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Friday
Dec112015

ASH to make "oral arguments" in High Court case on plain packaging

Credit to ASH. The anti-smoking protesters leave no stone unturned in their crusade against Big Tobacco.

Last week, after Panorama broadcast alleged evidence of BAT employees making payments to politicians and civil servants in Africa, CEO Deborah Arnott called for a "criminal investigation under the Bribery Act".

This week (or next) ASH also has a walk-on part as four companies (British American Tobacco, Imperial, JTI and Philip Morris) challenge the Government's plain packaging legislation.

I've no idea why ASH has been given this opportunity but, in their own words, the group is "intervening in the case".

Lawyers representing ASH will present "oral arguments" designed, I imagine, to support the Government's case and derail the companies' argument that plain packaging is unlawful.

"Acting for ASH are solicitors from Leigh Day and barristers Peter Oliver and Ligia Osepciu of Monckton Chambers." I wonder how much they cost and who's paying?

ASH currently receives £200k of taxpayers' money per year. Or, to put it another way, the Government uses public money to fund lobbyists who not only lobby government to introduce further tobacco control measures (like plain packaging), they are also given a platform to make statements in a court case in which they are neither the plaintiff nor the defendant.

Oh, and another thing. It's my understanding that ASH will be allowed to present their "arguments" without challenge or cross examination.

No different to many media interviews then.

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Reader Comments (1)

It's clearly obvious that this case has been stitched up and everyone who already knows that the outcome will go against industry and consumers are just going through the motions for the appearance of fairness

Of course industry, and therefore consumers, will lose. Govt would never have introduced this affront unless it knew that it would win any legal challenge and it is paying political lobbyists in ASH to do its dirty work for it.

Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 14:54 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

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