Indonesia - district court dismisses request to ratify FCTC..

April 13, 2009 - JAKARTA: The Indonesian Consumer Foundation (YLKI) is planning on appealing to the High Court against a decision at the Central Jakarta District Court dismissing its request for the government to ratify the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC). (Indonesia is the only nation in Asia which has not signed or ratified the (FCTC) - the global public health anti-tobacco treaty. As many as 162 countries have ratified the FCTC, which forces countries to significantly raise the price of cigarettes.)

The plan for appeal was announced by Sudaryatmo, a member of YLKI's legal team fighting this case. Sudaryatmo claimed the lower court based its decision on the fact judges did not consider the matter of a legal nature, so concluded it could not be settled by any court body. "They thought that it was a matter of policy that could only be settled through general elections," he said.

The YLKI filed a lawsuit against the government's tobacco policy after it did not ratifying the UN convention, citing Article 13 of the 1965 law on legal violations committed by the government.

However, the court did not consider the law to be relevant in trying this case, Sudaryatmo said. "The judges admitted that government policy had caused the death of many individuals due to its weak tobacco policy, but said the matter was confirmed to the area of policy," he said. The YLKI stood firm in its stance, he said, on the grounds that the court had the right to deal with any government action that has the potential to harm its citizens.

Reference: YLKI to appeal against tobacco court rulingThe Jakarta Post, 4/11/2009.

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