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Thank You for Plain Speaking: Commercial freedom of expression in the regulation of tobacco setting

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Matthew James Elsmore - Invited speaker

The seminar reflects on-going research that involves a comparative overview of the constitutional protection afforded to commercial expression in Europe, which includes the European Union (EU), and elsewhere. The aim is to undertake a series of preliminary assessments of ‘standardised’ product packaging measures (such as those of the EU Tobacco Products Directive II) in the freedom of expression setting. To begin with, the research applies only to tobacco products. This seminar focuses on the new text and graphic warnings that will be mandatory under such EU legislation, which is due to be adopted formally by the EU during 2014. The law is similar in many respects to the Australian plain packaging legislation in effect since 2012. There are, however, important differences and including in the way the legal process and framework is set up around the legislation. In Australia’s High Court, the constitutional challenge to the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 was not concerned with (commercial) ‘freedom’ of expression. That, it is argued, is unlikely to be repeated elsewhere where similar measures are in/coming into effect. Notably, drawing on US jurisprudence and surveying a complex EU constitutional framework, the seminar will outline the judicial approach that we might expect when the packaging measures are scrutinised by the European courts.

To give a seminar at Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
7 Apr 2014

External organisation

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  • commecial speech, tobacco regulation

ID: 84553601