La Republicana S.A. v. State - Executive Branch
La Republicana S.A. v. State - Executive Branch - AMPARO, IUE 2-29205/2019, the Court of First Instance [Tribunal de lo Contencioso Administrativo] (2019).
- Jul 24, 2019
- Court of First Instance
- Compañía Industrial de Tabacos Montepaz S.A.
- La Republicana S.A.
Defendant State - Executive Branch
Decree No. 235/018 Requiring Plain Packaging Decree No. 120/019 Ministry of Public Health Ordinance No. 696 Law No. 19.723
Constitution of Uruguay
Law No. 16011
Type of Litigation
Challenge to Government Policies Relating to Tobacco Control/Public Health
Tobacco companies or front groups may challenge any legislative or regulatory measure that affects their business interests. Unlike public interest litigation, these cases seek to weaken health measures. These cases frequently involve the industry proceeding against the government. For example, a group of restaurant owners challenging a smoke free law as unconstitutional.
Tobacco Control Topics
Packaging and Labeling Measures
Measures to regulate the marketing on tobacco packages. This includes both bans on false, misleading, deceptive packaging, as well as required health warnings on packaging. (See FCTC Art. 11)
Type of Tobacco Product
Compañía Industrial de Tabacos Montepaz S.A. and La Republicana S.A. challenged Decree No. 120/2019, issued by the executive branch, that requires plain packaging of tobacco products. The Court rejected the challenge and found that the decree is not clearly illegitimate, and therefore, the plaintiffs did not meet the required standard. The Court further held that Congress was the appropriate institution to approve plain packaging and impose restrictions on the tobacco industry (done via Law No. 19.723), and therefore, the executive branch did not exceed its authority when it issued Decree No. 120/2019. Additionally, the Court found that even though the implementation timeline might be strict (one year), the industry had prior knowledge given that there was a previous decree and a pending bill in Congress.