Boxed in? Australia's plain tobacco packaging initiative and international investment law
Date of this Version
This article uses Australia as a case study to identify the issues that may arise in ensuring compliance of plain tobacco packaging measures with international investment law. It explains how the tobacco industry could use investor-state dispute settlement under Australia's investment protection agreements, as Philip Morris Asia Limited has done in its claim under the Australia-Hong Kong bilateral investment treaty. It then considers whether the tobacco industry would satisfy the threshold requirement of having made a relevant investment, before considering whether plain packaging could be considered an expropriation or a breach of the fair and equitable treatment obligation or another investment standard. The article concludes that Australia has strong arguments that plain packaging is consistent with its international investment obligations.
This document has been peer reviewed.