The Appeal Against the Judgement that PP is OK

Here is a scenario. Some criminal thugs have been tried and found guilty of waging war against each other using firearms. In the USA, the ‘bearing of arms’ is a civil right. That is, anyone of age can buy a gun and ammunition and use that armament in self-protection. There are variations in the law about ‘carrying’, but that is not important in our similitude.

So the Judge says, “You have been found guilty of waging war against each other using firearms. It has been argued that you have a perfect right to do so. But I must draw your attention to Law xyz, which says that thugs are only permitted to carry and use 0.33 rifles, and that those rifles must have a strap, and that those rifles must be worn in full view by means of using the strap to carry the rifle over the shoulder. I therefore order that all your other firearms – pistols, machine guns, colt 45s, etc, must be handed over to the police and destroyed or disarmed. But you still retain the right to ‘bear arms’, as the Constitution decrees. You are each fined a billion dollars and are to be confined in a correctional establishment for 999 years for breaching law xyz”

It seems like the Judge who threw out the arguments of Tobacco Companies, that their ‘intellectual property rights’ over their logos and the design of their cig packets were protected by international law, fell into a similar trap. He pontificated about the evils of tobacco and tobacco companies, and said that any steps taken to reduce their malign influence were good, but fell short of stopping them from selling their lethal products. You can have a 0.33 rifle, and you can use it, but you must carry it about openly over your shoulder. And you can have the ammunition for the rifle. You will not be condemned for having the rifle and the ammunition, or using them to kill people, but you will be condemned for not openly carrying the rifle by the strap over your shoulder, or possessing some other type of firearm.

No one with any intellectual discipline would accept such arguments for one moment. It would be THE USE of the firearms which would predominate and not the variations in the design of the firearms. It makes no sense to permit the provision and use of a gun, provided that only one design of the gun is used. All that would do is promote that one design of gun, and the ammunition that goes with it.

No wonder Philip Morris has decided not to appeal.In fact, I don’t really understand why Japan International has decided to do so. Maybe Philip Morris is happy with its lion’s share of the market whereas JTI is not. After all, it is plain for any intelligent person to see that PP favours existing brands.

Tobacco Control must also see that, and want it. What they would earnestly wish to be the case would be one world-wide tobacco company that they could switch off as and when they decide. Thus, again, we see the stupidity of tobacco companies. They needed to proliferate their brands and companies years and years ago, and not amalgamate into fewer and fewer huge companies. They should have split up and not amalgamated.


The question is whether the Judge allowed his personal prejudices, as promoted by ASH in private, to obscure his judgement about the importance of international treaties. Was he qualified to make such judgements? What did he know about international treaties? If a nation, which agreed to an international treaty, denies that treaty on the grounds of ‘health’, how safe are other international treaties? You could also turn that around. You could say that international treaties override national laws. For example, if there was an international treaty that oranges could be freely traded among the states signing up to  the treaty, it would be unconscionable that a particular state could limit the arrangements of the treaty on the grounds that oranges were not healthy.

I’ll leave it at that for now.


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