The WTO Plain Packaging Reports: Some Reflections

By Pedro Villarreal, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law,, and Brigit Toebes, University of Groningen,

In June 2018, the WTO – Tobacco Plain Packaging panel reports were published. The four reports contain the findings of the WTO panels in the disputes launched in 2012­–2013 by Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Indonesia, against the introduction of plain tobacco packaging in Australia. This blog post provides some overall reflections on the outcomes of this case. The starting point for these reflections is a side event organised by the Global Health Law Committee of the International Law Association (ILA) on Tuesday 21 August 2018, during the ILA’s biannual conference in Sydney.

plain packaging

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Access to medicines amendment of the WTO TRIPS Agreement– hype or hope?

By Ellen ‘t Hoen, Global Health Unit Department of Health Sciences, UMCG Groningen,

On 30 January the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced the first ever amendment to the TRIPS Agreement under the headline WTO members welcome entry into force of amendment to ease access to medicines.

WTO members were celebrating and some media reported the announcement as a major breakthrough. Here is some sobering background to the announcement.

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