Face Off: Assessing WTO Challenges to Australia's Scheme for Plain Tobacco Packaging
Public Law Review, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 218–240, 2011
19 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2012
Date Written: August 26, 2011
Australia is set to become the first country in the world to implement a scheme mandating the plain packaging of tobacco products. The outcome of the scheme in Australia in the coming months and years will establish a critical precedent for both tobacco control interests and the tobacco industry. Among the various legal and other avenues that tobacco companies and others are pursuing in challenging the scheme, the claim is frequently made that the scheme violates Australia’s obligations as a Member of the World Trade Organization. However, a careful analysis demonstrates that plain tobacco packaging as envisaged by Australia is consistent with all relevant World Trade Organization agreements.
Keywords: plain packaging, tobacco control, World Trade Organization (WTO), Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement), Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement)
JEL Classification: K33, F13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation