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Tabacalera del Este S.A., et al. v. Paraguay [Paraguay] [October 18, 2010]

The petitioners filed an appeal for legal protection, challenging the constitutionality of two administrative decrees that implemented Article 11 of the FCTC, providing for stronger warning and labeling requirements than the regulations in effect at the time. The petitioners claimed that the decrees had been issued in violation of several constitutional provisions, particularly those providing for separation of powers, the right to commerce, free circulation of goods and supremacy of the Constitution. The Court held that, even though the FCTC had become legally binding to Paraguay upon its ratification and entry into force, this type of regulations needed to be adopted by the Congress. Therefore, both administrative decrees were unconstitutional, as they had been issued by the executive branch in violation of the separation of powers.

UniĆ³n Tabacalera del Paraguay, et al. v. Paraguay [Paraguay] [December 28, 2009]

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.

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