Title: Effective, justifiable, necessary: the panel's assessment of Australia's tobacco plain packaging measures

Authors: Elli Zachari


Abstract: A key challenge facing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today is the rapidly eroding trust in the trade liberalising values it embodies. Among other criticisms, its rules have long been perceived as constraining the ability of national governments to intervene in economic practices to advance important societal goals, such as public health. Refuting this popular belief, Australia's successful defence of its tobacco plain packaging (TPP) measures in a recent WTO dispute stands as a welcome reaffirmation of the WTO's capacity to adequately balance trade obligations with members' right to regulate. This paper examines the Panel's findings in the TPP dispute in relation to two provisions of the WTO Agreements which reflect a balance between trade and non-trade values; Article 2.2 of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement or TBT) and Article 20 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement or TRIPS).

Keywords: tobacco plain packaging; WTO; TRIPS Agreement; TBT Agreement; trademarks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.102875

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2019 Vol.6 No.3, pp.215 - 235

Received: 24 Oct 2018
Accepted: 15 Apr 2019

Published online: 07 Oct 2019 *

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