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Country: Paraguay

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Flavour of America S.A. v. Paraguay [Paraguay] [July 12, 2018]

The petitioners filed an appeal for legal protection, challenging the constitutionality of two administrative decrees that implemented Article 8 and Article 11 of the FCTC. The Court held that the Executive Branch’s decrees established duties, obligations, and restrictions not allowed under the National Constitution, the law ratifying the FCTC, or the Sanitary Code. According to the Court, the FCTC contained only “programmatic” clauses and not “self-enforcing” provisions. As a result, in the case of a framework convention, the law that approves it must necessarily be regulated by another law enacted by Congress. That Law can then be regulated by a decree issued by the Executive Branch. The Court stated that there is no express legislative delegation that enables the Executive Branch to regulate Articles 8 and 11 of the FCTC by decree, especially when there are already prior and subsequent laws entirely in force.

Tabacalera del Este S.A., et al. v. Paraguay [Paraguay] [October 18, 2010]

The petitioners filed an appeal for legal protection, challenging the constitutionality of two administrative decrees that implemented Article 8 and Article 11 of the FCTC. One of the decrees provided warning and labeling requirements for tobacco products, and the other one established that enclosed public places, workplaces, and public transportation were 100% smoke-free places.

The Court held that, even though the FCTC had become legally binding to Paraguay upon its ratification, the provisions implementing the treaty needed to be adopted first by a law enacted by Congress. According to the Court, the FCTC contained only “programmatic” clauses and not “self-enforcing” provisions. The Court stated that the Executive Branch’s decrees established duties, obligations, and restrictions not allowed under the National Constitution, the law ratifying the FCTC, or the Sanitary Code. Further, one of the decrees established infractions and penalties, violating the principle of criminal legality, and was enacted in ignorance of a previous law that protected non-smokers, which was entirely in force. Therefore, both administrative decrees were declared unconstitutional, as the Executive Branch had issued them in violation of the separation of powers, among other principles.

Philip Morris Paraguay S.A. et al. v. Paraguay [Paraguay] [October 18, 2010]

The petitioners filed an appeal for legal protection, challenging the constitutionality of two administrative decrees that implemented Article 8 and Article 11 of the FCTC. One of the decrees provided warning and labeling requirements for tobacco products, and the other one established that enclosed public places, workplaces, and public transportation were 100% smoke-free places.

The Court held that, even though the FCTC had become legally binding to Paraguay upon its ratification, the provisions implementing the treaty needed to be adopted first by a law enacted by Congress. According to the Court, the FCTC contained only “programmatic” clauses and not “self-enforcing” provisions. The Court stated that the Executive Branch’s decrees established duties, obligations, and restrictions not allowed under the National Constitution, the law ratifying the FCTC, or the Sanitary Code. Further, one of the decrees established infractions and penalties, violating the principle of criminal legality, and was enacted in ignorance of a previous law that protected non-smokers, which was entirely in force. Therefore, both administrative decrees were declared unconstitutional, as the Executive Branch had issued them in violation of the separation of powers, among other principles.

British Tobacco Productora de Cigarrillos Sociedad Anonima (Probat S.A.) v. Paraguay [Paraguay] [October 18, 2010]

The petitioners filed an appeal for legal protection, challenging the constitutionality of two administrative Decrees that regulated Article 8 and Article 11 of the FCTC. One of the decrees provided warning and labeling requirements for tobacco products, and the other one established that enclosed spaces with access to the public, workplaces, and public transportation were 100% smoke-free places.

The Court held that, even though the FCTC had become legally binding to Paraguay upon its ratification, the provisions implementing the treaty needed to be adopted first by a law enacted by Congress. According to the Court, the FCTC contained only “programmatic” clauses and not “self-enforcing” provisions. The Court stated that the Executive Branch’s decrees established duties, obligations, and restrictions not allowed under the National Constitution, the Law ratifying the FCTC, or the Sanitary Code. Further, one of the decrees established infractions and penalties, violating the principle of criminal legality, and was enacted in ignorance of a previous law that protected non-smokers, which was entirely in force. Therefore, both administrative decrees were declared unconstitutional, as the Executive Branch had issued them in violation of the separation of powers, among other principles.

Unión Tabacalera del Paraguay, et al. v. Paraguay [Paraguay] [December 28, 2009]

Several tobacco companies filed an appeal for legal protection, challenging the constitutionality of a resolution that established stricter and more compelling warning requirements for cigarette packs and labels than those required in the originating law. The petitioners argued that the administrative decree exceeded the scope of the law and was therefore unconstitutional. In its response, the State argued that the decree had been issued in accordance with its obligations to apply stricter labeling standards pursuant the FCTC. The Court found that the Ministry of Health had acted outside the scope of its mandate, holding the resolution unconstitutional.  According to the court, the FCTC, though binding to Paraguay, contained only “programmatic” clauses and not “self-enforcing” provisions. Therefore, the FCTC could only be enacted by a regulating law passed by Congress or a Presidential regulating decree, not by a resolution from the Ministry of Health.