International Investment Law and Global Health: Issues and Implications in Philip Morris v. Uruguay ICSID Arbitration

April 06, 2011

Professors Todd Weiler, University of Western Ontario, Larry Helfer, Duke Law, and Jason Cross, Duke Cultural Anthropology discuss the intersection of international investment law and global health law in Philip Morris v. Uruguay. Philip Morris Products has filed suit against Uruguay at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes at the Word Bank. Philip Morris claims that Uruguayan tobacco control laws violate its investor rights under a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between Uruguay and Switzerland. At issue are Uruguayan requirements that 80% of a cigarette package show health warnings and another law limiting the variety of brands of cigarettes that can be sold. Philip Morris contends that these laws violate its intellectual property rights, while Uruguay asserts its right to enact regulations to protect public health.

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