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Permanent Court of Arbitration orders Philip Morris to pay up to $38million to Australian Govt. over tobacco packaging challenge

Author: BBC (UK), Published on: 24 July 2017

"Philip Morris: Tobacco giant ordered to compensate Australia", 10 Jul 2017

Tobacco giant Philip Morris has been ordered to pay the Australian government [reportedly up to $38million] after unsuccessfully suing the nation over its world-first plain-packaging laws.

In 2012, Australia legislated that cigarettes must be sold in unappealing packets…

[Reports this year revealed] that the World Trade Organization (WTO) had [separately] decided [in complaints raised by Cuba, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Indonesia that] Australia's laws were a legitimate public health measure - making them more likely to be adopted overseas.

After plain packaging was introduced, Philip Morris, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco launched a constitutional challenge in Australia's highest court.

When that bid failed, Philip Morris went to the [Permanent Court of Arbitration] to claim the legislation breached Australia's Bilateral Investment Treaty with Hong Kong.

It sought an end to plain packaging, or billions of dollars in compensation.

The court dismissed the company's case, calling it "an abuse of rights".

Philip Morris then argued the government's claim for legal costs was unreasonable, saying it was well above claims made by Canada ($4.5m) and the US ($3m) in comparable cases.

However, the court ruled the costs were reasonable...

Read the full post here

Related companies: Imperial Tobacco Japan Tobacco International Philip Morris International