Russian, Tajik troops hold joint anti-terror drills in AsiaMilitary & Defense March 27, 9:11
US calls for release of detained participants in unsanctioned rallies across RussiaWorld March 27, 6:37
Russia conducts six humanitarian operations in Syria in 24 hoursSociety & Culture March 27, 6:34
Talks on banning nuclear weapons begin in UN without Russia, USWorld March 27, 6:28
Meeting with Putin of exceptional importance for Serbia — premierWorld March 27, 4:16
Election in Moldova shows people support rapprochement with Russia - Socialist factionWorld March 27, 4:06
Former Zenit FC player Kazachenok dies at 64Sport March 27, 1:37
Russian senior MP calls on EU politicians not to hide heads in sand in Syrian settlementRussian Politics & Diplomacy March 26, 18:09
Three Russian fans stabbed after football match in BelgradeSport March 26, 3:28
MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Australian High Court today ruled in favor of the government in the challenges brought by tobacco companies finding that the plain packaging legislation did not violate the Australian Constitution. The key issue before the court was whether, under the Constitution, plain packaging is an 'acquisition of property', which includes a corresponding benefit to the government.
The court today announced its ruling but has not yet published its opinion on the case.
Commenting on today's ruling, PML spokesperson Chris Argent said, "we will have to wait to read the court's opinion to fully assess today's decision. Regardless, the legality of plain packaging, including whether Australia will have to pay substantial compensation to Philip Morris Asia, remains at issue and will be considered in other ongoing legal challenges."
Three countries have already challenged Australia before the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the plain packaging legislation as contrary to Australia's obligations as a WTO member. Philip Morris Asia (PMA) is also suing Australia for multiple breaches of its Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with Hong Kong. The company expects decisions in these cases within two to three years. In broad terms, the WTO and BIT challenges will examine a number of issues, including:
Today's High Court ruling has no legal bearing on these international cases or on other jurisdictions.
"We believe that Philip Morris Asia's investment treaty case and the WTO challenges are strong. As such, there is still a long way to go before all the legal questions about plain packaging are fully explored and answered." added PML spokesperson Chris Argent.
As of 1 December 2012, all tobacco products sold at retail must be in plain packaging.
About Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI)
Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI) is the leading international tobacco company, with seven of the world's top 15 international brands, including Marlboro, the number one cigarette brand worldwide. PMI's products are sold in approximately 180 countries. In 2011, the company held an estimated 16.0% share of the total international cigarette market outside of the U.S., or 28.1% excluding the People's Republic of China and the U.S.
About Philip Morris Limited (PML)
Philip Morris Limited (PML) began operations in Australia in 1954 and has approximately 700 employees. Based in Melbourne, the company manufactures and sells a number of well-known brands, including Marlboro, Alpine, Longbeach, Peter Jackson, choice and GT. In 2011, PML held an estimated 37.5% share of the Australian cigarette market.
for inquiries in Australia
Chris Argent, Philip Morris Limited
Tel.: +61 (0) 3 8531 1054