Scottish Minimum Alcohol Pricing & EU Law

15 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2014

See all articles by Angus MacCulloch

Angus MacCulloch

Lancaster University - Law School

Date Written: January 2014


The SNP Government in Scotland introduced Minimum Price per Unit (MPU) for alcohol in the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012. A challenge to those provisions was brought by the Scotch Whisky Association and others in SWA and Others for Judicial Review of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 [2013] CSOH 70. This article examines the impact of the first phase of that legal challenge. The analysis is broadly in three parts: first, an analysis of the Commission Opinion on MPU which went on to have significance in the case itself; second, an analysis of the Outer House judgment itself; and, finally, a discussion of the policy choices which underlie some of the arguments advanced in the case and what they tell us about the balance between free movement and undistorted competition in the internal market.

Keywords: EU Law, Alcohol Pricing, Free Movement, Competition, Proportionality, Margin of Appreciation

JEL Classification: K19, K21

Suggested Citation

MacCulloch, Angus, Scottish Minimum Alcohol Pricing & EU Law (January 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Angus MacCulloch (Contact Author)

Lancaster University - Law School ( email )

Law School
Lancaster LA1 4YF, LA1 4YN
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics