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Legal Action Against the Law Costs and Fair Prices

On Wednesday march 7th 2012, The National Council of Commerce and Services (CONSECOMERCIO) filed a constitutional action before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice against the Law of Costs and Fair Prices (Official Gazette Number 386.660). Additionally, this action pursues the provisional suspension in the application of the Law during the Court Proceedings.

CONSECOMERCIO alleges that this law violates articles 112, 115 and 117 of the Venezuelan Constitution which guarantee the right for private property, free enterprise, private initiative and consumer rights.

The claimant considers that since the Law of Costs and Fair Prices establishes criteria for commerce and the prices of all products and services through several mechanism of control, the liberty of private initiative to freely determine the prices of the goods they offer will be sacrificed.

In accordance with Articles 21 and 25 of the Law of the Supreme Court of Justice (Official Gazette number 39.522) the Constitutional Chamber must decide firstly on the preliminary admission of the petition, if accepted, a Magistrate will be appointed to decide on the merits of the case.

The preliminary injunction requested, if granted, would suspend all the effects of the Law until the final ruling is rendered. Therefore, the Superintendence of Costs and Fair Prices will be unable to regulate and dictate prices. This Superintendence was created by the Law to form a centralized bureau capable of setting prices and organizing all the information required.