The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

FCA Policy Briefing for COP6: FCTC Article 19

Key recommendations:

  • COP should adopt the recommendation of the Expert Group to request the Convention Secretariat to:
    • Enable and encourage the voluntary sharing of relevant information, experience and expertise among the Parties through a protected website; 
    • Develop a database of legal and scientific experts with experience in tobacco litigation, including liability, and establish a mechanism for the recommendation of experts on request of Parties engaged in relevant actions; and
    • Prepare, maintain and make available to Parties a comprehensive list of the existing resources that may assist Parties in dealing with civil and criminal liability and other legal challenges where necessary.
  • COP should extend the mandate of the Expert Group created in accordance with its decision FCTC/COP5(9) to continue its valuable work and in particular to:
    • Include additional criminal and international expertise;
    • Complete research into the remaining areas of law, including criminal liability; and
    • Based on existing best practices identified in Annex 3 of the Expert Group’s report, elaborate essential legal elements and/or model laws that could be adopted by the widest possible range of Parties to advance Article 19 implementation.
  • As Article 19 is a complex technical area of the treaty that stretches beyond public health expertise, Parties will need to work closely with an array of domestic and international legal experts. Parties should be encouraged to identify experienced lawyers within Ministries of Justice to participate in the work of the Expert Group in conjunction with the Secretariat. This will ensure multisectoral coordination and the capacity-building of those in government who might be tasked with engaging in legal actions on behalf of their governments.

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