JTI Ireland has neither confirmed nor denied that it will now press ahead with a legal challenge to the Irish government, following the passing of a 'deadline' issued by the tobacco company last week.
According to reports last week, legal letters sent by Arthur Cox on behalf of JTI Ireland to Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Youth Affairs Minister James Reilly set a deadline of last Friday for the government to abandon plans to press ahead with plain packaging proposals, or face legal consequences.
When asked by Retail Intelligence as to whether the company now planned legal action, following the passing of the deadline, a spokesperson for JTI Ireland issued "no comment."
Last week, Igor Dzaja, General Manager, JTI Ireland stood by the company's decision to issue a legal challenge, saying “We have informed the government that we stand ready to file legal proceedings should it continue pushing for a ‘cut and paste’ policy that has failed in Australia. ’Plain’ packaging puts politics before evidence."
Elsewhere, a representative from John Player, part of the Imperial Tobacco group has responded to claims that it too 'warned' Minister Reilly of legal consequences should the government continue with its plans.
John Player issued its own letter to the government last week through McCann Fitzgerald solicitors, however the spokesperson told Retail Intelligence that any recent correspondence between it and the government contained "nothing new", adding that it was "along the lines of what we were saying before, that while the motive is good, the measure will have serious implications.
"We simply restated the point that we have the right to defend our intellectual property."
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones