The Hague Court Ruling of 14-09-2016: ‘Article 8(2) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control does not imply a ‘Total Smoking Ban’’

By Gohar Karapetian, University of Groningen, g.karapetian@rug.nl

On 14 September 2016, the Court in The Hague ruled that the possibility to smoke in designated smoking areas in publicly accessible places is in line with Article 8(2) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (hereafter: FCTC). This provision states that State Parties to the FCTC shall adopt, as determined by national law, and actively promote ‘measures, providing for protection from exposure to tobacco smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor public places and, as appropriate, other public places’. According to the Court, Article 8(2) of the FCTC lacks ‘direct effect’ in the Dutch legal order in the sense of Article 94 of the Dutch Constitution. This, contrary to the ruling of the Dutch Supreme Court (Hoge Raad) on 14 October 2014, where Article 8(2) FCTC was declared to have ‘direct effect’.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Plain tobacco packaging: where is the Netherlands?

By Brigit Toebes, University of Groningen, b.c.a.toebes(at)rug.nl

As inspired by Australia, several countries in Europe have adopted or are in the process of adopting plain packaging for tobacco products. While plain packaging has been introduced in the UK, France and Ireland, Norway is in the process of adopting it.  Several other European countries, including Hungary, Finland, Slovenia, Belgium and Sweden are considering it.

Continue reading

Extension of Smoke-Free Laws to Restaurants and Bars Leads to Less Babies Being Born with Low Birth Weight, Dutch Study Suggests

By Brigit Toebes, University of Groningen, b.c.a.toebes(at)rug.nl

An investigation into the effects of tobacco control laws by a group of medical researchers sends an important message to law and policy makers. The study reveals that tighter tobacco control laws and policies, especially those introducing an extension of the smoke-free law to the hospitality industry, in combination with a tax increase and a public campaign, leads to less babies being born with low birth weight. Continue reading

Court decision in the case concerning the close ties between the Dutch Government and the tobacco industry (November 9th, 2015): no violation of Article 5(3) FCTC

Brigit Toebes, University of Groningen, b.c.a.toebes@rug.nl

Summary in Dutch: in september 2014 dagvaardde de Stichting Rookpreventie Jeugd de Staat in een zaak betreffende de nauwe banden tussen de overheid en de tabaksindustrie. De zaak is voornamelijk gebaseerd op Artikel 5 lid 3 van het WHO-Kaderverdrag inzake tabaksontmoediging van de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie. Op 9 november deed de Rechtbank Den Haag uitspraak in deze zaak. De rechter oordeelde dat Artikel 5 lid 3 WHO-Kaderverdrag geen rechtstreekse werking heeft. Geciteerd uit de samenvatting van de uitspraak: ‘De stichting Rookpreventie Jeugd kan deze bepaling dus niet inroepen om de Staat de verplichten meer maatregelen te nemen om de invloed van de tabaksindustrie tegen te gaan. Artikel 5 lid 3 kan ook niet als een substantiering worden gezien van het in mensenrechtenverdragen verankerde recht op leven en gezondheid. Evenmin kan het via de zorgvuldigheidsnorm van artikel 6:162 BW worden ingeroepen.’ Voor een bespreking vooraf van deze zaak zie de bijdrage van Brigit Toebes in Nederlands Juristenblad, Afl 37, 30 oktober 2015.

English – on November 9th, 2015 the Court of First Instance in The Hague took a decision in the case concerning the close ties between the Dutch Government and the tobacco industry. The Court ruled that Article 5(3) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which requires States Parties to protect their tobacco control and public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry, does not have direct effect.

Continue reading

Dutch government in court for violating the FCTC

On November 9th, 2015, a court decision was taken in the case concerning the close ties between the Dutch Government and the tobacco industry. The case, which was brought to Court by the Youth Smoking Prevention Foundation, involves an assessment of Article 5(3) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which was adopted within the framework of the World Health Organization in 2003 and which entered into force in 2005.

In the following interview with Radio EenVandaag, Prof Brigit Toebes tells us the whole story.

Radio Vendaag – Interview with Prof. Brigit Toebes

Case concerning the close ties between the Dutch Government and the tobacco industry: court decision expected on Monday, November 9th, 2015.

By Brigit Toebes, University of Groningen  email b.c.a.toebes@rug.nl

Summary in Dutch: in september 2014 dagvaardde de Stichting Rookpreventie Jeugd de Staat in een zaak betreffende de nauwe banden tussen de overheid en de tabaksindustrie. De zaak is voornamelijk gebaseerd op het WHO-Kaderverdrag inzake tabaksontmoediging van de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie. Op 9 november doet de rechter uitspraak in deze zaak. Voor een bespreking van deze zaak zie de bijdrage van Brigit Toebes in Nederlands Juristenblad, Afl 37, 30 oktober 2015 (of email de auteur).

On November 9th, 2015, a court decision is expected in the case concerning the close ties between the Dutch Government and the tobacco industry. The case, which was brought to Court by the Youth Smoking Prevention Foundation, involves an assessment of Article 5(3) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which was adopted within the framework of the World Health Organization in 2003 and which entered into force in 2005. Article 5(3) FCTC requires States Parties to protect their tobacco control and public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry. A set of implementation guidelines has been adopted clarifying how this provision is to be implemented.

Continue reading