|Legal challenge to Scots minimum pricing in court|
|Written by Lucy Britner|
|Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:13|
Legal action against the Scottish Government's minimum unit pricing legislation by European drinks trade bodies has begun today.
The judicial review, which has been brought by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) along with Spiritis Europe and Comité Vins (CEEV), will be heard in the Edinburgh Court of Session over eight days.
The SWA has brought the action on two points - that minimum pricing is "in breach of the UK's EU Treaty obligations as it would restrain trade" and "breaches the Act of Union that stipulates there must be a common market across the UK".
The SWA has consistently argued that minimum unit pricing will be "ineffective in tackling alcohol misuse, penalise responsible drinkers, will damage the Scotch whisky industry and is illegal".
Following the eight day period, the judge will take time to consider the case and judgment is expected in the coming months.
The Scottish government said minimum pricing would start at 50p per unit when the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 was passed in May last year. By Autumn, several wine producing countries as well as the European Commission had opposed the plans.