LANGUAGE

Unión Tabacalera del Paraguay, et al. v. Paraguay

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.