Caceres Corrales v. Colombia

Plaintiff Corrales challenged the constitutionality of legislative measures banning the advertisement and promotion of tobacco products, arguing that the measures violate the freedoms of economy and enterprise. The court emphasized the hazardous nature of tobacco, the necessity to protect the rights to life and health, and Colombia's obligations under the WHO FCTC. Concluding that the rights of economy and enterprise are not absolute, the court held that the imposed restrictions are compatible with the freedom of enterprise and free private initiative and therefore not unconstitutional. Notable is the Court’s explicit use of the WHO FCTC and the WHO FCTC Article 13 Guidelines to interpret ambiguities in the national law. The Court also used the Guidelines to interpret the norms of the treaty and the obligations on the Parties pursuant to those norms. In addition, it is worth noting that according to the Court, commercial speech can be restricted in a higher degree than other speech because it is more closely linked to freedom of enterprise than to freedom of expression.


Caceres Corrales v. Colombia, Judgment C-830/10, Corte Constitucional de Colombia [Constitutional Court] (2010).

  • Colombia
  • Oct 20, 2010
  • Constitutional Court (Corte Constitucional de Colombia)


Plaintiff Pablo J. Caceres Corrales

Defendant Colombia

Third Party

  • Association of Subscription Television Operators and Satellite Colombia (Intervenor)
  • Center for Law, Justice and Society (Centro de Estudios de Derecho, Justicia y Sociedad – Dejusticia) (Intervenor)
  • Colombian Academy of Jurisprudence (Intervenor)
  • Colombian League Against Cancer (Intervenor)
  • Colombian Tobacco Company (Compañía Colombiana de Tabaco) (Intervenor)
  • External University of Colombia (Universidad del Externado) (Intervenor)
  • Juan Pablo Cardona González (Intervenor)
  • Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (Intervenor)
  • Ministry of National Education (Intervenor)
  • Ministry of Social Protection (Intervenor)
  • National Retail Federation (Intervenor)
  • National Television Commission (Intervenor)
  • National University of Colombia (Intervenor)
  • University of Ibague (Intervenor)
  • University of Rosario (Intervenor)

Legislation Cited

International/Regional Instruments Cited

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product