Property and Proportionality: Evaluating Ireland’s Tobacco Packaging Legislation

  • Eoin O'Dell School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

Abstract

This article evaluates the constitutionality of the restrictions upon tobacco packaging in Ireland in the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015 and Part 5 of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2017. Australia is the only country to have commenced this legislative process earlier, so the Irish experience (and, in particular, an analysis of the constitutionality of the Irish legislation) could provide a roadmap for other jurisdictions aiming to implement similar restrictions. This article concludes that public health and the protection of children constitute pressing and substantial reasons sufficient to justify as proportionate these Acts’ restrictions upon tobacco companies’ property rights protected by the Irish Constitution.

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