R (on the application of Philip Morris Brands Sàrl) v. Secretary of State for Health
This decision related to the challenges by British American Tobacco UK Limited ("BAT"), Philip Morris Brands Sàrl and Philip Morris Limited to the European Union's Revised Tobacco Products Directive (Directive 2014/40/EU)("the Directive"). Each of the companies brought claims by way of judicial review seeking to prevent the transposition of the Directive into the domestic law of the United Kingdom on the basis that the Directive was invalid under European Union law.
The Secretary of State for Health, although contending that the Directive was valid, agreed that it would be appropriate to seek a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU"). It was therefore common ground that the issue of the validity of the Directive should be referred to the CJEU, and in this decision the Court referred the matter according to the terms of reference agreed between the parties.
The Court also ruled on applications by a number of organizations to be joined as parties to the proceedings. In an earlier decision, the Court refused such an application by a Polish tobacco association on the basis that it would not add significant additional input into the reference and that it was not sufficiently proximate to the United Kingdom. However, in this decision, the Court distinguished the circumstances of the applicant organizations and granted them party status.