The Knowledge to Act


Trade, Investment Law and Public Health: The Phillip Morris saga

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UNIGE-IISD Lunch Series on Investment Disputes

Investor-state dispute settlement cases have significant public policy implications, including in the areas of health, environmental protection, economic development and taxation. This lunch series aims to examine the relationship between international investment law cases and sustainable development goals and policies. We invite international and national policy-makers, academics and students with different backgrounds to explore and discuss selected cases.


Companies are increasingly relying on international trade and investment agreements as a tool to challenge domestic regulatory measures. The proceedings backed by Philip Morris and its affiliates are a telling story in this respect. The battlefield challenging states’ regulations on tobacco products has expanded from domestic courts to international arbitral tribunals to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). What do these cases mean for public health measures and the fight against tobacco consumption? What can be learnt from these cases for the future drafting of trade and investment agreements? Join Benn McGrady and discussants to debate and discuss the Philip Morris cases before investor-state arbitral tribunals and the DSB.

SPEAKER: Dr. Benn McGrady is a Technical Officer (Legal) in the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases Department at the World Health Organization where he is responsible for providing technical assistance to WHO Member States and building their legal capacity to prevent noncommunicable diseases. Benn has advised public health bodies, governments, inter-governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations–particularly on international trade and investment issues–and trained government officials around the world.

WHEN: Thursday, 22 June 2017 @ 12.30-13.45
(with sandwiches served starting at 12.00)

WHERE: University of Geneva, Uni Mail, 40 bd du Pont-d’Arve,
Geneva, Room M5050


MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Further UNIGE-IISD lunch series in 2017:

  • Thursday, 21 September 
  • Thursday, 19 October
  • Thursday, 30 November

To register or for more information please contact: Fariba DiBenedetto-Achtari [email protected]

Event details

  • June 22, 2017

  • University of Geneva, Uni Mail, 40 bd du Pont-d’Arve, Geneva, Room M5050

Event Materials