Court paves the way for the enforcement of the Tobacco Control Act
In 2016 the British American Tobacco Limited filed a petition against the government, constitution Petition No.46 of 2016, under Article 137 of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda. The company challenged and contended that several sections of the Tobacco Control Act, 2015, violated certain provisions of the Constitution.
The facts show that the 22 sections of the Tobacco Control Act (TCA) violated certain provisions of the Constitution. The sections in question provided for the prohibition of smoking in public places, comprehensive ban on all tobacco advertising, promoting, and sponsorship, among other provisions. It was further contended that Uganda’s position under the TCA violates international obligations under the World Trade Organisation. These obligations are found in the Intellectual Property Agreement of 1994, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade 1995.
Fourteen issues were identified for determination and Court resolution. However, the main issue for courts was Section 15 of the TCA, which contravenes and is inconsistent with Article 40(2), 26, and 29 of the 1995 Constitution.