Eurocare strongly supports Court's judgment on Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol in Scotland
The Court of Session, Scotland's supreme civil court, has ruled today in favour of the legality of the Scottish government's plans to introduce minimum pricing per unit of alcohol.
Brussels, Belgium, 3 May 2013
Judge Lord Doherty, sitting at the Court of Session in Edinburgh heard the legal arguments from the alcohol industry and the Scottish Government over several days earlier this year.
The alcohol industry will have 21 days in which to decide whether it has grounds for appeal.
The full judgment will appear at http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2013CSOH70.html once it is available from the court.
“Minimum pricing has been favoured by health professionals as an effective strategy to address the growing health crisis that has resulted from the increased affordability of alcoholic beverages in some countries” has said Mariann Skar, Secretary General of the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare). “There is sound evidence that if the measure is introduced substantial health and social benefits will follow. MUP could save over 300 lives a year in Scotland. European law should not be invoked to defeat alcohol harm reduction strategies since the well-being of the population and the promotion of public health are primary objectives of the European treaties” she added.
*** Minimum pricing is a ‘floor price’ beneath which alcohol cannot be sold and is set based on the amount of pure alcohol in a product measured in units or grams.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1) In May 2012, The Scottish Parliament passed The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 setting the 50p minimum unit price (MUP) as part of an effort to tackle alcohol misuse.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and other European wine and spirits producers took action against the proposal claiming that it breaches the UK's European Union (EU) treaty obligations because it would restrain trade. They also maintain it will be ineffective in tackling alcohol misuse and say it will penalise responsible drinkers and damage the industry.
The Scottish Government has said it is committed to introducing the policy in a bid to address Scotland's unhealthy relationship with drink, and save lives but it will not to bring in the measure while the legal action is with the courts.
2) FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
European Alcohol Policy Alliance
Mariann Skar Secretary General
EUROCARE (The European Alcohol Policy Alliance) is an alliance of non-governmental and public health organisations with around 55 member organisations across 23 European countries advocating the prevention and reduction of alcohol related harm in Europe.