Drug Crime and the Law
Drug laws in Australia are very complex. Some are legislated at federal level and others at state and territory level.
Commonwealth drug crimes are those that fall under Federal laws and should be reported to the Australian Federal Police. They include the importation and exportation of illicit drugs.
State and Territory drug crimes include local drug manufacturers, drug dealers and drug users. These should be reported to state and territory police.
It is important to note that all forms of illicit drug crime can be reported to Crime Stoppers.
Australian law enforcement agencies’ key mandate is to reduce the supply of illicit drugs to the Australian community. To this end Australia’s government and law enforcement agencies cooperate nationally and with international organisations to combat illicit drug use and trafficking.
In this lesson students research the strategies being used by Australia’s law enforcement agencies to target illicit drug crime as well as the federal and state/territory laws designed to successfully prosecute drug criminals.
- Display on an interactive whiteboard the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission infographs of importation methods and national seizures and arrests in Australia 2019-2020. Discuss as a class how drugs came into Australia during 2019-2020 and how successful the police were in seizing illicit drugs and drug criminals.
- Explain that Australia has a National Drug Strategy aimed at cutting down criminal drug activity. Display the National Drug Strategy (Australian Federal Police website) and ask students to identify key elements of the strategy. Discuss how each element might relate to the success stories outlined in the previous activity.
- Display the diagram Illicit drug conventions and laws used in Australia on the interactive whiteboard. Explain that there are three levels of conventions and laws used in Australia to prosecute drug criminals. Explore an example of each level using the hyperlinks and discuss how they might be used to prosecute drug criminals.
- Provide each student with a copy of the Illicit drug laws and seizures worksheet and explain the activity. Once completed ask students to use their notes to outline the range of laws in Australia that can be used to prosecute drug criminals.