Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Tobacco corporation Philip Morris sues Australia over cigarette plain packaging

ISDS provisions have been criticised by the High Court Chief Justice Robert French and the Productivity Commission which warned they gave foreigners greater legal rights than Australian companies, exposed local business to potentially large liabilities and were red tape-heavy.

There are concerns similar provisions in the yet-to-be-concluded 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, it would constrain the listing and pricing of medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

justiceTobacco giant sues Australia, The West Australian, Andrew Probyn July 28, 2015,  More than $50 million of taxpayer money is expected to go up in smoke defending cigarette plain packaging in a secretive international tribunal in Singapore.

But costs will pile much higher if Australia loses on its first defence that Philip Morris indulged in cynical “venue shopping” by shifting its headquarters to Hong Kong to sue Australia.

The West Australian can reveal the Attorney-General’s Department, which is running the case in defence of plain packaging, called former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan as a witness before a special tribunal sitting in Singapore back in February. 

Philip Morris, which is claiming the plain packaging regime harms its intellectual property in such famous brands as Marlboro, Peter Jackson and Longbeach, called its own high-profile witnesses, also at considerable cost.

Among Philip Morris’ witnesses have been former High Court judge Ian Callinan who gave evidence on administrative law.

If the tribunal finds unfavourably against Australia in a preliminary decision, expected in September, former health minister Nicola Roxon and her former departmental secretary Jane Halton are among those likely to be hauled before the tribunal later this year.

Australia argues that Philip Morris, in anticipation of Labor’s plain packaging legislation in 2011, restructured itself so that its Australian subsidiary became wholly owned by the Hong Kong-based Philip Morris Asia.

This allowed Philip Morris to sue Australia under so-called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions of a 1993 bilateral agreement with Hong Kong that allowed compensation for “expropriation” of investments.

ISDS provisions have been criticised by the High Court Chief Justice Robert French and the Productivity Commission which warned they gave foreigners greater legal rights than Australian companies, exposed local business to potentially large liabilities and were red tape-heavy.

There are concerns similar provisions in the yet-to-be-concluded 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, it would constrain the listing and pricing of medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme…………..https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/29064155/tobacco-giant-sues-australia/

 

July 29, 2015 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: