- Posted by Dr. Marina Foltea
- On May 23, 2016
- dispute settlement, e-cigarettes, FCTC, health, intellectual property, plain packaging
Trade Pacts will join economic law professionals for the prestigious fifth biennial Global Conference of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL), taking place at the University of Witwatersrand (WITS) Mandela Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 7 to 9 July.
Its first appearance on African soil, the conference – themed “International Economic Law in a Diverse World” – will explore several pertinent subjects, including those of investment protection, trade liberalisation and monetary stability and their relationship with other societal values such as human health and labour rights protection, or environmental concerns.
Professor Gruszczynski’s work explores the relationship between the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Framework Tobacco Control Convention (FCTC) dispute settlement systems. “In this context,” explains Gruszczynski, “it analyses various procedural and substantive problems that may emerge from the parallel recourse to both systems. This research is well-timed, reflecting the current discussion in the FCTC Secretariat on the improvement of the FCTC system.”
Dr Foltea’s paper examines the legal context arising from regulation of new tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. With the emergence of new products, new legal issues also arise: for instance, whether these products are in effect “like” cigarettes or not. This exercise will determine whether many regulations which currently apply to cigarettes can be lawfully transferred to these new products, something which will raise a number of regulatory questions for the governments.
The presentations, which will culminate in published research, will be complemented by the contribution of Dr Marcus Wagner (University of Miami School of Law) who will explore the regulatory autonomy of the governments in the field of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and the contribution. Dr Enrico Bonadio (City University London) will speak about the extent to which brands and intellectual property can be restricted (through plain packaging, for example) in order to protect consumer health.
The topics addressed by the panel are highly relevant to a wide number of industries which trade fast moving consumer goods. This applies to tobacco, alcohol, foods and beverages, and the pharma and agricultural sectors more generally.
“This is an exciting opportunity, a first for both Trade Pacts and SIEL on Africa’s shores,” says Dr Foltea. “It is a privilege to be able share our knowledge with some of the world’s most respected professionals in the field.”
The inaugural Global Conference of SIEL was hosted by Switzerland in 2008 and has since been held in Spain; Singapore; and again in Switzerland, in Bern. For further information, or to register your attendance for the South Africa event, visit www.sielnet.org , and follow Trade Pacts on Twitter (@tradepacts) for the latest updates.