Goodbye job applications, hello dream career
Seize control of your career and design the future you deserve with LW career

Pressure on NSW government to do more about Ice Inquiry

The Law Society of NSW are pushing for the NSW government to initiate the recommendations of the Ice Inquiry and employ a health-focused approach when tackling drug abuse issues.

user iconAdrian Suljanovic 06 June 2022 The Bar
NSW government
expand image

Law Society of NSW president Joanne van der Plaat said the NSW government has delayed for far too long to act upon the recommendations of the Ice Inquiry, risking further “criminalisation and demonisation” of drug users in dire need of treatment and rehabilitation.

“The Law Society agrees with the experts called to give evidence during the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice that the current prohibitionist approach is not working. We agree with law enforcement authorities who have said we can’t arrest our way out of drug problems,” Ms van der Plaat said.


The expansion of the Drug Court through a pilot in Dubbo along with the construction of a drug and alcohol treatment centre has been welcomed by the Law Society. However, they still believe more needs to be done.

“The adoption of this one recommendation of the Ice Inquiry ignores other initiatives like the expansion of the Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment (MERIT) program, along with programs to assist Indigenous offenders like Circle Sentencing and the Youth Koori Court,” Ms van der Plaat said.

According to Ms van der Plaat, diversion and support extended to regional communities is “vital” in these communities that have been devastated by rampant illicit drug use, and that drug law reform that removes the criminalisation of petty possession should be applied across NSW.

The NSW government established the Ice Inquiry back in 2018 in response to the increased use of Ice in regional/rural towns, and provided an interim response in October 2020. Ms van der Plaat said it would be “absurd” for the government to exclude justice reforms and rehabilitation services.