What Difference Would a Binding International Legal Instrument on Alcohol Control Make? Lessons from the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’s Impact on Domestic Litigation
Since the adoption of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2003, public health professionals have debated similar conventions covering other health risks, including potentially a Framework Convention on Alcohol Control. Much of this debate has focused on the merits of binding versus non-binding instruments in terms of commitments at the international level.
In this paper, the author draw on lessons from the WHO FCTC to discuss instead what the difference between binding and non-binding international legal instruments might mean for domestic legal frameworks for implementing regulatory measures for alcohol control.
The paper looks at possible impacts on the authority of various national authorities to implement new measures, the ability of civil society to bring cases compelling more comprehensive regulatory measures and the defence of litigation brought by commercial-sector actors to prevent, delay or weaken the implementation of laws and regulations. It reflects on what lessons these might have for alcohol control governance.