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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: To analyze different litigation strategies for checking undue influence of the Tobacco Industry in national governments tobacco control policy, post-FCTC. The case study will identify national and international legal avenues available for combating the recent agreement between the Mexican Ministry of Health and the tobacco industry which conflicts with the thrust of the FCTC (ratified by Mexico). The exercise will help anti-tobacco advocates in Latin America assess the viability of litigation under the Inter-American Human Rights System as a means of countering undue influence of the tobacco industry in tobacco policy.
Methods: Document analysis will be used to identify and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different litigation strategies.
Results: Litigation strategies available to combating the agreement between Ministry of Health and the tobacco industry in Mexico cover both national jurisdiction and international justice, including constitutional litigation, administrative litigation and the Inter-American Human Rights Court. There is no clear cut action that is ideal, for Mexican procedural law usually requires very specific conditions to recognize a party's standing. However, different combinations of legal strategies may yield successful litigation against the agreement. Arguably, the Mexican case may serve as a model for combating such agreements if they were to spread to other countries, especially within Latin America.