independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Solicitors at odds with Law Society on smoking

Smoking row
Smoking row

A GROUP of 16 solicitors has written to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children separating themselves from the stand taken by the Law Society, which is opposed to the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes.

The Law Society appeared before the committee earlier this month to voice its strong objections to the move.

It insisted it was not in the pocket of the tobacco industry and was taking the stand on behalf of its members and the public interest.

Director General Ken Murphy said: "We are concerned with the legal implications of the concept of plain packaging as such, and how it might affect the standing of intellectual property rights here in Ireland and abroad."

A letter from 16 solicitors, posted by Dublin solicitor Simon McGarr, said they do not endorse or support the submissions made by the Law Society.

The letter said the group was of the opinion it is neither necessary nor appropriate for the society to make submissions of any nature to the Oireachtas committee on the measure.

The move came as the European Parliament yesterday voted for a new Tobacco Directive, which will severely restrict the packaging of tobacco products across the EU.

Irish Independent

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