Today the High Court of Australia has handed down its judgment on the challenge to the Federal Government's Tobacco Plain Packaging legislation.
The High Court has upheld the Plain Packaging Legislation.
The legislation was challenged on the basis that the new requirements for tobacco products to be sold in generic packaging, without any branding other than small, standardised printing of the manufacturer's name and the brand and variant name, was unconstitutional because it amounted to an acquisition of property other than on just terms. The High Court's decision confirms the Federal Government's power to regulate product packaging in a way that prohibits the use of trademarks and other branding.
The decision could have far-reaching implications for manufacturers for food and other consumer products. Since the decision was delivered this morning, the Federal Government has already issued a press release commenting on how its laws can restrict the use of logos, brand images, colours and promotional text, and stop packets being "mobile billboards".
While the High Court has delivered its judgment, it has not yet released reasons for the decision. We will analyse the reasons, and their consequences for the food industry, in another legal alert once the reasons are released.