Public Health and Plain Packaging of Cigarettes

Public Health and Plain Packaging of Cigarettes

Legal Issues

Edited by Tania Voon, Andrew D. Mitchell, Jonathan Liberman and Glyn Ayres

The book offers an in-depth exploration of relevant domestic and international legal questions in fields such as intellectual property, constitutional law, health, trade and investment. The authors’ analysis sheds light on broader questions relating to the capacity of governments to regulate tobacco products and the tobacco industry, and to regulate in the interests of public health more generally. The answers to these questions are of vital interest not only to Australia but also to the international community, with states’ regulatory sovereignty increasingly being challenged in local and international courts and tribunals.

Chapter 2: The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: The International Context for Plain Packaging

Kate Lannan

Subjects: law - academic, health law, intellectual property law, international economic law, trade law, international investment law, public international law


Kate Lannan* BACKGROUND I. The World Health Organization (‘WHO’) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control1 (‘FCTC’ or ‘Convention’) is a landmark international instrument marrying public health imperatives with international legal tools for the first time in the WHO’s history. The Convention was adopted by consensus in May 2003 by the World Health Assembly (‘WHA’),2 and was opened for signature on 16 June 2003. A mere 12 months later, at the end of the signature period,3 the WHO FCTC had already received 168 signatures.4 The WHO FCTC entered into force on 27 February 2005, and since then, the number of Parties to the Convention has swelled from the  40 required for entry into force5 to a current membership of * The author is the senior legal officer of the WHO FCTC Secretariat and a staff member of the World Health Organization. The author alone is responsible for the views expressed in this publication, which do not necessarily represent the decisions or policies of the Convention Secretariat or of the World Health Organization. 1 Opened for signature 21 May 2003, 2302 UNTS 166 (entered into force 27 February 2005). 2 Resolution WHA 56.1 (21 May 2003). 3 The WHO FCTC signature period closed on 29 June 2004. WHO FCTC Article 34. 4 See World Health Organization, ‘Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control’ . 5 WHO FCTC Article 36. The original 40 Parties were: Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, Ghana, Hungary, Iceland,...

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