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The Scotch Whisky Association and Others v The Lord Advocate. Case 333/14

European Court of Justice
Year of publication
The claimants requested a preliminary ruling on the compatibility of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 with EU Regulation No 1308/2013 on the common organisation of markets in agricultural products and the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) arts.34 and 36.  The European Court of Justice has given its decision and the case will now return to the Scottish courts.
The Court held that: (1) that the Regulation does not preclude minimum pricing if it is in the interests of public health and is proportionate in view of the Regulation’s objectives; (2) the TFEU arts. 34 and 36 preclude the use of minimum pricing where alternatives such as taxation would be suitable and less restrictive of trade and competition within the EU; and
(3) under the TFEU art.36, a Member State must consider whether minimum pricing distorts trade and confers advantages over alternatives such as taxation.
Date added
Created by
David Brunt
Published by
Current Awareness Service for Health