazma Muller

Ms Nazma Muller

Caribbean Collective for Justice

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

Mr Oscar Parés Franquero

Mr Oscar Parés Franquero

Fundación ICEERS

Barcelona, Spain

Mr Jean-Jacques ‘Sonny’ Perseil, PhD

Mr Jean-Jacques ‘Sonny’ Perseil, PhD

Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers

Paris, France

Ms Zara Snapp

Ms Zara Snapp

Acción Técnica Social

Ciudad de México, Mexico

Mr Alessandro Stella, PhD

Mr Alessandro Stella, PhD

École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, CNRS.

Paris, France


Vienna International Centre, Wien, Austria (Österreich)



Support the financing of the Seminary by providing funds for the project.

Total budget of the Fora (in €)

  • Travel, accommodation and expenses for speakers 39% 39%
  • Communication, media, video and web expenses 26% 26%
  • Team travel, accommodation and wages 21% 21%
  • Translations and live interpretation 8% 8%
  • Printing and publicity costs 6% 6%
International Bank Account Transfer
IBAN : FR76 1027 8060 9800 0204 7324 164



Online PayPal Transfer


You can support the Fora by joining with your organization.

Appear in all relevant communication of the event, and receive news to be able to relay the Fora within your networks before, during and after the event.

Please send your endorsement by e-mail using the form below, or directly to [email protected]

You can add the following attachements: complete name of your organization; logo of your organization, short description of your organization (no more than 150 words).

7 + 4 =

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This