Plain Packaging of Cigarettes
26 August 2011
Associate Professor Luke Nottage commented on the plain packaging of cigarettes legislation, following its successful journey through Australia's House of Representatives.
In his latest blog, excerpts of which were published in The Conversation, he wrote, "The plain packaging legislation passed by the House of Representatives stuck to the original proposal for implementation.
"So Philip Morris Asia (PMA) is likely to commence investor-state arbitration (ISA) proceedings after expiry of the 3-month 'cooling off' period under Art 10 of the 1993 Australia - Hong Kong bilateral investment treaty (calculated from notification of the dispute on 27 June).
"The Gillard Government has closed off one avenue for settling this dispute by enacting legislation but delaying its implementation, to give more time for PMA and other companies to prepare for the new regime.
"Even if the possibility of delaying implementation comes up in arbitral proceedings, perhaps due to arbitrators attempting to facilitate early settlement ('Arb-med'), the Government will now find it politically difficult to backtrack in this respect."
Contact: Greg Sherington
Phone: +61 2 9351 0202