This article analyses the evidentiary assessment made by the investment Tribunal in the case of Philip Morris with a view to drawing some lessons for the regulation of non-communicable diseases (NCD) prevention regulations on food, alcohol, and tobacco. After the introduction, the second Section describes why this dispute, like any dispute concerning NCD prevention measures more generally, raised particularly complex evidentiary challenges. The third Section introduces the provisions and features of the ‘evidence-based’ Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) relevant to the dispute. The fourth Section describes the evidentiary assessment made by the Philip Morris Tribunal, highlighting how it relied extensively on the evidence stemming from or related to the FCTC rule in favour of Uruguay. Finally, the last Section draws lessons that the NCD prevention regulation can learn from Philip Morris for respondents in possible future investment disputes.
The World Health Organization (who) has attracted an unprecedented level of criticism over its handling of the response to the covid-19 pandemic. To enhance its legitimacy and better prepare for a future pandemic, various proposals to reform the who and the International Health Regulations have been made. Against this background, this article seeks to contribute to the ongoing discussions by investigating the nature of who’s work and its activities. Starting from the premise that much of the criticism stems from the uneasy coexistence of politics and expertise in who’s work, this article analyses some of the most controversial aspects of who’s initial response to the covid-19 pandemic: (i) the alleged leniency towards China; (ii) the delay in declaring a public health emergency of international concern (pheic); and (iii) the delay in recommending the use of face masks for the general population. The article shows that politics infiltrates who activities in different ways, influencing even the processes that are conventionally seen as purely technical and science-based. At the same time, it argues that the influence of politics in who’s work should not be seen as some kind of atrophy, but should rather be considered a natural element that should be managed rather than dreaded.