On 20 November 2013, the former federal Minister for Health and Attorney General of Australia, Ms Nicola Roxon, will be giving a keynote address at the Faculty of Law at UCT to discuss the advent of the plain packaging legislation and its aftermath. In Australia, starting on 1st December 2012, it became illegal for tobacco companies to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products in anything other than generic or ‘plain’ packaging. Tobacco packaging must be a standard drab dark brown colour, and the printing of tobacco company logos, brand imagery, colours, or promotional text is prohibited. It is a world first and represents a remarkable victory for public health. But this life-saving, public health-focused victory did not come easily. From the time that the Australian Government announced its intention to pass a law mandating plain packaging, the tobacco industry mounted a multi-million dollar campaign to thwart the measure. And once the legislation was passed, four multinational tobacco companies – British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and Philip Morris – challenged the legislation in the Australian courts on constitutional grounds that the government’s action amounted to an acquisition of property other than on just terms. The case was heard in April 2012 and the High Court ruled that plain packaging was constitutional and awarded costs, estimated to run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, against the tobacco companies. New Zealand, Ireland and Scotland have announced that they will follow Australia’s move, and other governments, including South Africa, are considering doing so. Could it happen in South Africa?
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Ms Nicola Roxon, Former Minister of Health and Attoney General of Australia
Professor PJ Schwikkard, Dean of Law, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Ms Patricia Lambert, Director of the International Legal Consortium, The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
WILFRED & JULES KRAMER LAW BUILDING,
MIDDLE CAMPUS OFF WOOLSACK DRIVE, ROSEBANK
RSVP TO: LIESEL.COLLINS@UCT.AC.ZA