Friday, August 08, 2008

Drug law jurisdiction

In the past we've had reports of people being jailed here for drug possession when the drug was simply in their systems. This even included prescription drugs or an over-the-counter painkiller such as Codeine, taken quite legally in another country.

We received considerable negative international publicity, and rightly so.

Several times I asked the rhetorical question that surely as it happened overseas it was beyond the jurisdiction of Dubai's courts.

I posted back in February about what seemed to be a change of heart. A visiting British DJ tested positive to cannabis use but 'the public prosecution discharged him of consuming drugs because it fell beyond its jurisdiction'.

I said then 'I wonder whether it's a one-off or if it may be the general policy in future'.

Today there's a similar story in Gulf News. A Brit has been charged with being drunk on an aircraft and telling passengers he had a bomb which he was about to detonate. If he's found guilty he deserves many years in one of Dubai's jails.

But the comment I wanted to highlight was that although he: tested positive for two kinds of drugs and banned substances "he has not been charged with consuming drugs because our investigation showed that he took drugs beyond Dubai's jurisdiction".

It looks as though it may have been more than a one off back in February and maybe we're now doing the right thing.

Today's report is here.


Duffy said...

This opens the door to all sorts of possibilities. Given the 5 mile limit nations are allowed to claim as their own, that means you can hop in a boat, head out to sea for a bit and have a prostitution and drug party so long as you finish both before getting back to land. Oh! Throw in some gambling while you're out there. How fun.

Mars said...

but wouldn't you land up in iran's jurisdiction? surely it's worse being prosecuted in iran then in dubai?

Dominic said...

Interesting blog. Have enjoyed reading it. We are making the big move after a few years in Indonesia.
Will be interesting I'm sure!

Seabee said...

G'day Dominic, welcome to Life in Dubai. Yes, it'll be interesting for you here - very different too.

ZeTallGerman said...

Oh Hallelujah and Ma'shAllah! Did someone in the UAE government start growing a brain all of the sudden? That one can't punish people for commiting an offence OUTSIDE of said country? Glorious. At least I won't have to be petrified of ending-up in the slammer because of taking the wrong type of painkiller (codeine) whilst on holiday.