Civil, Constitutional, Property, Administrative

The Colombian Constitutional Court is asked to review the constitutionality of the Articles 32 (part), 36 (part), 38, 39, 40 (part), 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48 and 49 of Law 1333 of 2009, "Whereby the environmental sanctioning procedure and other provisions is established".

The applicants aimed to demonstrate the unconstitutionality of those regulations regarding the preventive measures applicable in environmental matters, and those touching the sanctions that environmental authorities are authorized to impose.  Overall the arguments have to do with the violation of due process, linked to the lack of administrative appeals, the breach of the principle of non bis in idem and the rights to unhindered development of personality, property, free enterprise and work, together with the principles of legality, specificity and authenticity, all violations that involve the breach of the principle of proportionality, therefore of the basic rights protected under the Constitution.

The court ruled against the applicants, in view of the momentous place of environmental protection in the Colombian Constitution. Thus, contradicted all the arguments of the applicants and highlighted the importance of providing the respective authorities of instruments to act in situations that seriously endanger the environment and those rights associated therewith.