Support available to WHO FCTC parties

The McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer’s Knowledge Hub on legal challenges to WHO FCTC implementation offers support to WHO FCTC parties through training and knowledge dissemination. In some circumstances, we are also able to provide direct technical support to parties. Our work covers:

  • Defending tobacco control measures against legal challenges, whether under domestic (e.g. constitutional/administrative) law, international trade law, or international investment law
  • Ensuring policy coherence across health, trade, investment, sustainable development and human rights in the context of WHO FCTC implementation

All requests for assistance from the Knowledge Hub are coordinated through the Convention Secretariat. Please contact the Secretariat at fctcsecretariat@who.int for inquiries about our work, nominations for our training courses, or requests for regional/national training or technical support.

Specific activities we conduct include:

Training

Training events held at the McCabe Centre

We will be running a number of training events at the McCabe Centre in Melbourne over the period 2018-2020:

Training on law and noncommunicable diseases:

These events, primarily targeted at government lawyers from low- and middle-income countries, build capacity in the use of law to prevent cancer and other NCDs, particularly in the context of developing coherence between health, trade, investment, sustainable development and human rights. They include:

  • An annual intensive 3-week course
  • 1-week workshops for program alumni to be held in 2018 and 2020
  • 1-week executive level courses to be held in 2019 and 2020

Participants are selected in collaboration with the Convention Secretariat and WHO Regional Offices.

These events will be conducted with primary funding support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Workshops on the WTO challenges to Australia’s tobacco plain packaging laws

We will be running workshops on the findings and implications of the WTO panel report on Australia’s tobacco plain packaging measures and, in the event that the panel report is appealed, the findings and implications of the WTO Appellate Body report. These workshops will be conducted with primary funding support from the Australian Department of Health. Further information will be provided once the WTO panel report has been published.

Regional, subregional, and national trainings

We conduct regional, subregional and national trainings which build on our Melbourne events, in collaboration with the WHO FCTC Secretariat, WHO regional and country offices, UNDP regional and country offices, regional organizations, national governments, and civil society.

Direct technical support

We support the Convention Secretariat in responding to WHO FCTC parties’ requests for technical support within our areas of expertise. These are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Resources and knowledge dissemination

Knowledge Hub website

Our knowledge hub website provides:

  • An overview of relevant legal frameworks, common industry arguments, and case law, covering legal challenges brought against tobacco control measures in domestic courts, in the World Trade Organization, and under investment treaties, as well as how the WHO FCTC can be used to support countries defending challenges
  • Updates on recent cases, relevant McCabe Centre research, and events
  • Links to useful resources developed by our partners and collaborators
  • A platform for information sharing for registered members of the Knowledge hub site

Research and publications

We regularly develop publications on legal challenges to tobacco control measures for both academic and practitioner audiences, and contribute to publications produced by others. A selection of our papers and resources are republished and linked on our Knowledge Hub website. View our further resources page or our updates on our research for more details.