On January 21, 2023, President Guillermo Lasso Mendoza filed a partial objection for unconstitutionality to the “Draft Organic Reformatory Law of Various Legal Bodies, for the Strengthening, Protection, Impulse and Promotion of Popular and Solidarity Economy Organizations. Artisans, Small Producers, Micro-enterprises and Enterprises” (“Bill”). Our associate Christian Razza writes about it for The Legal Industry Reviews (LIR).
Razza recalls that on March 1, 2023, the National Assembly informed the Constitutional Court (“Court”) of the presidential objection, so that it may issue the respective opinion on the constitutionality of this norm that reforms the Organic Law of Regulation and Control of Market Power (“LORCPM”).
In this regard, it adds that on March 30, 2023, by means of Opinion No. 2-23-OP/23, the Court resolved the partial presidential objection on grounds of unconstitutionality, declaring the objections filed against:
1. Conferring to the Superintendency for the Control of Market Power (“SCPM”) the competence to regulate the modification or elimination of public aid and pricing policies.
In this regard, Razza emphasizes that “the Court pointed out that these provisions contravene Articles 132 paragraph 1, 147 paragraph 3 and 213 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador (“CRE”) since the creation, definition, elimination and modification of any type of pricing policies and public aid are not within its competence”.
2.Granting the SCPM the power to issue recommendations on the modalities of competition in the markets of a binding nature only for public entities.
Razza points out that “paragraph 17 of the second reforming provision of the Bill allows the SCPM to review in a binding manner the pricing policy implemented by the Executive Branch”.
Therefore, the Court points out that “the Court states that granting the SCPM’s recommendations the ‘binding’ character implies that it is attributed a competence that exceeds the provisions of Article 213 of the CRE for the cases of the superintendencies. Consequently, it resolves that the recommendations coming from the SCPM must have only an optional character”.