Phillip Morris made to pick up bill
Philip Morris has been ordered to pay the Federal Government’s legal bill after it attempted to stop plain packaging laws.
The tobacco giant spent six years arguing before the World Trade Organisation dispute panel that the government should either scrap the laws or pay billions of dollars in damages, but the bid failed.
The exact amount of the payment remains secret, but is expected to be well into the millions of dollars.
In a decision published by the Permanent Court of Arbitration over the weekend, it was revealed that Philip Morris had complained about an “unreasonable” amount claimed by the Australian Government for a legal team consisting primarily of public servants.
The tribunal rejected it.
“The tribunal does not consider that any of these costs claimed by the respondent were unreasonable,” the decision stated.
“The tribunal also takes into consideration the significant stakes involved in this dispute … in particular the relevance of the outcome in respect of Australia's policies in matters of public health.”