Today Big Prohibition is celebrating its High Court victory over ‘Big Tobacco’ on the issue of plain packaging of cigarettes. Tobacco companies had challenged the legislation to have all cigarettes sold in drab green packs without logos or company identification on the basis of denial of intellectual and other property rights.
In retrospect, this may have been a mistake as property rights are not a widely respected concept in Australia. Rural landholders have largely borne the brunt of the assault on private property until now with a myriad of laws restricting their rights to carry out activities, from building right through to weed control. A quick check with them would have let Phillip Morris know, it was flogging a dead horse on the issue. Continue reading