Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Philip Morris against all of us -- nearly there!

From: Emma Ruby-Sachs - Avaaz <avaaz@avaaz.org>
Date: Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 1:26 PM
Subject: Philip Morris against all of us -- nearly there!



Incredible! Nearly 750,000 of us joined in just a few days. Sign now -- let's take 1 million names into the court!


Big tobacco is suing Uruguay for their anti-smoking laws. If they win, it will threaten public health laws everywhere and prove one corporation can trump the public good, even when its product kills! But if we launch a giant call and Avaaz hires a world class legal team to carry our voices into the courtroom, the judges won't be able to turn a blind eye. Click to join now:

SIGN THE PETITION

Dear friends,

The tobacco giant Philip Morris is suing Uruguay for having some of the best anti-smoking laws in the world, and there's a good chance it could win, unless we step in.

It's a scary reality: a single company, with a product that kills, could overturn laws that protect our  health. This court has already come under fire for not listening to the public in similar lawsuits. Let's ensure they listen now: if we launch a giant call and work with a world class legal team to carry our voices into the courtroom, the judges won't be able to turn a blind eye.

Let's tell the court that this doesn't just affect Uruguay -- if Big Tobacco gets their way, it opens the door for challenges everywhere -- at least 4 other countries are in the legal crosshairs, and many more have anti-smoking laws at risk.

We have to move fast -- the court is already hearing arguments. Click to protect our public health and our democracies from corporate greed -- each of our names will be submitted to the court:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/uruguay_vs_big_tobacco_rb/?bSTejbb&v=56987

Dear friends,

The tobacco giant Philip Morris is suing Uruguay for having some of the best anti-smoking laws in the world, and there's a good chance it could win, unless we step in.

It's a scary reality: a single company, with a product that kills, could overturn laws that protect our  health. This court has already come under fire for not listening to the public in similar lawsuits. Let's ensure they listen now: if we launch a giant call and work with a world class legal team to carry our voices into the courtroom, the judges won't be able to turn a blind eye.

Let's tell the court that this doesn't just affect Uruguay -- if Big Tobacco gets their way, it opens the door for challenges everywhere -- at least 4 other countries are in the legal crosshairs, and many more have anti-smoking laws at risk.

We have to move fast -- the court is already hearing arguments. Click to protect our public health and our democracies from corporate greed -- each of our names will be submitted to the court:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/uruguay_vs_big_tobacco_rb/?bSTejbb&v=56987

Uruguay requires 80% of the cigarette package to be covered with medical warnings and graphic images. Smoking had reached crisis levels, killing around 7 Uruguayans each day, but since this law was put in place smoking has decreased every year! Now tobacco giant Philip Morris is arguing that the warning labels leave no space for its trademarks.

It's all part of a global Philip Morris strategy to sue and intimidate countries. The company already slapped an expensive lawsuit on Australia -- and if it wins against Uruguay, it could run cases against more than a hundred other countries including France, Norway, New Zealand, and Finland who are all considering new life-saving legislation.

Experts say Philip Morris has a good chance of winning because it's using a closed door international tribunal that ruled for corporations two-thirds of the time last year. And their rulings are binding, even though many of the judges are private citizens with corporate ties instead of impartial legal experts. It's up to us to force them to consider the devastating effect their ruling could have on health across the world.

Uruguay has its own legal team, but they're rightly focused on arguing their individual defence. We can submit a unique legal argument about how this ruling would set a precedent for every country with smoking laws and a similar trade agreement. And we can show the court that public opinion is behind them if they rule in favour of Uruguay and health protection everywhere.

The more of us sign, the harder it is for the court to ignore us. Click below to join the call and forward this email to everyone:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/uruguay_vs_big_tobacco_rb/?bSTejbb&v=56987

When big corporations launch deadly attacks on our public good, our community has jumped into action -- from Monsanto to H&M, we've made sure that profits don't come before people. This is our chance to do it again, for all of us.

With hope,

Emma, Maria Paz, Katie, Mais, Alice, Ricken, Risalat and the whole Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION

Uruguay sued by cigarette makers over anti-smoking laws (BBC)
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-30708063

Philip Morris Sues Uruguay Over Graphic Cigarette Packaging (NPR)
http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/15/345540221/philip-morris-sues-uruguay-over-graphic-cigarette-packaging

Big Tobacco puts countries on trial as concerns over TTIP deals mount (The Independent)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/big-tobacco-puts-countries-on-trial-as-concerns-over-ttip-deals-mount-9807478.html

The Secret Trade Courts (New York Times)
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/27/opinion/27mon3.html?_r=1&

Recent Trends in IIAs and ISDS (UN Conference on Trade and Development)
http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/webdiaepcb2015d1_en.pdf

The arbitration game (The Economist)
http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21623756-governments-are-souring-treaties-protect-foreign-investors-arbitration



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