If one Thai bottle should accidentally fall: health information, alcohol labelling and international investment law

Andrew D. Mitchell, Paula O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article considers the issues that would arise in a dispute under an international investment agreement about two innovative, public health alcohol labelling policies pursued by Thailand. One measure proposes graphic health warnings on alcoholic beverages. The other measure places extensive restrictions on the words and images that producers can use on alcoholic beverage labels. We focus on the consistency of these measures with the obligations of fair and equitable treatment and indirect expropriation. We place particular emphasis on the evidence that would likely be needed to defend these measures, including the areas where the science is somewhat tentative and might therefore pose problems for 'first-mover' States like Thailand. We conclude that there is a good chance that the warnings measure would be found compatible with investment law obligations. However, some aspects of the marketing measure are more vulnerable to findings of inconsistency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-697
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of World Investment and Trade
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Alcohol labels
  • Industry
  • International investment law
  • Marketing
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Public health warnings

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