• May 19, 2024

PM to pay for PP challenge

 PM to pay for PP challenge

Critics contend that plain packaging has done little to reduce smoking rate in Australia.

In a heavily redacted ruling that was issued in March but made public on the weekend, the Permanent Court of Arbitration has directed Philip Morris Asia (PMA) to pay the Australian federal government an undisclosed sum in legal costs, according to a story in WA Today relayed by the TMA.

In December 2015, the Court dismissed PMA’s lawsuit challenging Australia’s ‘plain’ [standardized] packaging law, labeling it an ‘abuse of rights’.

The story said that ‘some sources’ believed the award against PMA could be as high as A$50 million (US$38 million), plus a percentage of the arbitration costs.

The company reportedly argued that Australia’s claim for costs was ‘excessive’ given that its legal team ‘consisted primarily of public servants’, and that it was well above what was claimed by Canada (US$4.5 million) and the US (US$3 million) in similar investment disputes.

The Australian government said its claim, which included the cost of its own lawyers, outside counsel, expert reports and witnesses, plus travel and accommodation, was justified, and the court agreed. The court found that the Tribunal ‘does not consider that any of these costs claimed by the respondent were unreasonable and should not have been incurred’.