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Australia's Move to the Plain Packaging of Cigarettes and its WTO Compatibility


Andrew D. Mitchell


University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School; NYU School of Law

August 29, 2010

Asian Journal of WTO and International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2010
U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 500

Abstract:     
Tobacco companies have expressed concern that Australia’s plain cigarette packaging initiative breaches international trade obligations. This article begins by providing a background to cigarette packaging. It then examines developments worldwide and in Australia that have led to this initiative, and finally examines the claim of cigarette companies that the move is incompatible with the TRIPS Agreement. It concludes that the general move towards plain packaging in Australia and elsewhere falls within the scope of permissible regulation under Article 20 of the TRIPS Agreement and that concerns about plain packaging violating the TRIPS Agreement should not prevent WTO Members from placing plain packaging firmly on the public health agenda.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: International Trade, World Trade Organization (WTO), Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), Trademarks, Public Health, Tobacco Control, Plain Packaging

JEL Classification: F13, I18, K32

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Date posted: August 29, 2010 ; Last revised: October 14, 2010

Suggested Citation

Mitchell, Andrew D., Australia's Move to the Plain Packaging of Cigarettes and its WTO Compatibility (August 29, 2010). Asian Journal of WTO and International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2010; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 500. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1667746

Contact Information

Andrew D. Mitchell (Contact Author)
University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School ( email )
The University of Melbourne
Victoria, 3010
Australia
+61383441098 (Phone)
+61393472392 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/staff/Andrew%20Mitchell
NYU School of Law ( email )
185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States
+1 212 992 6166 (Phone)
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