BAT v. Executive Branch

British American Tobacco (BAT) challenged an executive decree requiring plain packaging of tobacco products. While an administrative tribunal (Tribunal de lo Contencioso Administrativo) is considering the initial challenge, BAT also filed a rapid constitutional challenge, called an “amparo,” requesting suspension of the decree until the administrative challenge is decided (which may take up to one year). With regard to the amparo, the Administrative First Instance Court decided in favor of BAT because the plain packaging policy was approved through a decree instead of a law passed by Congress.

Here, the government appealed the decision by the Administrative First Instance Court, and the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the government. The Court of Appeals found that the amparo was not the proper mechanism for the challenge, because there is a pending administrative claim. This decision was final, and BAT cannot appeal the decision. The decision does not address the merits as to whether the policy is constitutional, only that the President did not have the power to enact the policy by way of executive order.


British American Tobacco Ltd v. State - Executive Power – AMPARO, Fa.2-37586, Tribunal de Apelaciones en lo civil [Appeals Court] (2018).

  • Uruguay
  • Oct 11, 2018
  • Civil Court of Appeals, Sixth Turn.


Plaintiff British American Tobacco Limited

Defendant State - Executive Branch

Legislation Cited

Articles 261 and 56 of the General Code of Procedure

Constitution of Uruguay

Law No. 16011

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues


Type of Tobacco Product