Uruguay wins legal battle against Philip Morris International to uphold strong laws reducing tobacco use.
The case covers
- The Right to Use a trade mark (highly relevant for plain packaging)
- Expropriation of property (critical for plain packaging measures)
- Value of the Claimant’s property
- Use of ‘police powers’ (or the State’s right to regulate in the public interest)
- Fair and Equitable Treatment- Was the measure arbitrary – reliance on the FCTC
- the ‘margin of appreciation’ for governments (a very significant determination for any future public health arbitration claim)
- legitimate expectations
- denial of justiceThe ruling is strong on all key issues and highlights the importance of the FCTC and particular importance of Low and Middle Income Countries it states that reliance on the FCTC is sufficient without requiring further studies or additional evidence.
- The tribunal also held there is no need to identify a direct causal link between the measure and an actual drop in smoking rates and that
- it was sufficient that the measures were an attempt to address the public health concern taken in good faith.
Uruguay’s victory is latest legal blow for tobacco companies fighting for strong tobacco control measures.
December 2015, international tribunal(pdf) threw out a challenge by Philip Morris International to Australian law for cigarettes be sold in plain packaging, concluding claim was “an abuse of rights.” In May,
The United Kingdom’s High Court upheld their plain packaging law, and
More …..details about this case.