Imperial Tobacco Ltd. v. The Lord Advocate, The Scottish Ministers

Imperial Tobacco appealed the 2010 decision of a lower court upholding a tobacco point of sale display and vending machine ban. When Imperial Tobacco filed the appeal, the appellate court granted a temporary injunction against the implementation of the law. Imperial Tobacco once again argued that this law was "beyond the competence of the legislature" and therefore sought a permanent injunction against its implementation. Imperial Tobacco argued that the law would restrict freedom of trade and additionally that the Scottish parliament does not have authority to regulate these sales, because it is preempted by national law. Specifically, the company argued that the country's parliament cannot regulate trans-border trade conducted throughout the United Kingdom.

The Court rejected those arguments, finding that the purpose of the law - to protect Scotland's public health via a reduction in smoking and especially youth smoking - was a valid exercise of the Scottish Parliament's authority. Additionally, the Court found that there was no conflict with national law, because these regulations did not clash with or exceed the authority of national tobacco control legislation in the United Kingdom. Therefore, Imperial Tobacco's appeal was dismissed.


Imperial Tobacco Limited v. The Lord Advocate, as Represending the Scottish Ministers, [2012] CSIH 9.

  • United Kingdom
  • Feb 2, 2012
  • First Division, Inner House, Court of Session


Plaintiff Imperial Tobacco Ltd.

Defendant The Lord Advocate, As Representing the Scottish Ministers

Legislation Cited

Tobacco and Primary Health Services (Scotland) Act 2010

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product