Country
Colombia
Sources
InforMEA
Tagging
Administrative
Abstract

The Constitutional Court of Colombia is asked to declare the unconstitutionality of paragraph 3 of the article 85 of the Law 99/1993. This article sets several sanctions in case of infringement of environmental norms. Paragraph 3 establishes that the sanction process will be determined by a regulatory decree.

The plaintiff claim that this norm infringes the principle of legality, contained in article 29 of the Constitution, because the legislator did not fully regulate the proper administrative process that must be followed to impose the sanctions established in article 85 of the Law 99/1993. Paragraph 3 undermines the principle of legality while establishing that the sanction process will be determined in a regulatory decree of the President. The process should be fully regulated in a law and not in an administrative instrument.

The Court does not accept to the request. The judgment establishes that the reference to a Decree cannot be considered by itself an infringement of the principle of legality. The judgment establishes that, to be unconstitutional, a norm must infringe the substance of the principle of legality.