BATA wants to see packaging legal advice

A major tobacco company will ask the High Court to force the federal government to release its legal advice on plain packaging.

British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) is also preparing to launch a High Court challenge as soon as the legislation passes the Senate.

British American Tobacco Australia

British American Tobacco Australia

A bill that requires cigarettes to be packaged in plain olive green packets with no company branding passed the lower house of parliament in August.

The bill is expected to pass the Senate with support from the Greens.

BATA spokesman Scott McIntyre said his company would apply on Monday for special leave to appeal to the High Court to get the government to make its legal advice on the matter public.

The cigarette manufacturer says the government is risking “serious unintended consequences” from the plain packaging laws, such as compensation payouts to the industry, if it wins a court challenge.

“BATA has been trying to sit down and talk to (Health) Minister (Nicola) Roxon but the government won’t listen to us so it looks like the best option to proceed is the High Court,” Mr McIntyre said.

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