The High Court and the Marlboro Man: The Battle Over the Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products
Tania Voon, Andrew Mitchell, and Jonathan Liberman (Ed.) Regulating Tobacco, Alcohol and Unhealthy Foods: The Legal Issues, London: Routledge, 2013, 337-360.
Posted: 16 Dec 2013 Last revised: 29 Mar 2017
Date Written: December 31, 2013
In 2012, the High Court of Australia handed down a landmark decision on the plain packaging of tobacco products. This chapter considers the historic ruling in the case of JT International SA v Commonwealth; British American Tobacco Australasia Ltd v Commonwealth. This chapter explores several themes in the decision. First, it highlights the historical work by the High Court of Australia on the role of health regulation, the use of health warnings, and tobacco control. Second, the chapter considers the High Court of Australia's view that intellectual property law promotes the public interest.Third, it explores the High Court of Australia’s analysis of the constitutional law on acquisition of property on just terms. Finally, this chapter contends that the High Court of Australia's ruling on plain packaging of tobacco products will spark an 'Olive Revolution' — and will encourage superior courts and policy-makers to follow suit.
Keywords: Tobacco Control, Graphic Health Warnings, Plain Packaging, Trade Mark Law, Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, Constitutional Law, Comparative Law
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