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In the medico-legal field, medicines regulation has, until recently (E.Jackson, Law and the Regulation of Medicines (Hart, 2012)) received relatively little scholarly attention, and drug offences have been largely neglected in undergraduate courses on criminal law. These two areas of law (medicines regulation and recreational drug use ) are rarely considered together despite both being concerned with pharmacology and its impact on consumers, and despite raising similar ethical questions (autonomy, paternalism, the role of the state in public and private health) and facing similar threats from those seeking to maximise profit. The purpose of the module will be to identify and critically evaluate normative frameworks in this area, in search of theoretical coherence. The course will identify relevant legal and theoretical frameworks and regulatory agencies. The focus will be on UK law but will also include international treaties and European law. The module will combine domestic and comparative jurisprudence, and will also adopt a law-reform flavour given the evolving nature of science and law in this area . The module may particularly interest those students who are studying medical law, those propose to enter into a practising law career, a law, regulatory or policy-reform role, or who may enter into associated fields such as consumer lobbying and activism, or governmental legal offices. Questions to be considered will include: What are the normative implications of a shift in regulatory perspective in relation to recreational drugs from the criminal to the public health model? How tenable is the distinction drawn in law between medicinal drugs and recreational drugs? What are the regulatory implications of a product¿s classification as medicinal? What is the role and nature of the harm/benefit nexus in the design of regulatory measures? In the second semester students will explore several case-studies, including novel psychoactive substances, cannabis law reform and nicotine replacement therapy before proceeding to research and make oral presentations on their own chosen topics for the coursework element, for which they will receive supervision.

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