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

Suzanne Zhou, “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” [2020] European Journal of Risk Regulation

15 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2021

See all articles by Suzanne Zhou

Suzanne Zhou

McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer; University of Cambridge - Trinity Hall; University of Melbourne

Date Written: September 15, 2020

Abstract

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, I 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.

Keywords: Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Framework Convention on Alcohol Control, noncommunicable diseases, World Health Organization, international law in domestic courts

JEL Classification: K33, K32

Suggested Citation

Zhou, Suzanne, 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 (September 15, 2020). Suzanne Zhou, “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” [2020] European Journal of Risk Regulation, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3764344 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3764344

Suzanne Zhou (Contact Author)

McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer ( email )

615 St Kilda Road
Melbourne, Victoria 3004
Australia

University of Cambridge - Trinity Hall ( email )

Trinity Lane
Cambridge, CB2 1TJ
United Kingdom

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

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