The Environmental Action Network Ltd. (TEAN) v. The Attorney General & National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)

On behalf of itself and non-smoking people, the Environmental Action Network (TEAN) sued the government seeking protections from smoking in public places. TEAN contended such measures were required for the general good of public health in Uganda and to enforce the right to a clean and healthy environment and the right to life. The Government maintained that 1) it did not have enough time for investigation after the case was filed and 2) the application was based on hearsay -- the applicant company is not an expert on the effects of secondary cigarette smoke and the applicant could not claim to represent the Ugandan public. The court overruled the objections stating that 1) when people's rights are infringed, the government is responsible for investigation before the actual damage is done; 2) scientific reports are sufficient to prove the harm of cigarette smoke; and 3) the representative does not need to have the same interests as the represented group if claim is for the public interest. The application was allowed to be heard.