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Distilling Prospects: Reflections on the Proportionality of Minimum Unit Pricing under EU Law
Bartlett, Oliver
On 3 May 2013 the Scottish Court of Session ruledthat minimum unit pricing of alcoholic beverages didnot breach EU law on the free movement of goods.It held that the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing)(Scot-land) Act 2012,1 passed in June 2012 but not imple-mented pending the completion of legal action, didconstitute a measure having equivalent effect to a quan-titative restriction under Article 34 TFEU, but that sucha restriction of trade was justified as proportionate un-der Article 36 TFEU as it was the most effective wayof achieving the legitimate aim of reducing the con-sumption levels of harmful and hazardous drinkers.While the Scottish Government hailed this rulingas a victory, the Scotch Whisky Association, who ledthe legal challenge, have on 6 February 2014 appealedthis decision to the Inner House of the Court of Ses-sion, and will ask for a reconsideration of the choice of the Outer House not to refer the matter to the Courtof Justice of the European Union (CJEU).This report seeks to support the case for minimumunit pricing. It will first provide a brief summary ofthe legislation and the supporting evidence. Second,it will analyse the arguments relating specifically tothe proportionality of minimum unit pricing underEU free movement of goods law in order to show thatthe Scottish court's decision was correct. Finally itwill consider the implications that success for mini-mum unit pricing might have for alcohol control pol-icy and why the industry vehemently opposes it.
Keyword(s): Distilling Prospects; Proportionality; Minimum Unit Pricing; EU Law
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Bartlett, Oliver (2014) Distilling Prospects: Reflections on the Proportionality of Minimum Unit Pricing under EU Law. European Journal of Risk Regulation, 5 (1). pp. 73-78. ISSN 1867-299X
Publisher(s): Cambridge University Press
File Format(s): other
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First Indexed: 2020-04-02 06:05:33 Last Updated: 2020-04-02 06:05:33