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 6: Implications of WTO Law for Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products

Tania Voon and Andrew D. Mitchell

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


* Tania Voon and Andrew D. Mitchell INTRODUCTION I. The fight against Australia’s scheme for the plain packaging of cigarettes1 seems to be gearing up not only in the domestic context2 but also in the international sphere. Forewarnings of likely responses within the World Trade Organization (‘WTO’) were already found in complaints brought against measures introduced by Canada and the United States restricting the use of certain additives and flavourings in cigarettes and related products.3 The former has been repeatedly challenged in comments made by numerous Members within the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade,4 while the latter is the subject of a formal WTO dispute settlement * This research was generously supported by the University of Melbourne pursuant to the Vice Chancellor’s Staff Engagement Project Grants. We are grateful to Timothy Lau for helpful research assistance, to David Heaton for valuable comments on an earlier draft, and to the able staff of the Law Research Service of Melbourne Law School. Thanks also to the organisers of and participants in the International Law Association Asia-Pacific Regional Conference (Taipei, 31 May 2011), at which our preliminary findings were presented. All opinions expressed here and any errors are ours. Parts of this chapter were first published in Tania Voon and Andrew Mitchell, ‘Face Off: Assessing WTO Challenges to Australia’s Scheme for Plain Tobacco Packaging’ (2011) 22(3) Public Law Review. 1 Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011 (Cth), as introduced into the House of Representatives of the Australian Federal Parliament on 6 July 2011....

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