Dancing away from reform : The inquest into the death of six patrons of NSW music festivals

Journal article

De Brennan, Sebastian. (2020). Dancing away from reform : The inquest into the death of six patrons of NSW music festivals. Journal of Law and Medicine. 27(3), pp. 693-706.
AuthorsDe Brennan, Sebastian

In late 2019, the Deputy State Coroner for New South Wales (NSW), Magistrate Harriet Grahame, handed down her findings in relation to the death of six patrons of NSW music festivals. 179 pages in length, the decision represents a comprehensive attempt to understand recent music festival tragedies. The Coroner found that there was compelling evidence to support initiatives such as pill testing, changing the way festivals are policed (including discontinuing the use of sniffer dogs) and enhancing the overall safety of music festivals. The Coroner also questioned whether, in light of the evidence presented to the Inquest, there is a fundamental need to rethink contemporary approaches to drugs and criminalisation. In its response to date, the NSW Government has rejected the idea of pill testing and indicated that it will continue to use sniffer dogs at music festivals as a drug detection strategy. In one of the few recommendations of the Coroner that it has accepted, the NSW Government has agreed to the use of drug amnesty bins and agreed to a trial of less punitive measures of dealing with more minor drug possession offences via the use of Criminal Infringement Notices.

Keywordsdrug testing; music festivals; pill testing; sniffer dogs; strip searches; law reform
JournalJournal of Law and Medicine
Journal citation27 (3), pp. 693-706
PublisherLawbook Company
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85084626443
Web address (URL)https://anzlaw.thomsonreuters.com/Document/Ib3401323b77c11ea8e22a7bfe2accfd3/View/FullText.html?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&VR=3.0&RS=cblt1.0
Page range693-706
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All rights reserved
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Output statusPublished
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Deposited25 May 2023
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