R. v. Secretary of State For Health Ex Parte Imperial Tobacco Limited, et al.

The European Parliament and Council passed a Directive which effectively required all Member States to prohibit all forms of tobacco advertising and sponsorship in the European Union. Subsequently, the United Kingdom published proposed regulations intended to give the Directive direct effect in that country. However, before the United Kingdom implemented the legislation, Germany and several tobacco companies challenged the validity of the Directive, as well as the United Kingdom Secretary of State’s decision to implement it domestically, arguing that the Directive was improperly passed as a public health measure and not for the protection of Europe’s internal market. A United Kingdom trial court judge prohibited the Secretary of State from implementing the Directive until the European Court of Justice (ECJ) could determine its validity. The Court of Appeal set the injunction aside. Although the ECJ eventually held that the Directive exceeded the European Community’s scope of legislative authority, the applicants asked the United Kingdom House of Lords to decide whether a national judge had the power to intervene in the adoption of national regulations intended to give effect to a community directive where parties had challenged the validity of the directive. This House of Lords considered, but did not provide a final decision on that procedural question.     


R. v. Secretary of State For Health Ex Parte Imperial Tobacco Limited, et al., [2000] UKHL 60, House of Lords (2000).

  • United Kingdom
  • Dec 7, 2000
  • House of Lords



  • 3 other tobacco companies (unnamed)
  • Imperial Tobacco Limited


  • Others
  • Secretary of State for Health

Legislation Cited

International/Regional Instruments Cited

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product